GoPro Camera on Drone

Guilty Plea in Grand Prismatic Drone Accident

A tourist from the Netherlands who created a Grand Prismatic drone accident the afternoon of August 2 has pleaded guilty to violating the Yellowstone National Park ban on operating an unmanned aircraft.

According to the National Park Service, Theodorus Van Vliet entered a guilty plea to violating the park ban against operating an unmanned aircraft in court proceedings Tuesday. He was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay over $2,200 in restitution. NPS officials have been unable to confirm the location of the unmanned aircraft, which remains somewhere on the floor of the iconic hot spring.

This is the second successful prosecution arising from a violation of the ban on use of unmanned aircraft in Yellowstone, an activity which is prohibited nationwide on all lands and waters administered by the National Park System.

Earlier this month, Andreas Meissner of Germany was sentenced to a one-year ban from the park, was placed on one year of unsupervised probation, and was ordered to pay over $1,600 in fines and restitution in return for a guilty plea in connection with operating an unmanned aircraft that crashed into Yellowstone Lake near the West Thumb Marina on July 18.

A third case is pending. Donald Criswell of Molalla, Oregon, has been charged with violating the ban after he flew his unmanned aircraft over the crowded Midway Geyser Basin and close to bison on August 19.  His case is scheduled to be heard in federal court in Mammoth Hot Springs in October.

Remember: there are the ones that got caught. This summer saw a raft of folks using GoPro-equipped drones to film Yellowstone National Park.

RELATED STORIES: Idiot Crashes Drone into Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring

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