FAA bans Texas Equusearch from using drones

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

HOUSTON, TX – When searching for a missing person, time is of the essence. But apparently the federal government has some concerns about that.

The FAA sent an e-mail to Texas Equusearch in February, ordering them to stop using drones immediately, the drones Equusearch uses to search for missing people. Founder Tim Miller says the small aircraft were key to finding victims in at least 11 searches.

“If you want to know the truth, we’ve had so very much success with the drone. We don’t pleasure fly that drone by no means. The only we use it is when it’s needed on searches,” Miller said.

He pointed out the positive effects drones have.

“I mean the drone takes place of a 100 people. It doesn’t get tired, it doesn’t get a snake bite and it doesn’t have to break for lunch,” he said.

But the FAA is unmoved. They say Equusearch should apply for emergency certificates of authorization each time they want to use a drone, which could be approved in a matter of hours. Thing is, it’s those hours spent waiting that Equusearch says is just too long.

They’re not taking the issue lying down. They’ve hired a hotshot New York City lawyer to fight the system. Attorney Brendan Schulman sent a sternly worded letter to the FAA urging them to lift their drone ban. If necessary, Equusearch plans to challenge the FAA in federal court.

“I guess they want us to work like Washington works, be less effective and cost more money,” Miller said.

Lives are at stake here and Equusearch isn’t messing around.