Fireworks in the night shy. (Photo: Kazuend)

Fireworks and Drones Don’t Mix

Fireworks in the night shy. (Photo: Kazuend)

KINGMAN – On July 4th Kingman will be lit up with spectacular colors in the night sky over the Mohave County Fairgrounds.

Along with the starbursts, strobes and other pyrotechnics of an Independence Day celebration a new light might be seen in the sky overhead. A dim flashing red blinking light of a drone as it gets a bird’s eye view of the amazing show.

Over the last several years, drone videos and photos of fireworks shows have flooded every social media platform in existence. The footage can look incredible and gives the viewer a new perspective of the entire show.  

While using a drone to capture a beautiful 4th of July fireworks display is not entirely banned by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).  There are several other regulations in place that should deter a recreational drone operator from capturing photos or videos of their local fireworks. The FAA does not allow recreational pilots to fly over crowds and the operator must keep the drone in sight at all times.

According to the FAA images captured by a recreational drone operators cannot be used for any commercial purpose. Even if the image is given to a business free of charge.

Since 2014 the FAA has been increasingly questioning drone operators who flew their drones through or near firework displays. In 2014 a South African man was investigated by the FAA when he flew drone at a Florida firework show. The flight included flying over a large crowd near a major airport.

It’s not uncommon for licensed commercial Part 107 drone operators to capture these amazing images, they fly under a different set of rules. 107 pilots can submit for waivers from the FAA for night operations, flights over people, and flight beyond visual line of sight.

For more information on recreational drone operations: