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Huckleberries Online

Mon., Jan. 6, 2014, 2:34 p.m.

Polar Bear Plunge Video Upsets FAA

This is an aerial view, courtesy of a radio-controlled helicopter and tiny camera, of the annual Polar Bear Plunge which takes place on Sanders Beach on Lake Coeur d’Alene every New Year’s Day. (Video: Jesse Tinsley)

The Federal Aviation Administration has a problem with a recently posted Spokesman-Review video from the Polar Bear Plunge in Coeur d'Alene because the footage was captured using a remote-control helicopter, according to a report today from Poynter, a Florida-based journalism ethics institute. Spokesman photographer Jesse Tinsley reportedly used his personal quad-copter to capture an aerial view of swimmers scrambling into Lake Coeur d'Alene for the New Year's Day tradition. Watch the video. But the FAA has strict regulations in place that prohibit the use of drones or unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes. They have yet to issue rules on the proper use, and have banned all use in the meantime. Tinsley told Poynter last week he believes the video falls into a "gray area" because it was a personal helicopter, used on personal time/Bloglander, Inlander. More here.

Question: Am I the only one who believes that the FAA beef/concern here is a petty one, at best?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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