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+ - Drone flier cops $10K fine from FAA

Submitted by NewtonsLaw
NewtonsLaw (409638) writes "Raphael Pirker, otherwise known as "Trappy" is the guy who flew his RC model plane over the Statue of Liberty and parts of NYC a little while back and got a lot of media attention in the process.

Trappy has travelled the world with his FPV RC models, getting some stunning footage that has been posted to his YouTube channel.

On occasion, he has been commissioned to make specific flights and take aerial video of particular locations — professionally but this is something that the FAA considers to be involation of their policies (note: policies — NOT the law). After a recent commissioned flight around the University of Virginia, the FAA hit Trappy with a $10K fine, alleging that he was operating a UAS without the necessary authority and had been reckless in his actions, creating danger to person and property.

More background and info on this can be found in this Wired.com story and this sUAS News report which lists the exact charges.

While it could be argued that Trappy's flying may have been a little reckless, the defense from his lawyer is that no LAWS were broken — because there are no laws pertaining to these craft.

I posted a YT video-rant about how the FAA (and other airspace administrators around the world) are failing to do their jobs and have instigated "policies" rather than create proper laws in respect to this new technology. I also argue the point that it's ridiculous that, in the eyes of the FAA, a small RC plane suddenly becomes a UAS and is treated as being the same as a Predator drone in respect to its potential as a threat to public safety. I won't post a link to the video (don't want to be a whore) but I'm sure folk can find it if they're interested.

The bottom line is that in equating a small RC flying wing made of foam with an evil baby-killing Predator drone, the FAA is way, way out of touch with reality and way-behind the game in respect to making reasonable and effective laws in this area. Also, by relying on "policy", they are allowed to play judge and jury so can apply unfettered bias and prejudice in their actions with impunity."
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Drone flier cops $10K fine from FAA

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