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

BigAl07

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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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Motorazr

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49 USC § 44809

(a) In General.-Except as provided in subsection (e), and notwithstanding chapter 447 of title 49, United States Code, a person may operate a small unmanned aircraft without specific certification or operating authority from the Federal Aviation Administration if the operation adheres to all of the following limitations:

(1) The aircraft is flown strictly for recreational purposes.

(2) The aircraft is operated in accordance with or within the programming of a community-based organization's set of safety guidelines that are developed in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration.

(3) The aircraft is flown within the visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft or a visual observer co-located and in direct communication with the operator.

(4) The aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft.

(5) In Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace or within the lateral boundaries of the surface area of Class E airspace designated for an airport, the operator obtains prior authorization from the Administrator or designee before operating and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.

(6) In Class G airspace, the aircraft is flown from the surface to not more than 400 feet above ground level and complies with all airspace restrictions and prohibitions.

(7) The operator has passed an aeronautical knowledge and safety test described in subsection (g) and maintains proof of test passage to be made available to the Administrator or law enforcement upon request.

(8) The aircraft is registered and marked in accordance with chapter 441 of this title and proof of registration is made available to the Administrator or a designee of the Administrator or law enforcement upon request.
 

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