Last month, the Nationals were seen using a four-rotor drone to take publicity photos. The FAA took issue. “No, we didn’t get it cleared, but we don’t get our pop flies cleared either and those go higher than this thing did,” a team official told the AP afterward. Which pretty neatly sums up the FAA’s conundrum with regulating drones in the wild.
Using drones to shoot photos and video of sports events seems like one of the most natural applications for them. Sports are inherently visual activities, and using drones to capture new angles of everything from soccer matches to 100m sprints to snowboard halfpipes to the America’s Cup is the logical extension of the tech. The problem is, like digital copyright or totemic asshole face-camera ornaments, the technology has lapped the law.