• WFTV launches first drone flight at Wekiva Springs


    ORLANDO, Fla. - It's a historic afternoon at Channel 9 Eyewitness News as WFTV launched its first drone flight live over Wekiva Springs State Park Friday.

    After more than a year of planning and safety considerations, WFTV became the first local television station to receive Federal Aviation Administration approval to use drones to help tell local stories.

    Drones show different vantage points that would be impossible to see from the ground or even from the Skywitness 9 helicopter.        

    Raw: WFTV drone's first flight over Wekiwa Springs

    WFTV and its owners, Cox Media Group, wanted to use drones as a news gathering tool. All of WFTV's drone flights will comply with state and federal laws and operate at a safe altitude.

    The flights will happen far from airports and crowds, and there will be a trained pilot at the controls.

    Our group of television stations will continue working with the FAA to help establish permanent rules and regulations for drones by demonstrating their safe and effective use. 

    Channel 9 Eyewitness News is looking forward to bringing informative and amazing images to the viewers from a unique perspective.

    Friday afternoon's inaugural flight is being made possible by the skilled pilot with the Soaring Sky Company out of Fort Myers.

    Many other companies, like Amazon, have explored their use. Even researchers have studied the use of drones for wildlife research.

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