DJI Mavic 3 drone shot out of the air in North Carolina, deputies are investigating

Deputies are investigating after a Burke County man's DJI Mavic 3 drone was shot out of the air during a family gathering in .

Drone pilot Dan Brand was trying to capture an aerial image of the Burke County's mountains and sunset last Sunday when he suddenly heard four shots ring out and saw his drone falling from the sky.

Brand had more than a dozen family members at his home south of Morganton when the drone was shot at. Luckily nobody got injured.

“My wife, my baby, niece and so many relatives out here; so many things could have gone wrong,” Brand said.

DJI Mavic 3 drone damaged

As you can see in the photos and video, the 's camera and lens are severely damaged.

The sheriff's report states that the drone sustained $3,000 in damage as a result of the buckshot hitting the unmanned aircraft's body and camera.

Deputies of the Burke County Sheriff's Office are investigating the and have interviewed neighbors.

Brand, who is a Part 107 certified drone operator and uses the DJI Mavic 3 for work, said he reported the incident to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

“So many things could have gone wrong, and in that respect, I'm very grateful that this only resulted in the destruction of the drone,” Brand reportedly said. “I felt very violated that someone would do that to my property.”

Dji Mavic 3 Drone Shot Out Of The Air In North Carolina

FAA responds to DJI Mavic 3 drone shot out of skies

Channel 9 reached out to the FAA for comment and received the following response.

“A private citizen shooting at any aircraft – including unmanned aircraft – poses a significant safety hazard… Could crash, causing damage to persons or property on the ground, or it could collide with other objects in the air,” said Elizabeth Cory (FAA).

Flight details provided by Brand show the DJI Mavic 3 flying at 120 feet over his family's home.

Shooting down an aircraft is a federal crime, whether it is a manned or unmanned aircraft. Over the last few years, we have seen a number of cases in which a drone was shot at. However, we have yet to see anybody being prosecuted under federal law for any of these offenses.

Let us know in the comments below what you think of this DJI Mavic 3 drone that was shot down. We are curious to hear your thoughts.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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