LAS VEGAS – The drone community is speaking out on a viral video that shows a drone flying dangerously close to an airplane landing at McCarran Airport, saying that the video could be a fabricated publicity stunt.
A drone expert says if you look closely at the video, something is off.
“My first reaction was, ‘oh no, this can be absolutely horrible for us,” said drone instructor Chris Cernuto.
Cernuto says he and other members of the drone industry noticed something off about the now viral Facebook video.
“When the drone finishes its test turn and comes back around and looks level to the airplane, we notice that the flaps are not fully engaged,” Cernuto said.
According to Cernuto, the video could be a result of a very detailed simulation video game.
However, Cernuto acknowledges there’s also a strong chance it could be real. He says whether or not it is, what’s shown in the video is everything the drone community does not stand for, can place a stigma on their community, and cause danger.
“What we see is that he didn’t avoid the aircraft and that’s where the FAA would if anything press charges,” Cernuto said.
The video also opens the door for the big debate: Can a drone take down an airplane?
“I hope we never see what happens with an airplane and a drone, as a drone should not be in an airplane’s airspace,” Cernuto said.
Recreational drone pilots shouldn’t fly above 400 feet amongst other regulations, according to experts. Users who fly unsafely can face thousands of dollars in fines, and even prison time—not to mention cause danger.
“No matter if it’s good or bad, the drone community stands up,” continued Cernuto. “We fight against these different types of rogue instances.”