Visitor fined, banned from Yellowstone for summer drone crash

A German tourist who crashed a drone into Yellowstone Lake has been banned from Yellowstone National Park for one year and ordered to pay a fine of $1,500 after pleading guilty in federal court this week.

Appearing by telephone from Germany, Andreas Meissner, 37, pleaded guilty to three charges related to the operation of an unmanned aerial vehicle in a national park, according to a report from 9NEWS of Colorado.

Meissner was using the drone to capture video when it crashed into Yellowstone Lake near Bridge Bay in July. The National Park Service had previously instituted a system-wide ban of drones, and Yellowstone had implemented its own specific drone ban even before that.

The incident preceded another more widely publicized incident in August when a visitor crashed a drone into Grand Prismatic Spring, the park’s largest hot spring and a favorite among photographers for its vivid and varied colors.

While park authorities recovered Meissner’s drone, the small, remote-controlled helicopter that crashed into Grand Prismatic Spring has not yet been retrieved.

Park officials have said that they intend to step up enforcement of the drone ban in an effort to drive home the potential problems such aircraft can cause, and to prevent additional incidents like those from this summer.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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