YVR Drone Video Stirs Controversy

A quadcopter drone shot this 737 on approach to YVR.
A quadcopter drone shot this 737 on approach to YVR.

An unidentified person who goes by the YouTube name of Quadrotor Dragonfly is stirring some angry controversy after a clearly illegal and potentially dangerous drone flight resulted in a bird’s eye view of a 737 on final to Vancouver International Airport.

The camera-equipped drone appears to be shooting the video from at least 500 feet AGL and within about a kilometre from the centreline. Quadrotor Dragonfly routinely flies his drone at these sorts of altitudes in Vancouver and several cities in Asia according to his YouTube channel but it was the proximity to the airport that caught the attention of the Vancouver Sun (limited free views) and Transport Canada.

TC spokesman Rod Nelson told the Sun his department is “very concerned about the operations of this UAV and we have been working with the RCMP to determine the operator’s identity.”

The feds might be the least of Quadrotor Dragonfly’s problems if someone in the RC model community finds him first.

RC flyers are getting increasingly impatient with rogue UAV operators causing trouble like this and potentially threatening their hobby.

“This is a totally unacceptable use of such equipment, something we’re trying to prevent,” Steve Hughes, president of the Model Aircraft Association of Canada told the Sun. “It’s pilots like these who can give the hobby a black eye. YouTube is going to be the death of us.”

Transport Canada will issue special permits for drone flights but would never authorize this kind of use. Anyone with information on the identity of this UAV pilot is asked to call TC at 1-877-992-6853.