Someone flew a drone over the Falcons' Super Bowl practice

HOUSTON — The Atlanta Falcons have been practicing at Rice University in the days leading up to the Super Bowl, and an eager fan apparently got crafty in trying to sneak a peek.

“With the field situated next to a residential area abutting the Rice campus, there was extra security between the edge of the field (with a fence and high hedges) and the neighborhood, so the Falcons could feel secure running a practice as though they were at their home facility,” today’s pool report issued by the NFL said.

It went on to note that there was a brief security “heads up” when the organization noticed something buzzing above. Someone had sent a drone flying over the practice field.

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Want to guess how that worked out?

The drone operator was described only as an area resident, and it wasn’t clear if he or she would face any charges. But the device was grounded, the report said.

Drones are subject to Federal Aviation Administration guidelines, and the FAA has issued a Super Bowl advisory: “The airspace around NRG Stadium in Houston is a No Drone Zone for the Super Bowl. Temporary Flight Restrictions will prohibit certain aircraft operations, including unmanned aircraft operations, or drones, within a 34.5-mile radius of NRG Stadium in downtown Houston, Texas on game day. The restrictions will be in effect from 4 p.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 5.”

Even on non-Super Bowl days, drone operators must adhere to lengthy guidelines. Among them are rules involving flying a drone over people and over sporting events (hint: that's not allowed). You can read all about them here.