Lady Gaga Halftime Drone Show Was Pre-Taped Due to FAA Regulations

FAA regulations thwart progress on drone use


Intel Corporation

Viewers who stuck around for last night's Super Bowl half-time show got to see a first—a synchronized drone routine at the start of the Lady Gaga performance, with 300 Intel Shooting Star drones executing complex maneuvers over the stadium.

Unfortunately, because of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, the drone display was pre-taped. The FAA actually made the area more than 34 miles surrounding the stadium a no-drone zone between 4pm and midnight on game day. Wired reports that Intel and show organizers were able to acquire other exemptions from the FAA that made the feat possible at all. Those exemptions were for regulations such as those requiring operators maintain visual contact with their drones or that limit how high drones can fly (400 feet), as The Verge reported.

The FAA rolled out registration rules concerning personal drones at the end of 2015—requiring, retroactively, that owners of all drones weighing more than about half a pound be registered. As of last summer nearly half a million people registered as drone owners. The registration requirement is currently being challenged in court. The FAA also put out new regulations last summer—dropping a requirement for mandatory federal approval of small drones for commercial use, but adding the line-of-sight rule that, as Wired notes, is preventing adoption of drones for tasks such as search and rescue and operations in other zones into which it's dangerous to send people. Rules elsewhere are less strict. As Eric Boehm noted when reporting on last summer's FAA regulations, it's already possible to have pizza delivered to your home by drone, if you live in New Zealand.

Check out Reason TV's 2013 segment on the Drone Boom:

NEXT: The Man Who Made His Own Money

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I was tricked!

  2. Given how warfare has changed it seems logical to me that the customary flyover by jets of the United States Air Force be replaced by a drone fly over.

    1. The sky a screen to fifty-thousand square feet of drones zipping, diving, spinning en masse would melt the stately heavens-screaming jet into a torpid toy bereft of its beguiling genius.

      1. Yeah, what he said!

    2. Anyone else here remember the movie Black Sunday?

      1. yes, a Super Bowl in the old Orange Bowl where a blimp either explodes or is rigged to explode during the game.

        1. Well, despite that, they still allow blimps to hover over the Super Bowl. Or at least they don’t need to be 34 miles away. I guess drones would be harder to monitor.

      2. It could be tomorrow!

  3. Lady Gaga was real though right?

    1. For certain values of real, yes.

    2. For now. Soon everything will be CGI and holograms.

      1. … or all the real will collapse into VR which might make holograms archaic as floppies.

    3. Nope, she’s actually a more advanced version of Hatsune Miku tailored for American audiences.

    4. Yes, the ugly little pot belly says so.

      1. Still would

        1. Have at it bro, just be warned, you don’t know where that’s been. Everywhere I assume.

          1. To boldly go where everyone has gone before!

  4. …it’s already possible to have pizza delivered to your home by drone, if you live in New Zealand.

    Pie in the sky idea that would never fly here.

    1. *misses Switzy*

      1. Ah did he quit too?

  5. A delightful bi-figurative home in the folds of letters.

    1. Intention escaped its thread. My muse above was designed for the FoE.

      1. We enjoy your poetry wherever it falls.

        1. It was meant to fall here. *places cherry blossom on spot

  6. Yeah but it has to be New Zealand pizza. I’m from New York–regulated into fucking dystopia nowadays, but at least it’s fucking New York. I do not even want to imagine what a bunch of Polynesian Brits do to pizza.

    1. Meh. Auckland pizza was fine.

      The real question is whether the drones are strong enough to carry deep-dish.

      1. Ah, a Chicagoan. It may be heresy, but I respect and like your pizza too. (And I respect your sausages and like them all but your hot dogs–the toppings are a bit much–and respect the fact that you are much more loyal to them than we are; NYC dogs are supposed to have just kraut and mustard, but you see ketchup available everywhere.) I prefer the thin-crust that is the real everyday pie of your city (you have no slice culture, which sucks) and the all-out “stuffed” with the top dough layer that is not really pizza at all so much as an awesome mozz casserole; a little less the whole pan pizza thing.

        1. Nope, I’m from way north of Chicago friend.

          I just like fanning the flames of the Pizza War.

          1. I did remember this from your helping explain the Liberal Party to me. I thought maybe you were an expat or something. Bah, it’s true I cannot abide you as an authority on pizza. You can probably go head to head with us on bagels and pastrami at least, from what I’ve heard.

          2. Why would you people name a major chain “Boston Pizza”? I’m going to open a sandwich shop called “Calgary peameal”.

            1. My only guess is this: Pizzeria Uno, probably the most famous sit-down chain besides California Pizza Kitchen, is a Boston-based chain. The original restaurant was indeed in Chicago, but the chain started in Boston, which is still the place with the most of them, and spread from there. To this day, there are no Pizzeria Unos in Chicago except the first one, which sits across from its “Pizzeria Due” annex as a completely separate (and unchanged by corporate policy) property of the chain. Chicagoans know nothing of PU except as a local joint that tourists flock to for some reason but that holds no special significance or respect for Chicagoans, and in any case serves a style of pizza that they regard as a “special occasions” pie rather than the everyday kind they eat on nights in or kids’ birthday parties and such.

              1. Addendum: This is my best guess, because I cannot comprehend any other reason one would want to name anything remotely having to do with food after the city of Boston. I would sooner eat at something named after Edinburgh Or wherever they make that fermented shark in Iceland.

                1. Not even Boston Cream Pie?

              2. Pizzeria Uno, probably the most famous sit-down chain besides California Pizza Kitchen

                I’d bet that more people know “Chuck E Cheese’s” than either that you named…

    2. They probably put pineapple on it. Bogus!

      1. Worse: corn. *shudders*

  7. For all of those consumed by their visceral hatred of Patriot-nation, I refer you to a scene, late in the movie, of The Ten Commandments. In the scene, Yul Brynner, dejected and defeated, and finally coming to terms with reality, proclaimed to Anne Baxter:


    Patriot haters should do the same, repent of their sins, and genuflect before the GODS OF THE GRIDIRON:

    ALL HAIL THE HOLY TRINITY, Robert, Bill, and Tom Terrific!

    1. Oh for crying out loud. I’m a Patriots fan but this is just retarded.

      1. Spark, you may recall that in threads of yesteryear, I was arguing in behalf of Peyton Manning, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, and John Elway as being better than Brady. There were many here who vigorously disagreed.

        I am a New Englander who recognizes that there is a fair percentage amongst us who, upon hearing another opine that “Peyton Manning is great”, will respond, “Oh, and Brady sucks?”

        Besides, to quote another great QB, “relax”.

        1. Hysterical sports fans, of any team, are stupid. I’ll bet you have an official NFL Brady shirt. If it weren’t a work day, I’d also believe that you were wearing it right now.

          1. What evidence do you have that I am the type of sports fan you describe? Why would you think that I am all about the laundry?

            Do I think that Belichick is the best HC of all time? Well, Don Shula coached 5 different QBs to the Super Bowl to the hoodie’s one. Joe Gibbs coached three Super Bowl winners with three different QBs. Let’s see if the hoodie can do that – its not going to happen.

            And, last I checked, the 72 Dolphins remain as the gold standard for single season team sports excellence, not this year’s edition of the Patriots, or any other Patriot squad.

            As for Brady, what reasonable argument is there left to be made that he is not the GOAT? For me, its the whole package, which means the regular season record is the most important. He has the highest regular season winning percentage of all time.

            1. Ok, so you’re just another run of the mill overzealous sports fan goober. Point taken.

              1. Yes, point taken – look at the difference in how the run of the mill overzealous sports fan goober expresses himself and yourself.

                1. look at the difference in how the run of the mill overzealous sports fan goober expresses himself and yourself

                  Exactly. Your 1000 words to my 10. Why are you so defensive about it? Does my opinion of you really matter to you that much?

                  I like the Patriots. I’ve always been a fan of the Patriots. I think them winning last night was a huge accomplishment. That’s all.

                  1. We agree – it was just a football game.

                    As for being defensive, why mischaracterize my response to your serious criticism of a post that was made in obvious jest? You see, implicit in your attribution of retarded to my first post is the premise that I was being serious.

                    As for being concerned about your opinion? Why would you latch onto that when the same has exactly zero relevance to the posts? Is it your position that when one argues with ratiocination in response to another, that one must care too much about the other’s opinion of him?

                    1. a post that was made in obvious jest? You see, implicit in your attribution of retarded to my first post is the premise that I was being serious.

                      You joke about as well as Trump does.

            2. why do these arguments need to be made? It’s possible to recognize that Brady is a very small class of great qb’s. If winning is THE thing, someone needs to explain why Terry Bradshaw – who twice won back to back and never lost an SB – is never in the conversation.

              We went from Unitas for changing the game, to Montana for the 4, to Favre for being a highlight film, to Manning for sheer numbers, and now to Brady. The one thing that sets the Pats apart is the organization’s ability to take either cast-offs or nobodies and turn them into solid contributors, year after year.

              1. The arguments don’t have to be made, true. But, sports debates are fun.

                1. Don’t forget Bart Starr. He was 9-1 in the playoffs, won 5 NFL championships between 1961 and 1967 and was the MVP of the first two Super Bowls. Not only that, he remains a classy gentleman.

              2. I’ll break the tie and keep it simple for you guys who are starting to sound like ‘the beatles are over rated’ gang.

                The Patriots have been to seven SB since 2017. I don’t give a shit Belichick did it with one QB. We’ll only know if he sticks around when Brady retires. But we did see glimpses with Cassel and Garopolo to know the Pats could handle it. The bottom line this is one of the greatest string of success in pro sports IN A SALARY CAP ERA.

                As for Brady, without doubt the GOAT. He’s better than Bradshaw and the only ones that was really in the conversation were Montana and Manning – and maybe Rodgers down the road. But I will say this, those QB’s from, say, the 40s to the 90s were running for their lives so there’s something to be said of playing in a tougher era. QB’s in the last 15 years have been protected by league rules.

                Still. I can’t possibly see how you can not conclude Belichick and Brady are the top now. With all due respect to Gibson, Walsh, Lombardi, Halas and whoever else.

                Now get back to to work.

                1. apologies for the grammar.

                  1. The Patriots have been to seven SB since 2017.

                    Very Impressive

                    1. arggggg. In 17 years!

                  2. Rufus-

                    Agreed, Brady is the GOAT. That doesn’t mean that one cannot make an intelligent argument in behalf of others, but, Brady continues to swallow up the facts upon which to premise such arguments. In Manning’s behalf, he still holds the all-time TD passes and passing yards and 4th quarter an overtime game winning drives and he holds the 3-1 conference championship edge against Brady.

                    Agreed, Starr should not be forgotten.

                2. But I will say this, those QB’s from, say, the 40s to the 90s were running for their lives so there’s something to be said of playing in a tougher era

                  Not to mention the limit on contact w/ receivers more than 5 yds past the line of scimmage and the “defenseless” receiver nonsense. Tell me Brady’s wideouts would ever get open against a Jack Tatum or Mel Blount.

    2. Bilichicken sucks, but he has Tom Brady. And the macaroni in a box guy? WTF?

  8. Every year the half time show gets crappier. This one was the most craptastic of all. And the commercials sucked. I remember when those things were good. Also, white privilege. Did you see that catch by Edleman? No way anyone catches that fair and square. White privilege suspended that ball from hitting the ground.

    1. That catch was just ridiculous. I still thought the Falcons could hold on before that. Afterward I knew someone wanted the Patriots to win – God or the Devil I cannot say.

      1. It was Edleman’s only chance to catch a ball since Brady was repeatedly overthrowing him. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the Patriots look as bad as they did in the first half. And against a mediocre at best defense.

      2. As I was saying last night, Bill’s halftime call to Lucifer paid off. There is no other explanation.

    2. I liked the one where Janet Jackson’s titty popped out, and the one where Katy Perry’s shark was so endearingly befuddled. Those kinds of things are the source of any fun. Also Prince. They are not good concerts in general; I am surprised this rather quaint custom continues to thrive. (Anyone got any ideas for an explanation?) I’d actually prefer if they kept something like Up With People, for all the relevance the spectacle seems to have nowadays.

      1. I enjoy how Buck and the other announcers had to treat that silly, pretentious spectacle as if it was the greatest thing in musical entertainment for the entire year.

    3. I like that oil industry commercial someone linked to last night. That was cool.

  9. I thought it was a pretty good halftime show. My wife was convinced she was singling live. I’m skeptical but if true, she is in awfully good shape. She didn’t sound out of breath at all.

    I did have flashbacks to Owen Hart during the entrance, though.

    1. Enough is enough, and it’s time for a change.

      1. Well, just go get yerself a Brady and a Belichick and things will change.

    2. Do any of the current pop singers sing any lyrics that are understandable? Except for the odd word or two, I couldn’t understand anything GaGa was singing (nor in “Hamilton” or just about any of the other singers who eat the mike.
      Oh, and get off my lawn you little bastards.

      1. You need a jive translator

    3. She actually did sound out of breath when she started playing the piano.

    4. Even though I don’t listen to her music because I’m not really into pop, I think she is pretty talented.

      1. She paid her dues as piano-playing bar singer before she turned into whatever she is now. I’m not a fan, but she does have chops.

  10. I grew up outside Boston in the 70s and 80s back when the Pats were a joke. Nice to see them win but they and their fans have become the Yankees of football-insufferably arrogant.

    1. Simultaneously arrogant and whiny. Not a good combo.

      1. Cheer, cheer for old Notre Dame!
        Wake up the echoes cheering her name.
        Send a volley cheer on high,
        Shake down the thunder from the sky…

  11. Was the whole thing taped? Because at one point the announcers claimed they were ‘getting the field ready for half-time’ and they showed the field and they weren’t doing any such thing.

    Also, I don’t believe they opened and closed the roof just for half-time.

    If so… lame.

    1. See the earlier article about the drones. That part was pre-taped due to FAA restrictions.

      1. This is what I’m still not getting… the drones were pre-taped but not Gaga? So did she sing “God Bless America” live and the background was pretaped?

        1. Think I got my answer — that was pretaped through to her leap. During the live show she didn’t jump from the roof but started somewhere lower (otherwise what do you attach the cables to, I guess).

          1. That is what I figured, and it is just idiotic. It fucks up the whole ethos of the spectacle.

            Look, in this day and age there is nothing particularly razzle-dazzle about what we saw from the drones from a purely visual-effects perspective. We get our excitement (such that there is) from the thought that what we are seeing really is how things are going down, from the thought that we are seeing the spectacle as it actually transpired. It’s like when we see Copperfield on TV disappearing a woman; we know it could easily be faked; we are entertained not because of what we see per se but from knowing we are seeing a proper simulacrum of what it actually looks like.

            Here we watch the spectacle and think, wow, what a spectacle, that actually happened. Faking it is like watching the Times Square ball drop on tape.

            1. Right? I mean, if you have a concept for a live halftime show and it turns out it isn’t logistically possible, don’t you move on to another concept? Instead: well let’s just pretape that part. Guh, ruins the whole point.

              Zhang Yimou scoffs at your inability to do a spectacular “live” show live.

  12. I would guess weather is also a reason to pretape. Seemed sad to see all those fireworks over a closed dorm.

  13. RE: Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four Describes the Authoritarian Left Better Than It Does Trump

    This is true.
    Therefore, this statement must be redacted for the sake of the collective.
    The truth is whatever our ruling elitist turds say it is.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.