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Drone Videos Taken Over Lollapalooza Draw FAA Lecture

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CHICAGO (STMW) – The Federal Aviation Administration won’t charge the man who shot live footage with an aerial drone over the Lollapalooza music festival in Grant Park, but the videos did catch the agency’s attention.

The agency reviewed the videos, which were posted on YouTube under the under the user name Alfredo Roman, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said Thursday.

And on Friday, she said in an email, “The matter has been closed with an educational conversation with the individual who operated the UAS (unmanned aircraft system).

“The matter discussed included applicable laws, regulations and requirements.”

Cory declined to confirm the Youtube user’s name, and would not elaborate on what consequences he might have faced if any wrongdoing was found.

The YouTube videos included two aerial recordings of Lollapalooza—one with footage from electronic DJ Skrillex’s set, and the other a montage of the festival. At one point, DJ Skrillex appears to point out an object in the sky above.

Anyone wanting to fly a manned or unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace needs “some level” of authorization from the FAA, Cory said in an email Thursday.

While it is legal to fly a model aircraft, it must be flown for recreational use, with no commercial purposes, according to FAA law.

An FAA advisory also lays down voluntary operating standards for such aircraft, including that no one should fly a model while spectators are on the ground below unless the device has been properly tested, the advisory says. It also should not be flown higher than 400 feet above the ground.

The videos were taken by a DJI Phantom recording device, according to the YouTube posts. The user did not respond to requests for comment.

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