In Arkansas, Drones Take Place of News Choppers

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Apr. 21, 2014 12:00 am  

KATV, Channel 7, also used an aerial camera to cover the Majestic fire.

News Director Nick Genty said a station photographer, Brian Emfinger, owns his own aircraft that he uses in news shoots.

Nebulous Regulations

For some stations, however, drone technology remains controversial.

“We’re not utilizing drones,” said Michael Caplan, general manager of KTHV.

Trieschmann’s work for that station has been for promotional videos only, not for news coverage.

Caplan said one reason the station isn’t using Trieschmann or other drone operators for breaking news is because of uncertain regulation surrounding the tech.

Congress has given the Federal Aviation Administration a deadline of 2015 to come up with a plan for regulating personal unmanned aircraft. In the past, the FAA has treated personal drones as if they were manned aircraft, resulting in some photographers being hit with lawsuits and fines.

To avoid this, aerial photographers follow self-imposed guidelines.

For example, Trieschmann said, he never flies his craft near airports, doesn’t shoot events where huge crowds are present and keeps his drones within 150 yards of himself.

For most shoots, Trieschmann said, he seeks permission to film before flying there.

“If I’m flying, for instance, over the River Market, or a populated area, we would talk to the tourism board,” he said.



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