A drone pilot flying illegally at Fox Glacier on the West Coast of the South Island was apprehended by police on Saturday afternoon.
Christchurch man Adrian Russell said he saw the “young tourists” take a drone out of a backpack and begin flying it from the base of the glacier at around 4pm.
“I was surprised at just how high and far they were sending the drone,” he said. “We thought is was pretty outrageous.”
Constable Brent Whittington, in charge of the Fox Josef police station, said that the drone was in a no-fly area of the Fox Glacier Valley.
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Back at the car park police were waiting to apprehend the drone’s pilot.
Whittington confirmed that police had spoken to the offender.
“He will be given a warning and a report will be sent to the Civil Aviation Authority,” he said.
Whittington said that drones could “pose a great risk” to other aircraft in the area and that operating them illegally could result in fines of up to $30,000.
Anyone flying drones should check the website caa.govt.nz/rpas for information about flying legally and safely.