Welcome to your weekly UAS News update. We have three stories for you this week. A drone pilot loses control of their drone over a stadium – not good. An update on the man who shot down the Police drone a couple of years ago. And then DJI releases a new LiDAR unit called the L2. Let's get to it.
Drone Pilot Loses Control Over Stadium
First up this week is the segment titled “Drone Pilot Loses Control Over Stadium”. Unfortunately, it's about a drone that flew over a college football game, resulting in the players being evacuated from the field.
This happened in Columbus, Ohio, where a gentleman named Rigoberto Canaca Escoto flew a drone he had purchased the day before at Best Buy over the stadium. Upon returning, the Columbus Counterterrorism Police were able to track the drone back to the pilot.
He admitted that he had no knowledge of basic UAS safety, hadn't taken the TRUST test, and had lost control of the aircraft for about 3 minutes while over the stadium. Additionally, he was out of line of sight.
He's been charged in Franklin County, Ohio, with non-FAA-related but county-related offenses: unsafe operation of an aircraft in a careless and reckless manner, two counts of aircraft operation without a license, inducing panic by committing an offense with reckless disregard, and disorderly conduct in a physically offensive condition.
This situation reinforces the need for drone manufacturers to include documentation mentioning the basic rules that need to be followed. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) actually has a flyer that is theoretically required to be included in every drone box sold in the US. This would have saved this individual a lot of hassle.
Update on Man Who Shot Down Police Drone
Next up is an update on a story we talked about nearly two years ago. In Florida, a man surprisingly shot down a Lake County Sheriff Matrice 300 in 2021. According to the man, the drone was harassing him. However, the Lake County Sheriff was investigating reports of burglary in a nearby 10-acre warehouse.
The man was a 29-time convicted felon and now faces ten years in prison for possession of a firearm and ammunition, which he wasn't supposed to have. So, please don't be like these individuals: don't fly your drone in a TFR and don't shoot at drones.
New DJI Zenmuse L2 LiDAR Release
The last story this week is about the Zenmuse L2 LiDAR from DJI. The new L2 is compatible with both the Matrice 300 and the Matrice 350. Compared to the L1, the L2 increases detection range by 30% with a reduced spot size of 4×2.4×12 cm at 100m.
If you're into LiDAR, this added detection range means a lot. The L2 has a maximum point cloud rate of 240,000 points per second and a 20-megapixel 4/3 CMOS sensor with a mechanical shutter. The L2, priced at $13,500 according to the DJI website for the basic combo, is relatively affordable for a LiDAR unit.
We recently returned from our trip in Colorado at the Colorado Drone Show. It was wonderful meeting many of you in person, taking photos, and issuing TRUST certificates. We even provided several FPV first rides.
Thanks to Colorado State University for hosting us. Our team also had the privilege of witnessing a Drone Light Show. The three-dimensional aspect of the show was truly breathtaking, something videos cannot capture.
Another part of our team was at the Drone Fest in Phoenix, Arizona. I hope next time these two events are apart so I can attend both. Have a great weekend, and we'll see you next week.
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