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Stopped by the Secret Service During Flight

TheGroove

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2022
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Location
California, USA
Recently, we had a large event going on in my city and while I was aware of the TFR in the beginning of the week I thought it was lifted by the day I went out to fly. The location was a spot I knew really well and have flown before and the B4UFLY app did not show the TFR so I launched and did my thing.

About 20 minutes into the flight I was approached by an undercover police officer and the secret service, they asked me to bring the drone in while leaving it on so they could review my footage. They asked if the app showed the TFR and I told them it had not, I was then questioned for about 30 minutes, they were really cool about it all though. Everything checked out with my Part 107 and they just let me off with a warning.

I then learned that several of my peers got a visit as well, they used Radio ID to track us all. Only one of us got a call from the FAA afterwards and it was because he didn't have his TRUST (let alone a Part 107) and he was told to get it and show proof or be fined $30K.

Just thought I would share the experience, I really should've just looked online for the TFR. Next time I'll pay better attention.
 
Recently, we had a large event going on in my city and while I was aware of the TFR in the beginning of the week I thought it was lifted by the day I went out to fly. The location was a spot I knew really well and have flown before and the B4UFLY app did not show the TFR so I launched and did my thing.

About 20 minutes into the flight I was approached by an undercover police officer and the secret service, they asked me to bring the drone in while leaving it on so they could review my footage. They asked if the app showed the TFR and I told them it had not, I was then questioned for about 30 minutes, they were really cool about it all though. Everything checked out with my Part 107 and they just let me off with a warning.

I then learned that several of my peers got a visit as well, they used Radio ID to track us all. Only one of us got a call from the FAA afterwards and it was because he didn't have his TRUST (let alone a Part 107) and he was told to get it and show proof or be fined $30K.

Just thought I would share the experience, I really should've just looked online for the TFR. Next time I'll pay better attention.
Thanks for sharing. Good they acted professionally.
 
Thanks for sharing this and it's a wakeup for us all. It doesn't take to much time to take the time before we fly, just to make sure !
Right, that and we can't necessarily rely on our apps to warn us. Greg from PI pointed this out during his last news update, the apps are either delayed or not always picking up NOTAMs.
 
Right, that and we can't necessarily rely on our apps to warn us. Greg from PI pointed this out during his last news update, the apps are either delayed or not always picking up NOTAMs.
Is there no other way to check whether there are temporary NFZ in place in the USA.
 
Right, that and we can't necessarily rely on our apps to warn us. Greg from PI pointed this out during his last news update, the apps are either delayed or not always picking up NOTAMs.
So, that being the case, how do we verify accurately if and when a given TFR is active or over? Or if there is even one happening at all?
What sources are you using to double check?
I check (when I have the wherewithal to do so before a job...) B4UFly, FAA's TFR site and Aloft's app. There's another one too I look at, but its on my phone and not nearby at the moment.
 
So, that being the case, how do we verify accurately if and when a given TFR is active or over? Or if there is even one happening at all?
What sources are you using to double check?
I check (when I have the wherewithal to do so before a job...) B4UFly, FAA's TFR site and Aloft's app. There's another one too I look at, but its on my phone and not nearby at the moment.
I'd say that checking the FAA's TFR website is about as good as can be done.
 
I'd say that checking the FAA's TFR website is about as good as can be done.
Remembered the the other app- UAV Forcast…
Between all those I usually have a pretty good idea of the impending TFR’s and the times.

But the OP said that the TFR he was questioned about didn’t show on B4UFLY.
And that’s the site recommended by FAA.
 
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