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For the First Time Ever, the FAA Is Trying To Fine a Drone Hobbyist 297

Posted by Soulskill
from the be-careful-with-your-rc-helicopters dept.
Jason Koebler writes: "For the first time ever, the Federal Aviation Administration is trying to fine a hobby drone operator, a development that threatens to throw the whole hobby into disarray if the agency successfully levies the fine. While the FAA has explicitly said it doesn't want anyone flying drones commercially, it has never issued similar suggestions about hobby flight, which is why it has been just fine for some guy to fly a drone above a tornado, but illegal, in the FAA's eyes, for a journalist to do the same. That has changed, according to the agency. A spokesperson for the FAA told me that the agency 'has proposed a civil penalty against an individual in New York City. The operator, who is a hobbyist, flew a drone carelessly or recklessly and violated air traffic rules as well. He ran the drone into a couple of buildings and it crash-landed 20 feet from a person (video).'"
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For the First Time Ever, the FAA Is Trying To Fine a Drone Hobbyist

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:52AM (#46899179)

    There is quite a lot of difference between fining someone for behaving in a way that puts other people in danger and fining someone for operating a drone.

    The only problem I have with this is that FAA is involved.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:57AM (#46899229)
      I agree. If he violated any restricted airspace, bring in the FAA. A few dented buildings, a frightened bystander, and a broken drone? Call the cops and haul him away for reckless endangerment and destruction of property. Make him pay for being an idiot that way.
      • by Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:26AM (#46899557) Journal

        This. The FAA should be concerned with intrusion into air lanes and restricted airspace, not some ass crashing it onto a bicyclist. The BATF generally does not concern itself with people misusing guns in general as that is a local police issue.

        In any case, are the Regulation-4-Everything Yes!!! types starting to see an issue with agencies adopting new memes to self-authorize control in new areas, outside normal political channels, which is to say, channels directly responsive to the voter?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dywolf (2673597)

          We already covered ALL this ground 2 months ago in http://news.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

          It's really quite simple: The FAA controls ALL US airspace, from the ground up.

          • by koan (80826) on Friday May 02, 2014 @12:12PM (#46900087)

            http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ru... [pbs.org]

            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.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            So are they going to start restricting the path of bullets?

      • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdotNO@SPAMworf.net> on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:50AM (#46899849)

        I agree. If he violated any restricted airspace, bring in the FAA. A few dented buildings, a frightened bystander, and a broken drone? Call the cops and haul him away for reckless endangerment and destruction of property. Make him pay for being an idiot that way.

        Technically, the airspace IS restricted - by FAA rules. Typically you're not allowed to fly anything below 1000' AGL in a populated area. And a city is definitely a populated area.

        There's a reason the light RC aircraft you see sold in stores are marketed as "Park Flyers" - you may not need to fly them at an RC park, but you should be flying them in a less populated park.

        Granted, the FAA is unlikely to prosecute hobbyists that don't endanger lives or property (they could, mind you, but probably won't), but be an idiot and they can come down.

        In fact, hobbyists often have unofficial governing bodies for that reason - while every one participating doesn't have to be "licensed" by the body, the body exists to help keep the sport in good reputation by creating processes, procedures and regulations to ensure they can coexist with others who may not share the same love of the sport. And yes, they may also try to restrict people's ability to fly "complex" RC vehicles until they've shown the skill to do so (again, it's all voluntary).

        RC hobbyists aren't dumb, they know it only takes a couple of idiots to screw them over, which is why they subject themselves to voluntary regulation. It's also a lot easier to do advocacy when you can prove you're on the up and up, and disavow anyone who flouts the rules.

        • by Bartles (1198017)
          I'm sure there's some Supreme Court precedent for this, but what gives the FAA the power to regulate all airspace? Particularly, flights that don't involve interstate travel.
        • by msauve (701917)
          Technically, the FAA has no jurisdiction. It's not a matter of Interstate Commerce.
      • by dywolf (2673597) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:52AM (#46899877)

        We've had this exact conversation already two months ago.
        The FAA regulates ALL US airspace, and ALL flying machines.
        It really is that simple.

        Reposting my post from http://news.slashdot.org/story... [slashdot.org]

        Also from the FAA's own page (http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=76240) there's a few concrete and relevent statements that cannot be ignored:

        -The FAA is responsible for the safety of U.S. airspace from the ground up.

        -Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft—manned or unmanned—in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval.

        -Flying model aircraft solely for hobby or recreational reasons doesn’t require FAA approval, but hobbyists must operate according to the agency's model aircraft guidance, which prohibits operations in populated areas

        -You may not fly a UAS for commercial purposes by claiming that you’re operating according to the Model Aircraft guidelines (below 400 feet, 3 miles from an airport, away from populated areas.)

        -The agency is still developing regulations, policies and standards that will cover a wide variety of UAS users, and expects to publish a proposed rule for small UAS – under about 55 pounds – later this year. That proposed rule will likely include provisions for commercial operations.

        http://www.faa.gov/news/update... [faa.gov]

        • OK: so that means they're the ones who control http://www.poweruptoys.com/ [poweruptoys.com] paper airplanes, as well as gliders, parachutes, kites and flying squirrels.

          But then, the FAA is responsible for tall buildings as well (buildings that penetrate US Airspace unduly) and other tall structures -- they mandate blinking lights and radio beacons so that pilots can avoid the obstacles.

          Basically, they're in charge of ensuring that objects don't run into each other in an unsafe manner. This looks like a case of someone flyi

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        No, you call the FAA.

        FAA regulations require ALL aircraft, Radio controlled, ultralight or Commercial airliner to observe safety protocols.

        By flying within 20 feet of people he's ALREADY breaking FAA regulations. Flying in NYC limits is almost certainly a violation as well as there just aren't that many places where you can be the required 500 feet away from a building other than central park.

        The police have reason to be involved as well, but it most certainly is also an FAA matter.

        The police don't police

      • by Bartles (1198017)
        I don't really see how the FAA has the authority to do anything if he does not operate across state lines.
        • by Mullen (14656)

          Technically, the sky does cross state lines.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)

          I don't really see how the FAA has the authority to do anything if he does not operate across state lines.

          Because the FAR (Federal Aviation Regulations) as found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) make no distinction between flights that cross state lines and ones that don't.

          Wouldn't that be a wonderful situation to have: to be flying an aircraft that can cross city/county/state boundaries faster than you can count them (and not always obvious that you have crossed such a boundary), subject to a different set of city/county/state regulations for each place you're in? Conflicting/contradictory regulation

          • by Bartles (1198017)
            Basically, your answer boils down the the FAA has the authority to regulate intrastate airspace, because they do! What gives them the authority and constitutional power? Has it ever been tested in court?
    • by jandrese (485)
      Who else would be involved? This is the FAA's jurisdiction. I agree that this is a non-story as well. If you're recklessly operating an aircraft and might be putting people in danger, then yes, that should be against the law and a fine is quite appropriate.
  • wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:54AM (#46899201)

    So we're surprised when a government agency uses common sense when enforcing a law now? This sounds exactly like what the FAA should be regulating...

    • No! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:04AM (#46899321)

      I have a God-given, constitutional right to fly drones into permanent structures and crash them into crowds of people, and any attempts to restrict my ability to do this represent a tyrannical attack on my freedom.

      Don't tread on me!

      • by Rinikusu (28164)

        You know.. we already have assholes who refuse to stop pointing lasers at airplanes and helicopters.. wait until these geniuses start trying to fly drones into the aircrafts' flight paths.

        • "wait until these geniuses start trying to fly drones into the aircrafts' flight paths."
          No need to wait. The article says that also happened in this case.

      • I am sure you being funny, but exactly where do you suppose the Constitution gives the Federal government the authority to regulate airspace? In what twisted way will they imagine a drone operator, flying a home built drone, in the airspace of 1 state, involves interstate commerce?

        This is the main risk of these people regulating drone space. Hobbyists are immensely politically active. Step on a few drone operators and they will ruin your day. Just look at HAM operators. Very, very, very powerful block

        • by Copid (137416)

          I am sure you being funny, but exactly where do you suppose the Constitution gives the Federal government the authority to regulate airspace? In what twisted way will they imagine a drone operator, flying a home built drone, in the airspace of 1 state, involves interstate commerce?

          You jumped from "regulate airspace" to "regulate drones" there. Having the feds regulate airspace makes good sense, given that a huge portion of air travel is interstate and having 50 different regulatory bodies for something t

          • I'm pretty sure the space between those tall building in that video footage is not "commercial airspace". As in, no commercial flights are routed through there.

            Please correct me if commercial flights are routed between those buildings. Specifically, interstate commercial flights.

            • by Copid (137416)
              I'm pretty sure that I didn't say anything like that. Rereading my post, yes, I'm completely sure.
              • You did say:

                Once you have that, it's pretty straightforward to say that their job is to regulate flying things that may occupy or present hazards to that commercial airspace.

                So, yes you did say something like that, considering this /. discussion is about a remote controlled toy flying over, around, and into buildings in a city.

                Maybe I'm adding meaning to your specific post from reading dozens of others that state the FAA controls, and rightly so, everything in the air because it is all commercial airspace. If so, I stand corrected.

                • by Copid (137416)
                  Let me highlight an important part:

                  Once you have that, it's pretty straightforward to say that their job is to regulate flying things that may occupy or present hazards to that commercial airspace.

                  I don't think I said anything about this particular case falling under that jurisdiction. My point is simply that the idea that the feds have no place regulating airspace in general is silly.

          • by Bartles (1198017)
            It might make sense, but he has a valid point. What gives the FAA the authority and constitutional power to regulate all airspace?
            • by Copid (137416)
              All airspace? Nothing. Can they regulate the airpsace inside your house when flying paper airplanes, or the airspace above your house when you're throwing a frisbee? I'm pretty sure the Supreme Court would knock that one flat.

              The practical airpsace used by most aircraft? If they didn't, it would be an unholy mess for a particular aspect of interstate commerce. That's pretty much exactly what the commerce clause is for. I'm not arguing that they can regulate "all airspace." I'm just noting that the
              • by Bartles (1198017)
                You managed to pretty much totally avoid the question. What gives the FAA the power and authority to regulate intrastate airspace?
        • by jklovanc (1603149)

          In what twisted way will they imagine a drone operator, flying a home built drone, in the airspace of 1 state, involves interstate commerce?

          Because airspace does cross state lines and aircraft do cross state lines and a home built drone can cross state lines. Due to this state line crossing it is interstate commerce that allows Federal jurisdiction over airspace and everything in it. Do you really think it is viable for the FAA to regulate aircraft but not UAVs that use the same airspace?

          Just look at HAM operators.

          HAM operators have a very important role to play during civil emergencies. If regular communications go down HAM operators can still keep communications open.

        • HAM operators are also licensed and registered, unlike most other hobbyists.
        • I am a commercial pilot. I can't even begin to imagine the nightmare of 50 FAAs regulating 50 chunks of airspace. Oh look! Virginia has a 238 knot speed limit and we're doing 245 because we missed the 10,000 foot tall sign at the border.
  • by Peter L. Berghold (3639725) on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:55AM (#46899209)
    Drones are not the only way to get in trouble with the FAA. If you are into LDRS (Large Dangerous Rocket Ships) there is a maximum altitude your rocket can go and if you expect it to exceed that altitude you need to clear it with air traffic control before launch. It only makes sense given the obvious potential for havoc. The person cited in this article did commit some questionable acts. Crashing into buildings and crash landing the drone were people were milling about and going about their day is not cool. It only takes one "oops" where property damage or personal bodily injury occurs and the hobby will end up being heavily regulated.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ColdWetDog (752185)

      LDRS craft, by definition, are the responsibility of the FAA - they fly into controlled airspace. This thing did not.

      Put the drone in front of an runway - FAA has jurisdiction.'
      Put the drone in front of a balcony - not so much.

      Unless this is an end run to see just exactly what they can get away with.

      • I think the FAA has jurisdiction over anything that flies.

        They just say, "Keep within these limits and we won't care what you do." So the question is whether this guy's recklessnes exceeded those limits.

        Kind of similar to how the FCC has jurisdiction over the ISM bands - they just say "stay below this power level and and a few other limits and you can do anything you want in that band"

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by bigpat (158134)

          I think the FAA has jurisdiction over anything that flies.

          I think that we need Congress to step in and limit the FAAs jurisdiction to above 500 feet and above a certain size. Giving the FAA jurisdiction over frisbees, bows and arrows or toys with propellers is an absurd use of Federal government regulations and a complete waste of resources for them to be trolling You Tube for videos for accidents with toys that didn't actually cause any serious harm.

          • by fnj (64210) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:47AM (#46899815)

            So you would let them fly above a busy runway as long as they are at 499 feet or below? I didn't think so. Would you have a weight limit? What if it's only 4 feet long but weighs 50 kg? I thought so. How about flying above a military base or a nuclear power plant to gather intelligence?

            I have an idea. Let's leave the FAA alone. They are doing exactly what they were created to do, and they are doing a good job.

            • 499 (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              "as long as they are at 499 feet"

              below 500' is (or at least should be) considered private property, in this case you'd be trespassing on airport property which usually results in a quick response from armed, uniformed & angry individuals in cars with flashing lights. Also airports usually get easements over adjoining property effectively buying the airspace above those properties, so flying anywhere near an airport would be trespassing on the airport. A few people arrested, charged with trespassing an

          • by dywolf (2673597)

            we dont need congress to do anything.
            the FAA is neither in the wrong, nor overereaching.
            you're an idiot.

          • Giving the FAA jurisdiction over frisbees, bows and arrows or toys with propellers is an absurd use of Federal government regulations and a complete waste of resources for them to be trolling You Tube for videos for accidents with toys that didn't actually cause any serious harm.

            Except the FAA isn't doing any of those things. The guy who was nearly hit by the drone recovered the video and gave it to the NYPD. The NYPD found the pilot of the drone, arrested him and charged him with reckless endangerment. The FAA only got involved after all that showed up in the news and they're proposing a further fine for the violations that he committed.

            The FFA is not trolling YouTube. The only trolling here is your post.

      • To add to Andy Dodd, the FAA has jurisdiction over anything that can potentially fly outdoors. Fly a drone in your garage with the door closed: fine. Fly a drone in your garage with the door open: FAA technically has jurisdiction. According to some FAA guys I know, they tell me they technically have jurisdiction over paper airplanes, but you'll never see them enforcing any kind of regulations on them.
        • by mark-t (151149)

          According to some FAA guys I know, they tell me they technically have jurisdiction over paper airplanes, but you'll never see them enforcing any kind of regulations on them.

          It would be nothing less than hilarious to see them try.

          • by BitZtream (692029)

            Depends on the paper plane. The record sized paper plane from a few years back is most certainly something they would regulate as it is large enough to be a serious problem. It didn't fly for shit so they probably won't ever care, but none the less they do have the ability to do something about it.

      • by azadrozny (576352)

        I don't know much about this subject, but why does the FAA need dominion over all thing above the ground? If I am flying a device under a certain altitude (250 ft?) under a certain mass, at less than a certain speed, more than a certain distance from an airport, why does the FAA care? Are they worried that there will be too many drones in the air? Seems a bit far fetched for the near future, and you can begin to regulate when there is a problem. Are they worried that my toy drone will fail, and fall on

      • by BitZtream (692029)

        There is no such thing as uncontrolled airspace as far as the FAA is concerned in the manner you are speaking.

        Uncontrolled airspace to a pilot means the area where you are not required to be in contact with air traffic controllers, not that its a free for all.

        In the USA:
        ALL airspace is under the jurisdiction of the FAA as far as physical objects are concerned, that includes BUILDING, which the FAA has regulations that apply to them, such as how they must be marked and lit at night.

        ALL airspace is under the

  • Right now, we're running into a road block with using UAVs for search & rescue with our local Sheriff. Given that his position is an elected one, he doesn't want to run the risk of alienating the electorate.

    • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday May 02, 2014 @01:09PM (#46900667)

      No, the sheriff isn't your problem, you're ignorance is.

      Its not his call, its the FAA's jurisdiction and the fact that you don't know that shows that you aren't qualified to be flying aircraft in the first place.

      You don't get to pretend you're qualified to have an argument about safety issues when you don't even know the rules, which are simple to find, with a quick Google search ... or the many times its been posted here (with citations) on slashdot.

      As a formerly licensed pilot, and an R/C pilot of 20 years, you are EXACTLY the type of person that I don't want in the air.

      If you had a clue, you'd get a waiver and you'd know the sheriff's opinion is irrelevant. Again, its not his call.

  • NO NO NO!!!!!!!! (Score:5, Informative)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Friday May 02, 2014 @10:57AM (#46899243) Homepage Journal

    "why it has been just fine for some guy to fly a drone above a tornado, but illegal, in the FAA's eyes, for a journalist to do the same. "

    It is illegal for anyone without special permission to fly a drone over(sic) a tornado without a lot of special clearance. The "top" of a tornado will be well above the altitude limits on RC aircraft. It would also be in the realm of dangerous.
    Flying over a disaster area is a different matter to take pictures is a different issue.

    " A spokesperson for the FAA told me that the agency 'has proposed a civil penalty against an individual in New York City. The operator, who is a hobbyist, flew a drone carelessly or recklessly and violated air traffic rules as well. He ran the drone into a couple of buildings and it crash-landed 20 feet from a person (video).'""
      And this is a good thing IMHO.

    • by Type44Q (1233630)

      It is illegal for anyone without special permission to fly a drone over(sic) a tornado without a lot of special clearance. The "top" of a tornado will be well above the altitude limits on RC aircraft.

      So you're saying that it's illegal to do something that you can't possibly manage to do anyhow...?

      • by LWATCDR (28044)

        No you could build an RC airplane that could fly over a tornado. All it would take money and a good engineering team. A turbocharged engine and a high aspect ratio wing is all you really need along with a good control systems.
        I believe that someone did launch a glider from a weather balloon at an altitude above most tornados. I do not think it was in the US and well outside any urban areas but still probably a violation of regulations but I am not sure.

        The law for RC aircraft places a legal altitude limit.

    • by sjames (1099)

      To be fair, if I had to rank the danger on a scale of 1 to 100, (lower number = greater danger), I'd place the drone at 100 and the tornado at 1. I'm undecided about air cows and the flying pigs, but they would fall somewhere in between :-)

  • Obvious (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:00AM (#46899269)

    The operator, who is a hobbyist, flew a drone carelessly or recklessly and violated air traffic rules as well. He ran the drone into a couple of buildings and it crash-landed 20 feet from a person.

    If I engaged in reckless behavior that posed serious threat to others or to their property then I too would expect to be fined if caught.

    The FAA probably figured that the press and the paparazzi would be all over the use of drones if they were allowed to, and the ban was to prevent a bunch of people that had no interest in the technology itself from attempting to poorly use it. Hobbyists, on the other hand, are by definition interested in the technology, and are more likely to learn how to master its use. This particular hobbyist obviously wasn't in control, hence the fine, but he was also dumb and used the device where he shouldn't have been, ie, a congested urban environment with bystanders.

    Play with this stuff where there's room and a lack of people to hurt and one should be ok.

  • We're supposed to be okay with crashing flying objects to buildings? Did Al-Qaeda have it right all along? Should we give them medals instead of killing them? Is Bin Laden due a wrongful death payment?

    These are legitimate concerns when you start complaining about a fine for a moron who caused his drone to fly into a stationary object.

  • We just can't have things flying in populated areas without hte proper goverment controls. Pigeons and starlings are next!
  • by rebelwarlock (1319465) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:10AM (#46899395)
    Guy recklessly operates remote control machinery in populated area, causes property damage and comes close to causing injury or death in innocent bystanders, and this dipshit reporter pretends the FCC is the devil for coming down on him?
    • by marciot (598356)

      I think the point is that the buildings had carelessly invaded his airspace and the pedestrians had trespassed his landing field. Obviously, these are the ones who should be punished.

  • This is a fine for willfully putting someone in danger and destroying property. The pilot should be thanking his lucky stars that the FAA gets to process this in administrative law court rather than the State process it through criminal court.

  • by Oysterville (2944937) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:13AM (#46899427)
    Drones in the private sector are getting to the point where the only way to really resolve some of this dangerous behavior is to require operators of the drones that go over a set height take classes and get some sort of certification. I don't know aviation enough to know what height that would be.

    It can be a fun hobby, but if they aren't flown responsibly and safely, eventually a mid-air collision with a helicopter is going to cause a fatality. At least with proper training it would lessen the chances of that.
  • by PvtVoid (1252388)
    Some douchebag sending a flying lawnmower into the air over downtown Manhattan should be charged with reckless endangerment, at the very least. How long before somebody gets killed by one of these assholes?
  • Everyone seems to be getting all gussied up about drones, but (excuse my ignorance here) what's the difference between drones and remote control aircraft? People seem to have been playing happily with the latter for years, but when they get called "drones", they're seen as evil?
    • From my limited understanding, isn't in something to do with the line-of-sight requirement and/or capability of autonomy?

      Either is capable of falling out of the sky and killing you, of course, so I'm not sure how much the distinction really matters.

    • An RC Aircraft requires line-of-sight control; if you can't see it you can't control it.

      A drone has some level of autonomous control. For example, I can instruct a drone to fly to waypoints. Drones can also return home by themselves.

    • by fnj (64210)

      Anyone flying an RC aircraft has to follow precisely the same regulations. You can't violate airspace rules or operate recklessly. It's just that typically RC aircraft hobbyists have much more care and intelligence than random flaming assholes.

      • by bobbied (2522392)

        Anyone flying an RC aircraft has to follow precisely the same regulations. You can't violate airspace rules or operate recklessly. It's just that typically RC aircraft hobbyists have much more care and intelligence than random flaming assholes.

        Us RC hobbyists also don't fly above 500', over populated areas, in restricted airspace, or near airports... At least the RESPONSIBLE ones don't. This nutcase deserves to be accosted by the FAA, as well as the local police for being a public danger, not to mention the owners of the property he damaged. Have fun with your toys, but do it responsibly.

    • by JStyle (833234)

      Definition:
      a. an unmanned aircraft or ship that can navigate autonomously, without human control or beyond line of sight: the GPS of a U.S. spy drone.
      b. (loosely) any unmanned aircraft or ship that is guided remotely: a radio-controlled drone.

      I'm an RC hobbyist myself. I don't do anything with multirotors, but I know many that do. Most of them have a control board that includes a "return to home" feature, so if they lose sight of the model (wind, equipment failure, etc), or even just lose visual orientation

  • it has been just fine for some guy to fly a drone above a tornado

    I suspect that might be out of most drones' capabilities. The article has that link linked to another article, but it's about drones flying over a train crash. That article has a link to what appears to be the relevant story, which is about someone flying a drone over the aftermath of a tornado.

  • If not, we will sue you. And by company, we mean a big company, not some mom and pop store.

  • by freak0fnature (1838248) on Friday May 02, 2014 @11:34AM (#46899639)
    I've heard pilots complain (@ LiveATC.net feeds) on approach at JFK of drones entering their visual range while landing on at least 2 occasions. That stuff rarely makes the news, and I don't listen to that stuff often, mainly for work purposes.
  • Its not a hobby vs comercial issue. Although legally, all private drones are by definition hobby (in this country). Its an issue of unsafe operation and the loss of control of the aircraft. Fine his ass.

    It appears that the FAA might be taking a "no harm, no foul" approach to some drone operations. The person who filmed the tornado destruction technically might be in violation of the no commercial use regulation. But not having caused any trouble or run into anything or anyone, they don't appear to be doing

  • I was an avid RC Helicopter hobbyist as a high school kid and I'm wondering what's the difference between a drone and a remote controlled helicopter/plane?

    Is the drone 100% autonomous vs. the RC line of sight? Though you could fly an RC with a nose mounted camera..

    Does the FAA define what a drone is?

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Drone is what the public uses since they heard it on CNN, thats all.

      My 'drone' as everyone calls it, is a quadcoptor ... which is funny, because my R/C Heli's (one electric, one nitro) and my fixed wing airplane ALL use the same hardware for flight control.

      No one calls the heli's or the fixed wing a drone because it doesn't have a camera attached that they can see, the camera on those is inside a tinted canopy. On the quad, there are 3 cameras, one for First Person View while in flight, one still camera fo

  • To illegally parked remote control cars?
    I mean, if you're going to operate an RC car on a street where there is also legitimate vehicular traffic (even a suburban street), then the RC enthusiast should have a driver's license and the RC car should be insured and registered.

    I mean, if they are going after people with a hobby for RC planes, then RC cars are the next target.

We don't know one millionth of one percent about anything.

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