All five miles of the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Parade on Thursday were a no-fly zone, but that wasn’t going to stop Philly By Drone cofounder Christopher Kao.
Don’t get him wrong, though, he’s not trying to get arrested like that Drexel University student who flew a drone too close to a police chopper in 2016. Or filmmaker Johnathan Kolleh, who spent a day in lock-up after flying a drone a bit too close to the NFL Draft.
“I was considering just staying away,” said Kao. But then he got on the phone and made what he says were close to 20 phone calls to the Philadelphia Police Department, PHL International air traffic control and local helipads. The verdict was clear: as long as he did not fly above crowds and followed all regulations from the Federal Aviation Administration, he was good to go.
On the ground in University City, he set the drone and blasted off to capture an aerial shot of the crowd on the Parkway, estimated by some experts to be around 700,000 Birds fans.See the 360° photo
“I was expecting police officers to stop me but it ended up going smoothly,” said Kao, whose company makes 360° shots (or panoramas) and videos for real estate firms. “I had all my documents, my drone license and insurance info.”
While he was at it, Kao shot some video, too:
Philly developers Kelly Innes, Dan Ford and Chris Pollard also took to their craft in honor of the Eagles: they pieced together a map that that located the nearest bar along the parade route, also including open public transit stations and even bars where Bud Light would be offering free beer.
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