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Washington — The Michigan football drone is not getting off the ground.

The University of Michigan on Friday scrapped plans to fly the game ball to Michigan Stadium Saturday in a drone in the football team's upcoming game against Utah.

Michigan had planned to fly the pigskin to the field on Saturday through an unmanned aerial systems vehicles known as or drones as part of a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the school's aerospace department.

The Federal Aviation Adminstration said Friday it "reached out to University of Michigan officials to explain UAS regulations and that there is a Temporary Flight Restriction in place over Michigan Stadium on game day, as there is with all NCAA Division I stadiums seating 30,000 or more fans. The university has canceled the UAS flight," the FAA said in a statement.

David Ablauf, a U-M Athletic Department spokesman, referred questions to the engineering department.

"This is something that was being facilitated by the School of Engineering. They are the ones that should be speaking about this initiative," he said.

The engineering school didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

In July, the University of Michigan's Board of Regents rejected a proposal to bring fireworks to two home football games this season.

Close-proximity fireworks were under consideration for the Wolverines against Miami University during a late afternoon game on Sept. 13 and Penn State University during a night game on Oct. 11.

But several regents expressed concern about issues such as safety, tradition and excess in the Big House, which is the biggest collegiate U.S. stadium.

Michigan Stadium seats nearly 110,000 and holds the record for most consecutive games with attendance above 100,000 fans — dating back to November 1975.

The school said Thursday it plans an air show with 15 planes and helicopters before the game.

"The pregame flyover will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the University of Michigan Department of Aerospace Engineering — the oldest aeronautical engineering education program in the United States. The event, organized by the aerospace engineering department, will showcase the evolution of aviation," the school said.

The FAA said the air show had been previously disclosed to the FAA, approved by the government and is still on.

Bloomberg News first reported the decision to cancel the drone flight.

There's been growing controversy about the use of drones and government efforts to oversee the vehicles that could pose safety and privacy concerns.

DShepardson@detroitnews.com

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