FAA investigating drone spotted flying above Pirates game at PNC Park
A drone that flew over PNC Park during a Pirates game has prompted an investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, federal officials said on Friday.
Pirates staff saw the drone hover over the ballpark during Thursday evening's game and alerted police, team spokesman Brian Warecki said.
Officers working a security detail at the game spoke to the drone's owner on the PNC Park Riverwalk and told him he couldn't fly it over the park, public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.
The unidentified man complied with the request, and police did not arrest him or issue any citations.
“The man was informed of the seriousness of the situation and warned that if he returned, he would face further police action,” Warecki said.
Fans on Twitter reported seeing the drone toward the end of the game, which the Pirates won 5-2.
Little boys cried “UFO, UFO,” but most fans were more impressed with what was happening on the field, rather than above it, said Kelsey Gundel, 21, of Scott. She attended the game and captured a short video, which she posted to Twitter, of part of the drone's flight.
“(Gregory) Polanco hit a home run, so everyone cared more about baseball, which is so Pittsburgh, “ Gundel said. “It was like, ‘Oh look, a drone,' and then back to caring about baseball.”
Polanco hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning. The TV broadcast of the game showed the drone in flight and its apparent operator holding a control unit standing outside the stadium during the eighth inning.
The drone was a DJI Phantom model quadcopter carrying a GoPro camera. The quadcopter is available for about $600 online. GoPro cameras retail for about $300. Accessories could easily push the total price past $1,000.
Gundel said she noticed the drone flying over the river, then watched it as it hovered over the field for about five minutes.
“You couldn't miss it,” she said.
“I was really excited because I've never seen a drone before.”
The FAA said this week that unmanned model aircraft owners are permitted to fly the small aircraft without FAA approval for hobby or recreational use only, must keep them in sight and must avoid flying them over densely populated areas.
The FAA can fine the owners for violations.
Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Brawl for ADs between Pitt and WVU
- Steelers must be creative in providing snaps for linebackers
- First Niagara to cut 200 jobs; Pittsburgh impact unclear
- Analysis: Misunderstood Chryst served Pitt well
- Fall from Hazelwood roof kills man
- Police gather in Ligonier for Perryopolis officer’s funeral
- Veteran tight end Miller’s blocking skill crucial to success to Steelers running game
- Penguins’ Maatta tests positive for mumps; Bortuzzo, Greiss negative
- Time is of essence for Pitt in finding football coach, athletic director
- Sandusky won’t get his pension back
- Toys for Tots fails to deliver; local charities scramble