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California man cited for flying drone over area of lava flow

(Image: Jeremiah Osuna)
(Image: Jeremiah Osuna)
Published: May. 31, 2018 at 8:03 PM HST|Updated: Jun. 1, 2018 at 5:24 PM HST
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VOLCANO, HAWAII (HawaiiNewsNow) - A California man was cited for flying a drone over a restricted area with active lava flows, state officials said.

The Department of Land and Natural Resources said in a news release that an officer "was checking barricades in Nanawale Estates when he spotted a red light in the sky."

The officer then encountered a 38-year-old, of San Jose, Calif., flying a drone in a restricted flight zone. The release said the man set up his drone on Forest Road at about 9:30 p.m. to get aerial photography of the lava.

The FAA placed a temporary flight restriction over a five-mile radius of Leilani Estates on May 8.

The DLNR says unpermitted drones can interfere with emergency aircraft operations.

Some drones seen over areas of volcanic activity are permitted. The DLNR says the US Geological Survey, Hawaii Electric Light, and the University of Hawaii-Hilo operate drones for purposes of hazard evaluation.

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