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Old October 18th, 2013, 04:12 PM   #31
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

Thanks Greg.

While the piloting in question may (or may not) represent a "risk", it's apparent that no harm damage or injury occurred - that is merely SPECULATIVE. Something COULD have happened...

What is not speculative is that a government agency is overstepping its rules of operation to persecute a private citizen. It's no wonder people aren't interested in "laws" when the folks designated to "enforce" them are acting OUTSIDE the law themselves...

"Drones" as with ANY "new" technology create a potentially unforeseen situation that might not be directly covered by existing law (witness some of the "copyright" discussions we've had here on DVi). Until law develops you have a battle between "common sense" and "there oughta be a law", often on a case by case basis (creating "precedent").

"Law" can be messy stuff, remember they got Capone for "tax evasion", not being a mobster... be careful the laws you wish for, they may well be turned against you!
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Old October 18th, 2013, 06:36 PM   #32
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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Until law develops you have a battle between "common sense" and "there oughta be a law", often on a case by case basis (creating "precedent").
Would it not be more accurate to say it's currently a three way battle between "there oughta be a law", and "let's get away with what we can" on the extremes, with "common sense" in the middle?

I've already said I'm not going to comment on the legalities of this specific case, but in terms of the general debate, then if I was an RC hobbyist I would not be pleased to hear him say "we try to fly as close to buildings as possible, fly down mountains really fast, and yeah have fun that way". That is not the sound of common sense, is likely to push others to push boundaries even harder, and whatever US law does or does not say at the moment, is only likely to make future legislation even more restrictive. It's also likely to make rushed (and flawed) legislation more likely.

By and large it seems the serious RC hobbyists have got by very well in the past with common sense self regulation. It seems unfortunate that they may well be the ones with most to lose from irresponsible behaviour by a small minority.

Fully agree with Warren. "In essence, he's trying to push boundaries and limits, which I think is an invitation for disaster."
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Old October 19th, 2013, 02:18 AM   #33
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

Even if he's not currently not under FAA regulation, he may find himself up for reckless endangerment under state or other local laws.

Reckless Endangerment Law & Legal Definition
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Old October 19th, 2013, 02:46 PM   #34
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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Even if he's not currently not under FAA regulation, he may find himself up for reckless endangerment under state or other local laws.
There are lots of laws that protect the public, they don't need to add additional laws specifically for RC's.

George Washington said it best: "It will be found an unjust and unwise jealousy to deprive a man of his natural liberty upon the supposition that he may abuse it."
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Old October 19th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #35
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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There are lots of laws that protect the public, they don't need to add additional laws specifically for RC's.
Anyone flying an aircraft capable of intruding in GA airspace and putting other aircraft at risk need to prove that they know the laws regarding use of that airspace. Furthermore, aircraft used in a commercial context should be held to a higher standard of safety and reliability than those used strictly for hobby purposes and flown in remote locations.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 03:51 PM   #36
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

You would have to PROVE that someone was truly endangered, not just speculate that something bad COULD have happened.

Paranoia is not a good reason for either myriad laws or wrongful prosecution/persecutions. Nor is political expediency. There is a balance that must be maintained between freedom (even freedom to be STUPID), and a stable society/civilization.

That said... no doubt people, perhaps even this drone pilot will continue to do stupid things, it's what people do - if you criminalize stupidity, we're ALL criminals...
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Old October 19th, 2013, 04:31 PM   #37
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

I suspect it's the level of stupidity that's important and if by acting in a stupid manner there's a risk to other people. With freedom comes responsibility.
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Old October 19th, 2013, 05:43 PM   #38
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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That said... no doubt people, perhaps even this drone pilot will continue to do stupid things, it's what people do - if you criminalize stupidity, we're ALL criminals...
Same point as Brian, I suppose. It's where you draw the line.

When does stupidity become criminal?

I'd say when it threatens the welfare of a third party and is a considered act, not a simple mistake or forgetfulness, may be a starting point. It's nothing new though, is it? There's already plenty of (stupid) things that a person can be prosecuted for, and in general it's when they cause a risk to other people (or their property). If anyone wants to do stupid things when all the risk is to themselves, that's a different matter, that's called freedom.
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Old October 20th, 2013, 11:10 PM   #39
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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Anyone flying an aircraft capable of intruding in GA airspace and putting other aircraft at risk need to prove that they know the laws regarding use of that airspace. Furthermore, aircraft used in a commercial context should be held to a higher standard of safety and reliability than those used strictly for hobby purposes and flown in remote locations.
I don't understand why everyone differentiates between hobbyists and professionals. As a pilot its my responsibility to mitigate as much risk as possible whether I'm being paid or not and whether a MR is used for commercial purposes doesn't make it any more or less safe. So why wouldn't a hobbyist have know the same laws regarding the use of airspace as someone shooting AP commercially? So are you prepared to spend about $25K to get a license to fly an RC? That's were this is headed.

"When the people fear the Government there is tyranny. When the Government fears the people there is liberty."
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Old October 21st, 2013, 02:32 AM   #40
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

Possibly the problem is that as a PPL you have to know the regulations, but hobbyist buying one of these new generation models doesn't even need to consider learning them before taking it out of the box and flying it. This is a different mind set to the hobbyist who, in the past, usually built their own model aircraft and therefore had invested a lot of time into it and often a number of crashes learning to fly model aircraft.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 03:10 AM   #41
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

If you want to see what Trappy did, here's the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZnJ...embedded#at=92

As I understand it, the university paid him to get these aerials. I can't see how material like this could contribute to someone's impression of the campus, but that's a creative question that's outside the scope of this discussion.

Watch this and judge whether it was reckless or not.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 05:56 AM   #42
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
I don't understand why everyone differentiates between hobbyists and professionals. As a pilot its my responsibility to mitigate as much risk as possible whether I'm being paid or not and whether a MR is used for commercial purposes doesn't make it any more or less safe. So why wouldn't a hobbyist have know the same laws regarding the use of airspace as someone shooting AP commercially? So are you prepared to spend about $25K to get a license to fly an RC? That's were this is headed.

"When the people fear the Government there is tyranny. When the Government fears the people there is liberty."
In a professional context they are more likely to be flown in a manner that puts others at risk, news stories, regularly scheduled flights over populated areas, etc. Re amateurs knowing the same laws, I think you're right. I think there will end up being 3 classes of aircraft and all but the lowest performance/risk will require some type of licensing. Re $25k to get a certificate, a private pilot airplane isn't close to that (probably closer to $10k), but a commercial rating requires 250 hours of flight time. A knowledge test consisting of a written portion (prove you know the FARs) and a practical demonstrating proficiency in the type you intend to fly should be sufficient.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:11 AM   #43
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

As a point of information, you can find the UKs CAA regulations for commercial unmanned aircraft here. Unmanned Aircraft and Aircraft Systems | Aircraft | Operations and Safety There are different weight categorises.

This is separate to flying models recreationally.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 06:26 AM   #44
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

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Originally Posted by Chuck Spaulding View Post
I don't understand why everyone differentiates between hobbyists and professionals. As a pilot its my responsibility to mitigate as much risk as possible whether I'm being paid or not and whether a MR is used for commercial purposes doesn't make it any more or less safe. So why wouldn't a hobbyist have know the same laws regarding the use of airspace as someone shooting AP commercially? So are you prepared to spend about $25K to get a license to fly an RC? That's were this is headed.

"When the people fear the Government there is tyranny. When the Government fears the people there is liberty."
When you step onto a commercial plan would you want your pilots to be professionals or hobbyists?

When you drive next to a huge truck hauling radioactive waste on the highway do you want that driver to be a professional or a hobbyist?

There are places to be a hobbyist and places where it isn't appropriate. Operating for hire a potentially dangerous machine loaded with very expensive gear near soft targets is one of the places in my opinion where I don't want to see hobbyists.
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Old October 21st, 2013, 12:48 PM   #45
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Re: Drone pilot being fined $10,000 by FAA

No matter how expensive the camera a MR might carry is, its no large truck with radio active material nor is it an airliner with people in it.

Everything is dangerous, so what! Here in California politicians are trying to ban football, basketball and baseball at public schools because they think its too dangerous. I don't need some government employee deciding what sports my kids can and can't play. The unintended consequence of this is only kids that go to private schools can play sports and earn scholarships. I'm sure that's what these idiots intended. Sure this is an extreme example but with what's happening in government today its not that unlikely of one.

The idea that if the Government regulates RC controlled AP its going to somehow make it safer, that the regulations will be reasonable and not cost prohibitive, and that hobbyist will be exempt is ridiculous.

It doesn't matter what you think about the current healthcare debate, or more accurately lack of debate and the reasons for that, here's an example happening in real time of how inept the government really is. Again, its unfair to compare the roll out of healthcare to regulating RC's but I can't imagine a scenario where they will be any more successful.

This isn't about politics, its common sense. The person that buys a Phantom online and flies it in there backyard probably isn't going to be aware of any regulations anyway, if your getting into AP you might be aware of the regulations but chances are if its for the occasional gig those regulations will be ignored, and for those that are doing this as a real profession they will in all likelihood have been flying with and around other proficient RC pilots where they will learn far more than they would by taking a test. So what role do the regulations actually have in all of this?

You can't legislate stupidity, if you need someone to define what safe flying is then you should not be flying anything anywhere at anytime.
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