Man in Trouble for Flying Drone Over Football Game

Photo by Adrian Curiel on Unsplash

( – Recently, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced that a Pennsylvania man was indicted for unauthorized drone activity over M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore during last month’s AFC championship game.

The individual, 44-year-old Matthew Hebert, faces three serious charges related to his operation of a drone that was not registered. This incident led to a temporary halt of the football match between the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs eventually triumphed with a score of 17-10, advancing to the Super Bowl.

Hebert is accused of infringing upon national defense airspace regulations and flying the drone without the requisite certification.

According to CBS News, U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron emphasized the gravity of unauthorized drone flights, especially during significant events like sports games, stating that such actions could lead to federal prosecution due to the substantial security risks they pose. He reminded the public of the standing temporary flight restrictions during major sporting events.

Hebert is potentially facing up to three years in prison for the charges of flying an unregistered drone and lacking proper certification, and an additional year for violating national defense airspace.

He is expected to make his initial court appearance later in the month, as per the official press release.

Hebert claimed unawareness of the flight restrictions in place. During the drone operation, he captured six photographs and possibly a video, only realizing the disruption caused to the game when approached by a state trooper during the event.

The Federal Aviation Administration mandates that drones are not to be flown within a 3-mile radius of stadiums capable of seating 30,000 or more spectators during event times, starting an hour before and extending to an hour after the event concludes.

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