Skip to comments.Judge dismisses FAA fine against small drone user
Posted on 03/07/2014 2:20:03 PM PST by Da Bilge Troll
WASHINGTON A federal judge has dismissed the Federal Aviation Administration's only fine against a commercial drone user on the grounds that the small drone was no different than a model aircraft, a decision that appears to undermine the agency's power to keep a burgeoning civilian drone industry out of the skies.
Patrick Geraghty, a National Transportation Safety Board administrative law judge, said in his order dismissing the $10,000 fine that the FAA has no regulations governing model aircraft flights or for classifying model aircraft as an unmanned aircraft.
FAA officials said they were reviewing the decision and had no further comment. The agency can appeal the decision to the full five-member safety board.
The FAA levied the fine against aerial photographer Raphael Pirker for flying the small drone near the University of Virginia to make a commercial video in October 2011. Pirker appealed the fine to the safety board, which hears challenges to FAA decisions.
FAA officials have long taken the position that the agency regulates access to the national airspace, and therefore it has the power to bar drone flights, even when the drone weighs no more than a few pounds.
"There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations," the agency says on its website. "Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft --manned or unmanned --in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval."
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
The scary civilian drones will be the jet powered ones that are modified to be deliberate kinetic weapons...
I used to fly model R/C Model airplanes.
The rules were specific that as long as you stay under 500 feet and a certain distance from a commercial airport, you were fine.
We mounted cameras and all kinds of crap on those things.
Only thing we made sure of is that we registered with the Model Aircraft Association and got a number. But that was mostly for insurance purposes.
Fixed wing or rotary made no difference and I don’t remember any weight restrictions although I am sure there were.
Some of those things 1/4 scale things were pretty big hogs.
Thus we built our first rockets with motors from England- then we made our own-steel cased sob`s that coulda killed us-
We mounted small English film B&W cameras inside and a shot them to 10,000 feet or more 2 stagers- WE built our own rockets after with our own fuel concoctions and did this until I left for college- We test-fired rocket motors on my mother`s front lawn and and fired them off from our 40 acre cow pasture. Nobody nary blinked and eyelash, not even the cops, not even the cows--
We took the rockets 3 miles walking to the high school for science club shows and nobody stopped us, not even the cops. We painted all the rockets black to make them look mean and hot but had to paint the fins aircraft orange so we could see them with binoculars.
Thee was no FAA rules at all for this stuff until many years later when somenbody in Wash DC thought we might accidently shoot down an airliner-
But in 1959 the Army said for us in an official letter to notify the local airport that we firing rockets as part of the US Army`s effort to have America catch up to the Russians- AIRCRAFT had to fly AROUND US> Times have changed. We were only 14 then.
We once had a Marine gunny as a next door neighbor. One morning a car with four young hotshots roared down our street. The next morning the Gunny was waiting by the curb and flagged them down, whereupon he explained that there were a lot of little kids living in the neighborhood and that they should slow down.
The third morning the Gunny heard them coming, "flying low". He walked to the curb. Then, just before they flew past, he reached down, picked up a 6 foot length of 4x4 and held it out at windshield height.
TOO LATE TO STOP!
The hotshots got the message.
Kinetic Weapons do not need jet engines!
Well they outlawed lemon aid stands, why not out law kites too, or picnics.
Yep - the FAA is concerned that the People might have an answer to drones that get too nosy.
True, they don't "need", but p=mv comes to mind.
Not to mention the radio-controlled aspect of a micro jet engined "missle".
IIRC, those little jets can hit, er, reach speeds over 200mph. The FAA has "set" limits on them, mostly in fuel capacity, iirc.
What I was referencing was the fact that the “P-mv” equation is concerned with RELATIVE, not Absolute velocity.
IOW, the Drone does not need to be moving that fast if the Target has a large velocity relative to the drone.
Think Capt. Sullenberger’s encounter with the flock of (relatively) slow flying geese.