FAA “Can” impose fines as a result of recent drone ruling.

This morning as the sun rose in Canada after a few weeks of uneventful drone news, we other than the Mythbusters team being at the DJI inspire launch. We awoke to the following tweet. As of right now in the USA – fly an RC aircraft or drone ANYWHERE OUTDOORS and face $10,000 fines. http://t.co/UAKD0Thzzz […]

This morning as the sun rose in Canada after a few weeks of uneventful drone news, we other than the Mythbusters team being at the DJI inspire launch. We awoke to the following tweet.

It seems to have generated quite a stir as evidenced by the busy chatter in many of the Drone/UAV Related forums and user groups one recent post contained the following.

“I’m as frustrated as all of you! All these suggestions of what to do next seem to distract from the main issue at hand! Remember the debate we had regarding Commercial use vs hobbyist use? Approach this topic from the economics. We, the People are allowing a government agency to dictate to the very people they are here to serve? What about the economic impact of Billions of $ in revenue for our country? Or the jobs which will be created? Or the educational institutions that have defined curriculum. Or the imagination of our youth to study hard and be part of emerging technology? Or dare I say that as a county we lead the world in something!” – anonymous

It is a hard path to fathom, the competent pilots and people that want to self-regulate and lead the way in safety in common sense are many times victim to mass fear and the poor behavior of a very small percentage of pilots.

We reached out to another drone expert for his thoughts.

I am disappointed with the NTSB having overruled Judge Geraghty’s well-reasoned March ruling that held “model aircraft” are not “aircraft” under the definitions of that term as found in federal statutes and regulations.

With this decision, the NTSB has declared model aircraft, paper airplanes and even childrens’ toys to be “aircraft,” subject to the same regulations as 747s, which ignores entirely the fact that for decades none has ever been treated as such.

I don’t think that’s what Congress ever intended, or that common sense and logic support today’s NTSB decision. – Peter Sachs @thedroneguy

Prominent drone attorney / solicitor Brendan Shulman had the following comment:

While we disagree with the decision, today’s NTSB ruling in the Pirker case is narrowly limited to whether unmanned aircraft systems are subject to an aviation safety regulation concerning reckless operation, an issue that the NTSB has said requires further factual investigation before a penalty is imposed.  The more significant question of whether the safe operation of drones for business purposes is prohibited by any law was not addressed in the decision, and is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit in other cases being handled by Kramer Levin.  We are reviewing the options for our next steps in the Pirker case.

The ruling (http://www.ntsb.gov/legal/pirker/5730.pdf) by the NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD seems to be a setback in eyes of many of the pilots.

Cover Page of the recent NTSB Ruling November 18, 2014
. Cover Page of the recent NTSB Ruling November 18, 2014

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