AMA: Fox News Drone Segment ‘Grossly Misrepresented’ Model Aviation

Posted by Betsy Lillian on February 10, 2015 No Comments
Categories : UAV Safety

Calling it a ‘poor example to those new to model aviation,’ the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) has spoken out about a recent Fox News segment on drones.

During a Feb. 4 show, AMA explains, an ‘uncontrolled’ quadcopter was operated ‘in an unsafe and irresponsible manner’ by a Popular Science magazine editor. The organization says it is thus ‘expressing its concern’ in letters to the network and the magazine.

In the letter to the Fox News Channel, AMA says, “During the recent Fox & Friends segment, ‘A look at what drones can actually do,” your producers permitted a model aircraft to be flown recklessly and irresponsibly, endangering the safety of your news crew.

The model used during that segment is not meant to be flown in an enclosed space, and doing so was not only dangerous but it grossly misrepresented the hobby of flying model aircraft.”

“Basic research into safety precautions and common-sense guidelines would have shown that this was not a responsible use of this technology,” AMA writes.

The organization then mentions the Know Before You Fly campaign. AMA, along with the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and Small UAV Coalition, partnered with the Federal Aviation Administration in December to launch the campaign, which “seeks to make common-sense guidelines more accessible to prospective operators of recreational unmanned aircraft (drones) and model aircraft,” AMA writes to Fox News.

“As a news organization, you have a responsibility to your viewers, and in this regard you have failed to fulfill this responsibility.”

In the letter to Popular Science, AMA echoes a similar sentiment and ends with the following: “Your editor’s actions grossly misrepresented our hobby and this technology. We expect much more from a magazine as widely read and esteemed as Popular Science.”

The letters to Fox News and Popular Science can be found here and here, respectively.

The Fox News segment can be viewed here.

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