The federal agency overseeing air travel has temporarily grounded drone use by a pair of Midwest journalism schools.
Researchers at the University of Missouri in Columbia and the University of Nebraska in Lincoln were testing the flying robots as aerial photographers and video recorders from difficult-to-reach news scenes.
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The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the Federal Aviation Administration ordered the universities to stop flying until they obtain government authorization for drone use.
Radio journalist Schott Pham says Missouri will limit its news-gathering drone test to the indoors.
The crackdown comes as unmanned drones move from the battlefield to civilian and commercial use. Missouri was relying on rules for amateur use of remote-controlled model airplanes. The FAA instead considers the university a public operator.