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Thursday, January 18 2018 @ 10:25 AM AKST

FAA grounds humanitarian search-and-rescue drone flights

General NewsSubmitted by a reader: "The Federal Aviation Administration is grounding a nonprofit Texas volunteer search-and-rescue outfit that employs five-pound styrofoam drones, but the group is fighting back and maintains that "there is no legal basis" for the FAA's position.

The legal tussle between Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team and aviation authorities continues to brew a month after a judge nullified FAA regulations barring the commercial use of small, unmanned drones.

EquuSearch, which does not charge for its services, says it has found more than 300 persons alive in some 42 states and eight countries. Often, it uses small drones to find the missing.

"This technology gives us a better chance at finding missing people alive without the high cost of using helicopters, which are often not even available, and making the best and safest use of our volunteer searchers' time during the critical first hours," said the group's founder, Tim Miller. "The drones help me fulfill the promise I make to families that I will use every resource available to bring home their missing loved ones."

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