News & Politics

Don’t Even Think of Using a Drone to Try to See the Pope

Don’t try to catch an aerial view of Pope Francis during his visit to DC this week. The FAA just issued a reminder that it could pursue “criminal or civil charges” against anyone flying unmanned aircraft around the city, including radio-controlled models.

The ban also applies to New York and Philadelphia.

Much of the Washington area is already off-limits to drones, though the occasional gyrocopter somehow manages to make it through our air defenses. In May, the US declined to prosecute a man who accidentally crashed a drone on the White House grounds in January.

That said: Leave the drone at home. Here’s a helpful video.

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.