U.S. Park Police Nab a Couple Washington, D.C., Drone Operators

The U.S. Park Police have noted two recent illegal unmanned aircraft system (UAS) operations taking place in Washington, D.C.

Federal law prohibits flying all unmanned aircraft in the heavily regulated flight restricted zone (FRZ) around Washington, D.C., including from private property inside the FRZ. Additionally, launching, landing or operating UAS is prohibited in all areas administered by the National Park Service.

At 4 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, the U.S. Park Police were alerted to a drone flying on the north side of the Washington Monument near 16th St. and Constitution Ave. Northwest.

Officers made contact with the operator and ordered him to land the drone. The officer issued John Newcomer Jr. a citation, and his blue UDI R/C drone and black radio controller were confiscated from Newcomer and kept as evidence.

According to the police, this was the first reported incident involving the illegal operation of an unmanned aircraft in a Greater Washington-area national park in 2016; however, it was the 28th of its kind since 2013.

Separately, at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 26, the U.S. Park Police’s helicopter, Eagle 1, observed a UAS in the airspace over North Field in Anacostia Park.

Like the previous incident, officers made contact with the operator, Howard Solomon III, and ordered him to land the drone. He was then given a citation, and his Yuneec Typhoon Q500+ quadcopter and controller were confiscated and kept as evidence.


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