Drone seen flying illegally at Paine Field


Last updated 8/15/2018 at Noon

The drone, circled in red, flying over Paine Field on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

A drone caused quite the stir at Paine Field last Wednesday, Aug. 8, when surveillance footage caught it flying illegally over the west side of the airport.

According to a press release from Paine Field, nobody was injured, and there was no property damage from the drone’s presence.

But Paine Field Deputy Director Bruce Fisher was concerned about the incident, believing there was a risk that the drone could have collided with aircraft landing or departing from the airport.

“Drone operators need to understand the gravity of the situation,” Fisher said. “An airport is no place for drones. Clearly, this incident could have put lives into jeopardy.”

It is illegal to fly a drone within five miles of Paine Field without having permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airport, and there are similar restrictions in place around other airports across the country. Nearly all of Mukilteo is within five miles of Paine Field.

According to Paine Field, the drone hovered over the west side - the Mukilteo side - of the airport for roughly 40 minutes.

Surveillance footage showed the drone arrived around 8:20 p.m. from the south, and it headed north along the western perimeter of the airport until after sunset.

An FAA spokesperson said they are investigating the incident.

Regulations for flying drones is available on the FAA’s website.

They also have a mobile app, B4UFLY, to help drone operators avoid airports and other locations where airspace restrictions generally prohibit drone use.

Drones are becoming more popular these days.

According to the FAA’s website, more than 100,000 U.S. citizens have earned their Remote Pilot Certificate to fly a drone for commercial and recreational use since the FAA’s small drone rule went into effect on Aug. 29, 2016.

The FAA also offers safety tips for drone operators:

  • Register your drone
  • Fly your drone at or below 400 feet
  • Keep your drone within your line of sight
  • Be aware of FAA Airspace Restrictions
  • Respect privacy
  • Never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports
  • Never fly over groups of people, public events, or stadiums full of people
  • Never fly near emergencies such as fires or hurricane recovery efforts
  • Never fly under the influence of drugs or alcohol

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Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG


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