Drone Operator Banned from Yellowstone

Sept 22 & 24, 2014: Drone operators who crashed camera drones into Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring were fined and one was banned from the park.

Sept 24, 2014: A judge has ordered a Dutch man to pay more than $3,000 for crashing a drone into Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic. Theodorus Van Vliet of the Netherlands pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to illegally operating an unmanned aircraft system in Yellowstone which crashed into the Grand Prismatic spring in August. Park officials have yet to be able to recover the drone from the spring. A judge ordered him to pay $3,245 in fines and restitution. Source:

Sept 22, 2014: Andreas Meissner, a German national who crashed a drone into Yellowstone National Park’s Lake Yellowstone has received one year of unsupervised probation, a $1,600 fine, as well as a one-year ban from the park.


Meissner appeared via telephone in a federal courtroom located inside Yellowstone National Park last week. In exchange for his decision to plead guilty to three charges, the US Attorney’s Office agreed to drop one charge of giving a false report to a government employee. The US Attorney’s Office also agreed to allow Meissner to avoid a possible jail sentence by serving a year of probation in Germany. Because it is unsupervised probation, no one with the US government will be checking in on him.

Full story by 9 News Denver

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