drones

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200-Pound Drone Gets OK to Spray Pesticides

FAA approves Yamaha's RMAX

(Newser) - A drone large enough to carry tanks of fertilizers and pesticides has won rare approval from federal authorities to spray crops in the US, officials say. The drone, called the RMAX, is a remotely piloted helicopter that weighs 207 pounds, according to Steve Markofski of Yamaha, which developed the aircraft.... More »

Dad Tased After Flying Drone at Park

Travis Sanders says he didn't know flying tiny 'aircraft' was illegal

(Newser) - Travis Sanders expected a fun night when he took his family to Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park on Saturday. But things took an unexpected turn when the 35-year-old Pahoa resident was Tased by a park ranger and arrested after sending up a 3-inch quadcopter drone to take video of the... More »

Suck It, FAA: Amazon Drone Tests Move North

Prime Air experiments carried out feet from US border in BC

(Newser) - Amazon has followed up on its threat to deploy drones outside of the US after new rules dampened its dream of drone deliveries. Though the company was just granted an FAA certificate allowing it to carry out certain tests for Prime Air, the Guardian reports Amazon moved its drone operations... More »

Amazon Drones Cleared to Fly

But FAA says test operator will need a pilot's license

(Newser) - Amazon's dream of door-to-door delivery by drone might not be dead after all. The Federal Aviation Administration has granted the company an "experimental airworthiness certificate" to test drones outdoors, but it comes with some pretty tough restrictions: The tests must take place below 400 feet during daylight hours... More »

No Charges for White House Drone Pilot

Spy agency hasn't punished him for crash

(Newser) - Sounds like spy agency worker Shawn Usman has some very understanding bosses: Federal authorities have decided not to pursue charges against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency employee for crashing a drone on the White House grounds while off-duty and intoxicated earlier this year, and the NGA says it has taken no... More »

ACLU Suit: Spill Killer-Drone Details, Mr. President

Complaint says administration has been stonewalling about 'kill list' since 2013

(Newser) - In October 2013, the ACLU filed a FOIA request to find out more about the US counterterrorism drone program, the Guardian reports. Since then, the Obama administration has fought "tooth-and-nail" against releasing documents and "failed to follow through on … commitments to openness," the ACLU said today... More »

Paris Solves Drone Mystery, Arrests 3

City of Lights had been mystified by flybys, allegedly at hands of al-Jazeera journos

(Newser) - The Paris prosecutors' office says three al-Jazeera journalists have been arrested for illegally flying a drone. It said the three foreign nationals aged 70, 54, and 36 were taken into custody this afternoon after police spotted the drone flying in the Bois de Boulogne woods in western Paris. They can... More »

Paris Stumped by Second Night of Drone Flybys

Officials to investigate footage of devices

(Newser) - The City of Lights is abuzz a second day over mysterious drones that flew over Paris landmarks again last night, the BBC reports. Five drones were spotted in a three-hour period last night at locations like a military museum, city gates, and Place de la Concorde. Authorities plan to review... More »

Mystery Drones Over Major Sites Rattle Paris

Devices seen near Eiffel Tower, US embassy

(Newser) - Paris remains edgy after terror attacks earlier this year, and the appearance of five unexplained drones overnight isn't helping. "It could be a coordinated action, but we don't know yet," a police source tells the Telegraph of the devices, which were seen at well-known sites including... More »

US Allows Sale of Armed Drones to Other Nations

State Department promises to vet sales carefully to prevent abuses

(Newser) - If you were still skeptical about the future of drones, this should take care of that: Arms manufacturers can now get in on the action. The White House said today that it will allow the export of armed drones to other nations, reports the Washington Post . The newspaper calls the... More »

Amazon Hates New Drone Rules

It threatens to shift Prime Air project overseas

(Newser) - The new FAA draft regulations for commercial drones include provisions that appear to shoot down Amazon's plans for drone deliveries —and the company is far from happy about it. The FAA, which plans to require drone operators to have the aircraft in sight at all times, needs to... More »

Obama Lays Out Privacy Rules for Drones

White House memo sets limits of feds' use of unmanned aircraft

(Newser) - As the US prepares to see more drones aloft in coming years, President Barack Obama is taking steps to ensure that the government respects privacy and civil liberties when it uses the unmanned aircraft to collect information. Obama issued a memorandum to federal agencies today specifying measures to guard against... More »

How a Drone Could Settle Debate Over the Ancient Amazon

Researchers will scan ground in search of geoglyphs

(Newser) - Experts are divided over how ancient people lived in what is now Brazil, and they're turning to a drone to help them learn the answers. "While some researchers think that Amazonia was inhabited by small bands of hunter-gatherers and shifting cultivators who had a minimal impact on the... More »

White House Drone Pilot: Drunk Spy Agency Worker

NGA stresses employee was off duty

(Newser) - A spy agency employee exposed a big hole in White House security this week but he's unlikely to get a promotion for it: The man was off-duty, drunk, and playing with a friend's drone when he crashed it on the White House grounds around 3am Monday, reports the... More »

Guy Claims Drone That Crashed at White House

Says he lost control of quad copter, didn't mean to come close to White House

(Newser) - A Washington man has come forward to claim the small drone discovered this morning on the grounds of the White House, which prompted a brief lockdown and a Secret Service investigation, the AP reports. The man, a government employee who does not work for the White House, tells investigators that... More »

Drone Overloaded With Meth Crashes Near Border

It comes down in parking lot in Tijuana

(Newser) - Somebody in Mexico who failed to read the instructions is out more than 6 pounds of meth and a $1,400 drone, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune . Police say the battery-operated drone carrying 3 kilos of the drug crashed in a Tijuana parking lot Tuesday night, about a mile from... More »

US Drone Program Caught in 'Perfect Storm'

Air Force has 7 pilots per 8 positions needed: report

(Newser) - The US Air Force has enough drones for its needs—but it doesn't have enough pilots to use them effectively, the Daily Beast reports. While the US faces a formidable enemy in ISIS, the fleet is at the "breaking point," with Pentagon requests exceeding Air Force capacity,... More »

Passenger Jet Nearly Hits Unidentified Drone

Heathrow incident could have caused crash, authorities say

(Newser) - An Airbus A320 nearly hit a drone at Britain's Heathrow Airport earlier this year, authorities have revealed. A report from air safety authorities says the pilot was at 700 feet and preparing to land on July 22 when he saw the helicopter-style drone, ITV reports. The owner of the... More »

FAA: Drones Nearly Hit Planes 25 Times in 6 Months

Reports of close calls are surging

(Newser) - Air travelers appear to have a genuine new problem to fret about: small drones. The FAA has logged 25 close calls with planes since June 1, reports the Washington Post . By "close call," it means an instance in which a drone "came within a few seconds or... More »

Secret US Spy Program Tracks Cellphone Users

Planes carrying 'dirtboxes' trick phones into sending identifying data and location

(Newser) - The extent to which the US government spies on US soil continues to unfold. The latest revelation: Using Cessna aircraft over at least five metropolitan-area airports, the Justice Department oversees (albeit to an unknown extent) a program that indiscriminately accesses large amounts of cellphone data, including identifying information and people'... More »

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