FAA to UAS Violation Enforcement for December 2021 (hopefully one of many)


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Jul 22, 2019
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North Carolina USA
As you'll soon be hearing from @Vic Moss and Greg @pilotinstitute have been working to get more "information" released to the public about enforcement actions/fines/sanctions that have been taken against UAS operations. In our FAA Safty Team report we finally had a tid bit we can share.

This is taken directly from the EMAIL but expect more from those I mentioned at the start of this:

"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.
  2. 107.13: drone not registered.
  3. 107.19(c): posing a hazard to people, aircraft, or property.
  4. 107.23(a): careless or reckless flying.
  5. 107.29(a): flying at night without a waiver (prior to the new operations over people or at night rule).
  6. 107.39: flying over people without a waiver (prior to the new operations over people or at night rule).
  7. 107.41: flying in controlled airspace without authorization.
  8. 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.

Hopefully this is the first of many publications so we can actually let you know what CAN happen if you insist on being "That guy/girl".
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It is guys like this that give the rest of us regulation abiding drone flyers a bad name and garners negative perceptions of drones in general. I don't think anyone who flies drones will dispute that they, like everything else is overregulated by "Big Brother" but if you don't want to get jammed up like this guy, you have to follow them, like it or not. If he didn't register it, then I am sure he did not take and pass the TRUST exam either. That should have been another violation.

If you know the rules and follow them, not limited to the 9 requirements but any other regulations put forth in the Part 107, then you should not run into problems. If you disregard them, well then to quote Mark Twain, "you pays your money and you takes your chances". Apparently to the tune of over $15,000.

I guess Forrest Gump said it best, "stupid is as stupid does"

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