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1.9 million dollar fine
1208 11 2015-10-6
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capalvch
lvl.4
Flight distance : 71125 ft
Venezuela
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FAA fines drone operator $1.9 million for unauthorized operations in congested airspace
http://news.aviation-safety.net/2015/10/06/faa-fines-drone-operator-1-9-million-for-unauthorized-operations-in-congested-airspace/
2015-10-6
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Czyka
Second Officer
Flight distance : 3784321 ft
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United States
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Okay, so, exactly what were these people doing?
2015-10-6
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Linolens
Second Officer
Flight distance : 501250 ft
Macao
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I love it.
Now you'll start to see people deleting post from social media where they're flying over bridges, sky scrappers, downtown areas, clouds.........
See if it helps getting rid of "no brainers"
2015-10-6
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jimhare
Captain
Flight distance : 239035 ft
Australia
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Wow!   Be interesting to see how this pan out.    I'm sure the FAA will have to rethink their simple and grey area guidelines if they want to impose heavy fines.   

Then again, everyone knows about the New York restrictions and shouldn't come as a surprise.   
2015-10-6
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precisionair
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1594 ft
United States
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Pretty simple, they lacked practically everything you need to function as a commercial operation, and they marketed themselves as a commercial operation...  I think this one is going to be a lot harder to get away from sadly for these guys.

Per the Washington Post

The FAA said SkyPan conducted 65 flights over New York and Chicago to take photos or videos between March 21, 2012, and Dec. 15, 2014; 43 of them were over the highly restricted New York airspace.

The FAA said the drones used in flights over the two cities did not meet federal requirements.

They were flown without the necessary air-traffic-control clearance and were not equipped with two-way radios, transponders and altitude-reporting equipment. The drones also lacked airworthiness certificates and registrations.
2015-10-7
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PeteGould
Second Officer

United States
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It appears the FAA is using the "Careless and Reckless Operation" charge in this case, not simply asserting that they were flying commercially.  The issue is that they intruded into the Class B airspace over both cities.

What I'd like to know is WHAT they were flying.  My guess, without knowing for certain, is that it was something considerably larger than an Inspire.

So again - without knowing for certain - I think it's a reasonable guess that if you stay out of restricted airspace and don't fly like a complete idiot, the FAA will leave you alone.  These are the guys who ruin it for everyone, and they deserve what they get.
2015-10-7
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Movin on
Second Officer
Flight distance : 173455 ft

United States
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This outfit is definitely in a commercial operation and even boasts their 333 exemption.
http://skypanintl.com/
2015-10-7
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GB44
Captain
Flight distance : 343848 ft
United Kingdom
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Those sort of fines will simply force Commercial Operators to close business and will deter others including Hobbyist Pilots , which I suppose will be the FAA objective to clean up the business and get rid of the rogue elements who appear to flaunt the law by collating film and images for their show reels only to post them on social media sites seeking accolades for their work.  Not that I am saying these particular guys have flaunted the law in any way, as I don't know the full details of the case, but I suspect the FAA are making an example and a precedent as a deterrent.
2015-10-7
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precisionair
lvl.3
Flight distance : 1594 ft
United States
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I agree, they are definitely setting precedent!  Whatever they were flying was probably custom made and bigger than what we currently see on the market.  They boast 333 now but according to the articles at the time of flight in question they did not have the 333 or air worthiness certs.  My guess is that the FAA is slapping with both commercial penalties and reckless endangerment penalties at the same time, again to set precedent that if flying over airspace like this you better have permission from the highest levels.
2015-10-7
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JasonA
lvl.2

United States
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its tough getting the details but theirs a bit more to the story than whats been covered in most of the recent articles on this.  

Skypan (along with a few other companies) are/were already actively suing the FAA over the lack of workable regulations.  

In their Section333 request, Skypan discussed their previous use(s) of their drones.  They received their exemption, but the FAA wanted more details on the flights skypan had already performed.  Skypan did not respond to that request for more information, so the FAA got a court order for the flight records.  Once they received the records (dates/locations/footage), they checked to see if Skypan followed the nessesary steps that would normally have been required to be operating in a Class B airspace had they had the exemption at the time (which skypan did not).  As a result of this, the FAA is now fining Skypan for those activites that occurred in Class B airspace(s).

For those who dont know, Class B airspace is one of the *most* restrictive airspaces to operate normal aircraft.  Everything flying in it HAS to be under the supervision and active guildelines of the ATC, no excemptions.  Skypan presumably had a pilot on staff who knows the basic regs, and that is where the FAA is going to make a stinker.  It could also be that the flights in question, when the footage was reviewed, showed that Skypan violated their own operating guidelines that they presented in their Section333 exemption.  

So, it might be a tit-for-tat response by the FAA, but it appears that Skypan did violate some of the basic things they promised to do as Section333 exemption holders.   It will be very difficult for Skypan to say it didnt know what the rules were after the section333 guidelines were published, and yet for a time its true there basically wasnt any rules to follow hence why skypan and others were suing the FAA to begin with.  Its going to be interesting to see how much additional info comes out on this one.



2015-10-8
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DJI-Dave
Captain

United States
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What a mess.
2015-10-8
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ibdronin
Second Officer

United States
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A little ridiculous 1.9 million and no incident occurred such as property damage or loss of life.
2015-10-9
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