Zach Testa (@zachtesta) has been trying to make a name for himself in the photography world for a few years now. He is succeeding, but in all the wrong ways. Zach has been observed flying his drone illegally in protected national parks throughout the USA, in multiple wilderness areas, on sacred indigenous land, and other areas with drone bans.
Despite hundreds of people voicing their displeasure with Zach's behavior he continues to drone illegally, even going as far as saying that he doesn't care and calling people who voice their opinion "little bitches". Despite the fact that the National Park Service fined Zach for flying illegal in a wilderness area, he continues to drone illegally in your national parks and wilderness areas. Zach is currently under investigation for trespassing and illegally using his drone in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.
Zach's continued blatant disregard for drone laws is not only an obnoxious intrusion into the solitude of your public lands, but a public safety hazard. Zach has been observed flying his drone 1000's of feet above ground level, a flagrant violation of FAA rules with require drones to be flown below 400'. This is a serious hazard to pilots operating traditional aircraft. Additionally, Zach does not appear to have registered his drone with the FAA and does not appear to have obtained a Part 107 license to fly.
Image that resulted in the National Park Service cited Zach Testa for illegal drone use. The image is still for sale on his website as of 1/5/2020.
Zach's "apology" for flying his drone illegally. Clearly he didn't mean what he said.
Location of the previous photo in Death Valley National Park.
Zoomed out view of location in Death Valley National Park. Note the park boundary in green.
Zach's response to someone calling him out for disrespecting sacred Navajo land with his drone. This image is still posted to his Instagram account as of 1/5/2020.
Another response from @zachtesta when privately called out for illegally operating a drone on sacred Navajo land.
As you can see, Zach Testa is clearly a class act. Not only does he have no remorse for continuing to disrespect public and indigenous land, but when confronted about his behavior, he only doubles down. If you're looking for an influencer with a drone to represent your brand, this probably isn't the guy you want to work with.
@zachtesta, when you read this, remember, mistakes are ok! It's how you handle them that shows true character. This list ever changing and the title of this page could easily say "Influencer acknowledges mistake and helps others learn how to respect our public lands!". If you ever want to chat about this incident and take steps towards promoting the respect and protection of public lands, send me a email.