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Genius crashes drone into Yellowstone hot spring, asks to retrieve it

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Maybe don’t do this on your next vacation: a tourist flouting a drone ban in the park crashed his device into a 200-foot-deep hot spring.

According to CNN, the tourist approached park staff after he crashed his drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring on Saturday, asking if it was possible to recover it from the spring, which is the world’s third largest and has a temperature of 170 degrees Farenheit.

A spokesperson for the park service said the unidentified tourist, who appeared to be unaware of the drone ban, was permitted to leave. She added that Yellowstone has not yet determined if the drone created any damage to the hot spring.

California’s Yosemite National Park announced a ban on unmanned aircraft in May, which the National Park Service followed with a blanket nation-wide ban the following month.

The bans came after a series of reported incidents, including a drone crashing in the Grand Canyon, and tourists using drones to harass big horn sheep in Utah. Drone advocates, however, have accused the Park Service of a knee-jerk response, and pointed out that the machines — many of which weigh under five pounds — offer opportunities for unique photography and for scientific research.

Meanwhile, other high-profile incidents involving drones — including this assault at the beach — have led to growing questions about how to regulate them. To see how this applies to you, see our informal guide about what the law says.

51 Responses to “Genius crashes drone into Yellowstone hot spring, asks to retrieve it”

  1. Jay Smith

    An unnamed tourist was allowed to walk away after crashing a drone into the Grand Prismatic Spring? This is either evidence a new warm and fuzzy benevolent government policy… or a manufactured justification for a policy with no legal standing…
    I’m guessing it was the second.

  2. SantaCruz

    Drones are powered by Lithium batteries. Lithium is a highly toxic element, bound in the battery by polymers that degrade with temperature. It is almost certain that the battery will eventually rupture, releasing the poisonous element into the pool.

    What this moron did was equivalent to drop a leaky car battery into a highly sensitive nature wonder. This is eco-terrorism. He should have been arrested and sentenced to pay millions.

    The most depressing aspect of this story is that nobody (the moron, the ranger, the reporter, most of the commentators) seem to have any idea of how serious this was. Yet another sign that the country is being swept away by a tide of ignorance and imbecility.