FAA investigating men flying uptown drone after CMPD report

A custom-built drone hovers near Charlotte.
A custom-built drone hovers near Charlotte. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating two men flying a drone in uptown Charlotte late Wednesday, police tweeted Thursday.

The police helicopter, Snoopy, had a near-miss with an illegally flown drone last week. The copter pilots took evasive action after the drone passed within 20 feet over crowded BB&T Ballpark.

The FAA, in a statement, said it’s looking into a police report that two people were operating an unmanned aircraft system – a drone – from the top of an apartment building off Martin Luther King Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Federal rules prohibit flying over a crowded area. Some uptown residents also suspect hovering drones are peeping into homes.

On Friday, the crew of PSA Airlines flight 5123 reported seeing a drone about 1.5 miles from Charlotte Douglas International Airport as the plane prepared to land, the FAA said.

There are more than 20,000 unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, registered in North Carolina, the state Department of Transportation said.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender