Sheriffs' Drone Doesn't Fly With FAA
The FAA says it's willing to work with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department in its quest to use a surveillance drone on official police business. But the feds left no ambiguity about who rules the skies when they ordered the Skyseer unmanned aerial vehicle grounded just before the department was about to launch a demo flight for reporters. "We said, 'Hey, you still haven't submitted the paperwork for this,'" FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown told the Daily Breeze "He said, 'This is just a demo.' We've told him he can't operate these UAVs. We said, 'You have conditions you have to satisfy before you can fly it.' "The Sheriff's Office insists it had the approvals it needed for the demo flight but agreed to cancel until the dispute was sorted out. The Skyseer weighs in at about $30,000, is about the size of a remote control aircraft and has a sophisticated video monitoring system aboard. It has about an hour's endurance and the Sheriff's Office says it will be handy for monitoring hostage situations, looking for lost hikers and following bad guys trying to escape from police.