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New FAA Part 107 has made it even easier to Fly Legally in the USA under 14 CFR Part 107. It's what we have all been waiting for.

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Judge Rules Against FAA in ‘Landmark’ UAV Challenge -  In a decision dated March 6, NTSB Judge Patrick Geraghty found that the FAA has no regulations that apply to model aircraft or that classify a model aircraft as an unmanned aircraft system.


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UAV FAA Regulations For more than five decades, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has compiled a proven track record of introducing new technology and aircraft safely into the National Airspace System (NAS).


FAA Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) - For Immediate Release.


FAA Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA) - Before you can operate a UAV in National Airspace System (NAS) you must have a COA. The average time to issue an authorization for non-emergency operations is less than 60 days, 


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NTSB Rules FAA Has Jurisdiction To Fine ‘Careless or Reckless’ UAV Operators



The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has affirmed FAA’s authority to impose civil fines against commercial operators of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) engaging in “careless or reckless” flying.

NTSB’s closely watched ruling aims to define the boundaries of FAA’s regulatory authority regarding unmanned aircraft as FAA works through the process of establishing rules for integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in the national airspace. The case in question involves Raphael Pirker, who operated a Ritewing Zephyr equipped with a camera in October 2011 in Charlottesville, Virginia to film a promotional video for the University of Virginia.

FAA fined Pirker $10,000, saying he hadn’t gotten permission to operate an unmanned aircraft for commercial purposes and that he had operated the UAV recklessly, at one point causing an individual standing on a sidewalk “to take immediate evasive maneuvers so as to avoid being struck.” FAA also said the UAV, which flew up to 1,500 feet above the ground, came within 100 feet of an active heliport and flew through a tunnel in which vehicles were moving.

Pirker appealed the fine to an NTSB administrative law judge, Patrick Geraghty, who in turn dismissed the case on the grounds that the Ritewing Zephyr didn’t qualify as an “aircraft” under FAA’s regulatory jurisdiction. The judge said allowing FAA to fine Pirker would mean that the “operator” of “a paper aircraft” or “a toy balsa wood glider” could be subject to FAA regulatory provisions.

FAA appealed the judge’s dismissal to NTSB, which has sided with FAA and rejected Geraghty’s reasoning. NTSB’s Tuesday ruling reverses the judge’s decision and sends the case back to Geraghty, who will now be asked to rule on whether the flight in question was “careless or reckless,” not on whether the UAV qualifies as an “aircraft.”

In a statement issued following NTSB’s ruling, FAA said it “believes Mr. Pirker operated a UAS in a careless or reckless manner, and that the proposed civil penalty should stand. The agency looks forward to a factual determination by the administrative law judge on the ‘careless or reckless’ nature of the operation in question.”

In issuing its ruling, NTSB noted that the “case has provoked interest from a diverse set of stakeholders in the nation’s aviation system.” While a variety of issues are potentially raised by the University of Virginia incident, the board emphasized that it ruled narrowly on the question of whether Pirker’s Ritewing Zephyr counted as an “aircraft” that falls under FAA’s jurisdiction for prohibiting the operation of an aircraft in a “careless or reckless” manner. “We answer that question in the affirmative,” NTSB stated.

Pirker was the first UAV operator to be fined by FAA. In his appeal to the judge, he argued that “the term aircraft means a device that sustains one or more individuals in flight, thus excluding unmanned aircraft from the definition.” NTSB succinctly countered, “We disagree.”

NTSB conceded that when the Federal Aviation Act creating FAA was passed in 1958, “so-called drones were largely the currency of science fiction.” However, NTSB said, “Congress demonstrated prescience … in the early definition of ‘aircraft’; it expressly defined the term as any airborne contrivance ‘now known or hereafter invented, used, or designed for navigation of or flight in the air’.”

NTSB said there is no “distinction” in the legislative language between manned and unmanned aircraft. “In summary, the plain language of the statutory and regulatory definitions is clear: an ‘aircraft’ is any device used for flight in the air,” NTSB stated, adding, “Therefore we find the law judge erred in presuming the regulations categorically do not apply to model aircraft. The plain language of the definitions and regulation at issue simply does not support such a conclusion.”

James Williams, manager of FAA’s UAS Integration Office, told a conference Tuesday morning on commercializing unmanned aircraft that he couldn’t comment on the specifics of the NTSB ruling because he hadn’t seen it, but added: “It’s good to know the NTSB is working with us.”


Homeland Surveillance & Electronics LLC Mission is also to protect the privacy rights of the individuals and to work with government agencies, organizations and businesses to help insure that those rights are not infringed. At HSE, the Constitutional Rights of the People come first. Maintaining an individual's privacy and protecting the civil liberties of all persons is of paramount importance to HSE! Together, we can help provide a great public service and keeping our Country safe while at the same time protecting "Our Rights". It's as simple as that!!!


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