Drone hovers over Fenway during Sox game; police, FAA investigating

BOSTON — Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating after a drone was spotted buzzing over Fenway Park during the 9th inning of Thursday’s Red Sox game against the Blue Jays.

The unauthorized drone was flying above the outfield as Sox first basemen Mitch Moreland was at the plate when he clearly noticed the drone. With his game-tying double just moments later, the distraction was temporary, and it’s still not clear where the drone flew next or who was piloting it, sparking security concerns.

Fans noticed it too, tweeting video as it happened.

The airspace above Fenway is restricted and Red Sox policy prohibits the use of drones at all times in and around the park.

DJI, the company that manufacturers the drone that was spotted, said in a statement that the operator of DJI Phantom drone likely overrode a geofence that’s part of the drone’s system, designed to prevent it from flying into an area with an FAA temporary flight restriction.

DJI said it will work with Boston police and other agencies to determine how it happened, the statement said and notes: “DJI’s AeroScope system can remotely identify and monitor airborne DJI drones in areas where it has been installed, and this incident shows why the federal government must mandate a remote identification system for airborne drones as soon as possible.”

An FAA spokesperson referred Boston 25 News to ballpark officials and police but said they were looking into whether a permit or waiver was issued with FAA Flight Standards.

The FAA said on Twitter Friday that drones are restricted from flying within a 3-mile radius surrounding stadiums starting one hour prior to the game and ending an hour after the game.

Red Sox officials said in a statement Friday morning that they had reported the incident to Boston police.

"During the late innings of last night's game, a drone was flown above the ballpark by an unidentified individual. The operation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) around large stadium events is in violation of FAA regulations and the club has reported the incident to the Boston Police Department for investigation."

Boston Police Commissioner William Gross said at a news conference that drone detection devices would be in use for Monday's 123rd Boston Marathon.

The Sox ended up with their first home victory of the season with Rafael Devers' game-winning hit in the ninth inning.