DRONE ANTICS IN CALIFORNIA EXAMPLE OF WHY MB STADIUM WILL BE A 'NO FLY ZONE' SATURDAY
The Federal Aviation Administration is warning drone pilots to stay away from Mercedes-Benz Stadium during Saturday's game.
Just last weekend, a rogue drone pilot in California dropped political leaflets into stadiums during two NFL games. And it's becoming a growing issue and why the use of no-fly zones is growing - especially around stadiums and large crowds.
It's a temporary restriction but it's meant to keep fans safe.
11Alive spent some time with Dan Parker, a pilot for the Atlanta Drone Group.
"We do work in film and T.V.," he said. "We do live broadcasting for news."
Parker is a licensed commercial drone pilot.
"As someone who wants to do this correctly and legally, seeing people do things somewhat rogue and against the rules and, uh, dangerous - it's frowned upon," he said.
Parker follows the rules when others don't - whether that's hobbyists or those with an agenda. Tracy Mapes is one of latter. He attempted to use his drone to drop political leaflets in two NFL stadiums during games a week before in California. He was arrested.
Saturday in Atlanta, a no-fly zone will be in place over Mercedes-Benz Stadium as thousands take in the SEC Championship Game.
"If there's any type of mechanical problem with the drone or if there's just, uh, user error, you know, it can be fatal," he said.
The FAA says you're not allowed to fly drones within 3 miles of Major League Baseball, National Football League or National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football stadiums. And drone pilots could face criminal charges for ignoring this restriction.
"These propellors spin extremely fast and, to get stuck in the face or the neck - or somewhere - could seriously injure or kill someone," Parker said.
Drone pilots can download a special FAA app called "B4UFLY" to learn where it's considered safe to fly.