...like a frightened turtle
Play stupid? I thought I answered the question adequately. If all this information is public, how the hell wouldn't they find out? Looks like cops will have to find another way of enforcing the law, which may be less effective, but that would be for the best.
Ah, you really are that dim. Is that physically painful?
If it's available to someone like me, don't you think it would also be available to the general public? What a pointless question.
You can't really be that dim, which means you're just being disingenuous in the extreme.
But I'll play along.
So in exchange for total transparency, you're willing to let gangs, child traffickers, massive scam operations, and much worse simply carry on? People we now lock up for really evil crap, based on the hard work of undercover cops
And don't play stupid. Address the issue.
I feel I have every right to know what my lovely little government thugs are doing.
Does everyone else also have that right? How about someone who is engaged in a securities scam or human trafficking? Should they be informed about the under cover officer who is working to see them put away for stealing people's money or prostituting teenage girls? How would you like that information delivered to you and to those criminals? Do you prefer an RSS feed, or perhaps a PDF emailed weekly?
despite previously saying that model aircraft use was unregulated
Their answer to that, of course, is that it's no longer "modeling" when you're flying something through the air for commercial use.
I agree that they need to follow proper rule making procedures, and get this done for real. In the meantime, it's a complete mess, and the administration is thumbing its nose at the law (from congress) that set a timetable for having this wrapped up. Deliberate foot-dragging with no consequences for anyone except all of the people looking to earn and spend money in this area. For an administration that pretends that it cares about the economy and jobs, this is just more of the same BS.
Since when do gliders have props spinning at high RPMs?
Who cares? The case in question wasn't about a glider. It was about someone flying FPV under power, diving under bridges through traffic, looping the hospital helipad, etc. That's not "glider" activity. The guy used the same style craft for his stunts buzzing the Statue Of Liberty and other high profile structures with lots of people right under his area of operation, while flying outside line of site. Props, spinning. Feel free to stick your nose or a finger into that while it's flying. I wouldn't.
in other words they were prosecuting him for not having a licence that he couldn't possibly get
You mean, like you couldn't possibly get a permit to launch a multi-stage, liquid fueled rocket from your back yard into LEO? Well, since you can't get that permit, they would be total asshats for fining you if you did it anyway, right?
It is the point - address the recklessness
The pilot's recklessness is EXACTLY why he was fined. The administrative judge's initial ruling (it was just an initial one - this still has a long way to go, including eventually to an actual federal court if the agency wants that to happen) was that the rule making process that was used to back up the agency's policy wasn't properly followed. So the pilot wiggles out of his fine on a technicality, not because he actually deserved to avoid the fine.
So every kid with a model plane is now possible subject to a $10,000 fine?
Does "every kid" use an out-of-line-of-sight FPV RC plane to fly at street level through traffic, buzz a hospital's active helipad, and make people on public streets duck while the pilot is making video that he uses to show off the stuff he sells? Interesting.
If somebody tosses a styrofoam plane into the air and it bonks a passerby, it is very unlikely to cause significant physical harm
Have you actually seen these FPV "foamies?" We're talking about things that are carrying a camera, a brushless gimbal, flight controller with associated daughter components, one or more heavy/dense lithium batteries, a prop spinning at high RPMs (frequently made from very sharp carbon fiber), and
Care to get "bonked" by one of those?
If I throw a rock at you, clearly you will have to duck.
But the FAA's policies make specific reference to model aircraft, and repeatedly get into things like "guided" and "sustained" flight. Meaning, the reason an RC drone isn't a rock is that you're actually sending it, under control, through a sustained flight in the air. The FAA's authority begins an inch off the ground, not 100' or 10,000' - which is why they're still in charge of safety when a 747 is 1' off the runway, or 1,000' off the runway.
but I'd say they would only have a case there if a helicopter were attempting to operate in the area and the guy kept flying his plane
A hospital helipad is a 24x7 controlled bit of air space. And more to the point, the pilot in question is all about goggles-on FPV flight. He's seeing where he's going by watching through a small nose camera and a relatively low-res RF video downlink. The guy we're talking about ("Trappy" Pirker) makes a big deal about how he flies FPV out of line of sight. Flying that way, he's got absolutely no situational awareness (say, a medivac helicopter coming in from above or from the side, out of his FPV cam's forward view).
It went to trial because HE sued the FAA.
No, he didn't. The FAA fined him for operating recklessly, and he followed the usual administrative procedure to challenge that fine.
That's not to say that some law suits aren't appropriate in this area - if for no other reason than that the FAA is ignoring legal mandates from Congress to get this area sensibly on the books in short order. The Obama administration, and their people running the agency in question (which is part of the executive branch) is, just as they're doing by randomly and unilaterally modifying and ignoring hard dates and requirements in the ACA, are just blowing off the law on this matter. That, in and of itself, has no bearing on the case in question, but it's causing this to be dragged out for no reason, as hundreds of millions in new economic activity is sitting on the sidelines holding its breath. Thanks, administration. We can tell what your priorities are.
He is the worst possible example of someone doing business in this area.
He didn't get in trouble because he was flying recklessly, but because he was trying to earn a living.
No. This was specifically because he was being reckless. His videos showing him flying at street level through traffic, buzzing the hospital heliport, etc.
The reason the FAA became aware of his asshattery is that he uses his jerky stunt flying to promote his business (he sells multirotor hardware, among other things). He's an attention whore, and puts together his videos with a deliberately provocative tone, and it caught up with him. The issue of commercial vs. hobby was incidental, and the administrative judge's ruling didn't speak to that directly anyway.
Regardless, this isn't even a "final" ruling. For now, he's had his fine dropped. Heavy, onerous regulations are coming for RC/FPV operators, and it will be ugly (licensing, air worthiness certificates, medical exams, etc).
Why should buzzing a crowd be okay, but buzzing a crowd FOR PROFIT be illegal?
Buzzing a crowd isn't OK either way. Regardless of the state of the FAA's pending new regs, plenty of local laws against reckless endangerment can be brought to bear, and this sort of ruling is going to pour gas on the fire of a thousand local jurisdictions throwing together a patchwork nightmare of laws against Evil Drones. This ruling is actually a bad thing.