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Student Spent 5 Days In Prison For Flying His Drone – Police Overkilled It

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Drone Jail Student In Prison

According to the recent reports of China News Service, four drones flown illegally over Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in southwest China’s Sichuan Province on Friday caused flights to be diverted, returned or canceled.

At 2:38 p.m. Friday, the airport received reports of four drones flying at the clearance protection zone of the airport. One even passed below a landing flight, said sources with the airport on Saturday.

Tokyo Haneda Great Wave

Photo by Mike Kelley

The drones forced a total of 58 flights to land at alternative airports, four flights to return, and more than 10 to be canceled on Friday. More than 10,000 passengers were stranded at the airport. Police are still trying to find the irresponsible UAV pilots but and DJI has even announced sponsorship of 1 000 000 Chinese Yuan ($145 000 USD) to the one, who can catch people responsible for the illegal flying in the airport.

So what does it have to do with a student?

Tony Lin (pseudonym) is a sophomore student of Southwest Jiaotong University, who is interested in photography and casual drone flying. On Aril 21st he decided to fly a drone in the school campus just like he usually does. He didn’t expect that police will appear out of nowhere and take him to the police department by the excuse that he was interfering with the civilian aircrafts.

drone pilot flying

Tony Lin was thrown in the cage for 5 days and got a negative record in the police database, but eventually, they have let him out considering few facts.

  1. First, the flight records showed that he was only flying 27 meters high that day, which is even lower than most of the buildings around.
  2. Second, the school is located as far as 27 km (16.7 mi) away from the airport, which is more than enough to fly safely even at an altitude of 120 m (400ft). Lastly, this was not a no-fly zone, not even close to it.

 

school campus drone flying

Fortunately, the pilot got out of the prison, but his student life might be over due to the recent issue. Now, how many more overkills like this out there, that we don’t know about? People thinking that the drones are evil. This time Chinese police made a scapegoat out of the sophomore student, for the “sins” of other irresponsible pilots.

Who knows when people will stop thinking that drones are evil and when the governments find an efficient way to fight the illegal flying…?

Thank you for reading!

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