Drone goes down atop AT&T Stadium

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by TODD UNGER

Bio | Email | Follow: @toddWFAA8

wfaa.com

Posted on June 10, 2014 at 10:53 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 10 at 11:24 PM

ARLINGTON — AT&T Stadium has seen a lot since opening in 2009, but nothing quite like a drone getting lost on its massive roof.

It happened over the weekend.

According to an online video posted on YouTube, a Texas man captured footage over the stadium using a second drone to search for the first.

At one point on the video, the man can be heard saying "This wasn't a good day for me ... like a dumb-ass, I let the building get between me and transmitter."

He goes on to say the loss of the controlling radio signal is what caused the device to go down on top of the roof.

At the University of Texas at Arlington engineering department, which specializes in unmanned aircraft usage and development, the incident didn't sit well.

"The presence of people underneath him would have been a real concern," said Brian Huff, who has nearly two decades of experience exploring the industry.

Of specific concern, according to Huff — and also noted in FAA guidelines — is the drone hovering over highly populated areas, like the stadium, the ballpark and then Interstate 30.

The video also shows it flying high over Dallas, including Reunion Tower. That means it was around 600 feet in the air, above the 400 feet limit that impacts most recreational drone users.

"That is far too high," said Huff, who also noted the area is within five miles of Love Field. "Under Class-B airspace in those specific areas, they [FAA] control to the surface, so he shouldn't have been flying in that area under any altitude."

The FAA technically lists drones as "model aircraft."

In a statement, the agency said in part:

"The FAA may pursue enforcement action against model aircraft operators who endanger the safety of the national airspace system."

The Cowboys located the downed DJI Phantom Vision craft late Tuesday afternoon. They said it would be returned to the owner, who could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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