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FAA investigating drone flying inside stadium during 'no-fly' zone at Bengals playoff game

Drone expert: "It's extremely dangerous"
Raiders Bengals Football drone
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jan 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-19 10:17:26-05

CINCINNATI — The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed Wednesday that the agency is investigating a drone seen flying Saturday near the football field and fans during the Cincinnati Bengals playoff game against the Las Vegas Raiders.

According to the FAA website, drones are prohibited from flying near NFL stadiums during before, during and after games - and other major sporting events - unless the FAA approves a waiver to operate a drone.

Dave Caldwell said he was in the south end zone when he saw the drone flying above the crowd.

"I just happened to look up and see a light-colored drone flying around," Caldwell said. "It looked like it was the size of a small laptop computer."

The drone video, posted on a public Youtube channel, appears to show the drone flying inside the stadium.

On various websites, drone pilots from across the country claimed that they had filed complaints about the incident with the FAA.

"It's extremely dangerous to fly a drone over people who are not aware that the drone is there," Chris Leasure said.

Leasure, owner of Texoma Drone Solutions in Wichita Falls, Texas, said he filed a complaint with the FAA after watching the drone video online.

The FAA has investigated hundreds of complaints about drone pilots in recent years. An agency spokeswoman said the FAA wasn't able to provide information about the incident on Tuesday.

For Dave Caldwell, the drone was mostly a curiosity on a day he'll always remember as a Bengals fan.

"It was a great game. Super exciting," Caldwell said. "I think I even cried at the end."

Raiders Bengals Football
Players stand on the field during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Las Vegas Raiders, Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

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