Drone News: Drone Shop Owner Arrested for Flights, Baltimore Bridge TFR, Avata 2 Release and More?

Welcome to our weekly UAS News Update, and we have three stories for you this week. A drone shop owner gets arrested for prison drops. The Baltimore Bridge collapse TFR. And then, lastly, a possible 2 release next week and maybe even another item. Let's get to it!

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Drone Shop Owner Arrested for Prison Drops

A drone shop owner in , Robert Schwarz from Thunder Drones, was arrested for using drones to smuggle contraband into prison. The Georgia Department of Correction arrested Schwarz on charges including drops and inmate communications. During the investigation, stopped over 170 prison drops and seized more than 50 drones, 51 pounds of ecstasy, 22 firearms, and 273 cell phones. The investigation began in November 2022 and has led to 146 arrests.

Baltimore Bridge Collapse TFR

A container ship hit a bridge pylon on the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, resulting in the bridge collapsing. To reduce possible airspace congestion, a TFR () has been issued for the area surrounding the bridge. Authorities, including the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board), are using drones and helicopters as part of the investigation, with the NTSB releasing videos and images of the collapse.

The FBI has issued a statement warning that all drones must stay away from the site of the collapse to ensure the safety of and crew in the area and not interfere with their work. Flying a drone in a restricted area is harmful to the recovery operation and illegal, and violators will be charged federally.

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Possible DJI Releases Next Week

Next week, it appears that DJI has two releases planned. The first one, set to release on the 9th, is possibly a gimbal, with leaks suggesting an RS4 Pro. DJI sent an email showing the Ronin branding on the release image, possibly suggesting battery compatibility and new axis series.

The second release, set for the 11th, has several leaks suggesting a new DJI Avata 2. Leaked specs indicate a 1/1.3″ CMOS sensor, a DL04 transmission system, and 23 minutes of battery life. Pricing leaks suggest the drone may be around $410, with the Fly More Combo at $960. However, these are leaked information and may not be entirely accurate.

Sun ‘n Fun Reminder

The team will be at Sun ‘n Fun in Lakeland next week, so there will be no live event on Monday. If you're in the Lakeland area, make sure to visit the booth and participate in the giveaways.

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Greg Reverdiau
Greg Reverdiau
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