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  • Recent Drone Enforcement Case

    Posted by Jonathan on April 4, 2022 at 10:10 am

    This announcement came from the FAA’s recent email to FAA Safety Team Drone Pros, looks like the FAA is starting to take some of this seriously.

    Recent Drone Enforcement Case
    In December 2021, the FAA issued a fine to a drone operator for flying a drone over protest events in upstate New York. The regulations violated by the recreational flyer that happened during a series of three separate flights in October and November 2020. The self-proclaimed recreational flyer did not comply with all of the eight requirements listed in section (a) of 49 USC § 44809 — the exception for limited recreational operations of unmanned aircraft. Section (b) of the statute states when recreational flyers fail to comply with any of the eight limitations contained in section (a), they must comply with the applicable regulations governing the operation of drones. In this case, since the drone was a small unmanned aircraft system (sUAS), 14 CFR part 107 was the applicable regulatory part.
    The FAA investigation revealed the flights were over people, at night, in controlled airspace without an authorization, and posed a hazard to people and property below. As a result, the FAA determined the operator of the drone was in noncompliance with section 44809 and therefore subject to 14 CFR part 107. The following list of regulations were cited in the enforcement case:

    1. 107.12(b): no remote pilot certificate.
    1. 107.13: drone not registered.
    1. 107.19(c): posing a hazard to people, aircraft, or property.
    1. 107.23(a): careless or reckless flying.
    1. 107.29(a): flying at night without a waiver (prior to the new operations over people or at night rule).
    1. 107.39: flying over people without a waiver (prior to the new operations over people or at night rule).
    1. 107.41: flying in controlled airspace without authorization.
    1. 107.65: no 24 month recency of knowledge.

    The drone operator was assessed a civil penalty for $15,205 which had to be paid immediately.
    Education and outreach to the drone community are essential to maintaining a safe National Airspace System. DronePros, as part of the FAA Safety Team, are in the best position to educate drone operators on the regulatory requirements, penalties for non-compliance and best practices for safe operation.

    DroneAcademy replied 2 years, 2 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • DroneAcademy

    April 10, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Enforcement actions like this will help add to the legitimacy of the UAS Profession and weed out those who don’t care to follow the rules. I don’t generally believe in punishing people just to make an example but in this case, the penalties seem well earned.

    I hope this message is spread far and wide so that others may think twice before flying recklessly.

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