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FAA has my Inspire
1945 20 2016-8-18
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dearme11
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[size=14.6667px]Apparently, I was flying too close to the downtown area of Chicago for the police. They stopped me and asked what I was doing. Long story short, they insisted on taking the drone. They then gave it to the FAA. What can the FAA pull of the drone? They can't seem to find the SD card and I don't have it. What can they pull off of the drone itself without the SD card (unless they are being dishonest and actually have it)? I also have my phone that I use to fly it of course with the DJI software on it? It was an honest mistake as I thought I was far enough away (I was on the edge of far enough), I wasn't doing anything shady like looking in windows or anything, and no I wasn't even being paid by anyone to fly. I was honestly, just messing around and thought I was outside of the range.

[size=14.6667px]Anyone know whats next? I think the police actually violated my 4th amendment in the first place by taking the drone. I wasn't charged or ticketed for anything.

[size=14.6667px]What can they get off the drone itself if anything? If I volunteer to give them access to the CSV files on the DJI app I would basically be giving them proof I was too close. Will the drone have the same info on it? What do you all suggest?
2016-8-18
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solarscar
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I think they stole your drone. I would go to the police station and demand it back or have them give you a phone number so you can contact the group that has it and why? Sounds like someone simply stole it. Its your property.
2016-8-18
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Machoman
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Well they dont need your SD card nor your handy they only need the logfiles which are saved in the drone.

If you are flying in enemy territory you always should have a device with an older version fo DJI GO ready to FORMAT your flight recorder. DJI silently removed this feature from newer versions. Best way is to format your flight recorder and then restart the drone as often as possible so it creates a new file each time you turn it on. MAYBE your flight data cannot be recovered then anymore - however thats not sure.

Also: dont register a drone in your name. Register it for someone in Kasachstan or China who is just lending you his drone.
2016-8-19
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Biedyboy
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solarscar Posted at 2016-8-19 05:52
I think they stole your drone. I would go to the police station and demand it back or have them give ...

Yeah I agree this is not right. I've flown in Chicago and had no problems.  I had a buddy loose his phantom in on the north side (it fell onto private property) and police returned it to him.  Sounds like uneducated cops giving you a hard time (I dont think what they did was legal but who knows)
2016-8-19
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dickfantastic
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Demand your property back, no they cannot seize your drone for flying too close to downtown of anywhere.  The most they can do is ticket you, and that hasn't happened, so get your drone back before they do try to write you one that you have to fight.  If the FAA wants to contact you, they will.
Over 2000 people shot in Chicago since the 1st of the year, almost 500 fatalities and cops are busy seizing drones,  f**king ridiculous.  Tell them this if they give you any s**t when going in to get your property.  Shame them for being stupid and stand up for yourself.  No one else is likely to do that but you.

Year to Date
Shot & Killed: 411
Shot & Wounded: 2271
Total Shot: 2682
Total Homicides: 454
2016-8-19
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dearme11
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dickfantastic Posted at 2016-8-20 02:26
Demand your property back, no they cannot seize your drone for flying too close to downtown of anywh ...

The FAA has contacted me asking for the SD card and threatened to send my drone off to be pull the data off of it. The card is probably in the case but they didn't find it. The police say that they can't give me the drone until the FAA clears them to do so. The FAA believes the drone was in class b too close to Midway Airport. I thought I was far enough away but maybe I was short by 1/4 mile now that I look at an aviation map they sent me a link to look at.
2016-8-20
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Donnie
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dearme11@live.c Posted at 2016-8-20 11:31
The FAA has contacted me asking for the SD card and threatened to send my drone off to be pull the ...

There must be more to this story ,  Why would the FAA want the SD card ? They can pull the data off of simply and find out where you were flying , they can get the flight altitude and spped and GPS co-ordinates.  The SD card will of course have video.   

Just explain to them what happened, if you did nothing  wrong  tell them where the SD is located or if it was not loaded tell them so.  They can pull the flight data off the AC simply and it will tell them where you were flying.  
Where you flying within legal Height restrictions ?  Perhaps a Pilot made a compalint that you came to close ?  Have you ever flown there before ?  
How far fromt the Airport property were you ?  

No offense but there must be more to this story . It just sounds so  unusual .  
This is clearly overzealous police OR there is more to the Story that we dont know ......just sayin.
By the way are you a liscensed  Pilot with the FAA ? or the AMA ?   If your FAA lic was displayed on the aircraft , they should have all your basic information.  

donnie



2016-8-21
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Machoman
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dearme11@live.c Posted at 2016-8-20 18:31
The FAA has contacted me asking for the SD card and threatened to send my drone off to be pull the ...

Its more likely that the FAA called the police to search for a drone near the airport then the police occasionally saw a drone and thought it may have been to near something.

However the police should have told you about the airport and not something about downtown. Did they not say the word airport at all?

Something is strange here.
2016-8-21
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dearme11
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LOL I wish there was more to the story. I posted this because I'm super confused about it. The FAA wants to see if I was in Class B airspace or not. They say they would have to ship the drone to DC to pull off the flight logs if I can't show them the SD card. The whole thing makes no sense. The whole thing is odd. I have a commercial pilots license (FAA). The only thing on the drone was the uas registration number as required. Even that says you must be below 400 feet (I was) and be 5 miles or more from the airport (which I was). I was 6 miles away. However, I do think that is a very gray area. Some airports are so huge that if you trust the dJI Geo software to determine your legal flight you could still be on the airport grounds using the 1 mile circle. Some runways are 11,000 or 14,000 feet long. DJI has a problem with this I think. I was still outside the 5 mile circle if someone wants to be a jerk and try to say the airport end of the runway is where you start to measure. I guess I'm going to mail them the CD card and the CSV files of the flight when I figure out how to get them off my phone and go from there. Hopefully this is all they need. I wish there was a way to send the little video file of the flight we can go back and look at in the DJI Go app that shows the flight path and even the stick positions.
2016-8-24
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Donnie
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dearme11@live.c Posted at 2016-8-25 01:38
LOL I wish there was more to the story. I posted this because I'm super confused about it. The FAA w ...

You might be in the wong place wrong time, say some other Pilot had been in that area earlier and got the attention of some Airline  pilots, then you come along and whammo.

It just sounds odd that the police would take the aircraft and then the FAA gets involved.  

I have never heard of this, and you were not that close to the Airport.

So maybe  you are not getting the whole stroy either, maybe there was a threat of a drone doing some damage at  Midway and they are not taking any chances.

Not saying you are not telling the truth, just seems there must be more to this.

let us know what happens

donnie
2016-8-25
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skyway
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you need to call the Chicago area Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) ..Google it
identify yourself and ask to speak with someone regarding your UAV ...
the Flight Data is on the drone so don't lie to them ....
they can possibly nail you if you were flying in other than Class G airspace
if you give them the SD card it will make you less suspicious
2016-8-26
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PeteGould
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dearme11@live.c Posted at 2016-8-25 02:38
LOL I wish there was more to the story. I posted this because I'm super confused about it. The FAA w ...

I'm coming to this story late but I wanted to comment on some of the (mostly really, really bad) advice you've been given in this thread.

Qualifications: flying R/C aircraft since the 1970s, certificated Private Pilot - Airplane Single Engine Land, since 1993, flying UAS since 2014, law enforcement officer since 1979, awaiting Part 107 ticket earned earlier this week.  Also own a video production company (which is why I own an Inspire) and teach film and television production at the college level.

Naturally, none of us reading this thread know what really happened.  We only have your perspective.  What the police officers did would be judged purely on their perspective, and what a reasonably prudent person in the officers' place, with the officers' training, would have believed (even if that belief was factually incorrect).  With that said, if the officers believed your operation of the Inspire was careless or reckless and posed a danger to persons or property on the ground or in a building, they can very likely seize your aircraft, without a warrant, for further investigation.  The FAA has indicated to state, county and local law enforcement agencies that all local laws apply to UAS operations and that if local laws were violated, the police may take action (unlike MOST cases involving manned aircraft, where the federal enforcement preempts local).  I don't work in Illinois but many state laws are similar.  In my state, if your negligent or reckless conduct causes danger to another person or their property you run afoul of several different criminal statutes at the state level (again, your perception of whether there was danger is irrelevant to the officers' conduct; all that matters is what a reasonable person in the officers' place, with their experience and training, would have believed at the time).  If the officers had probable cause to believe you violated one or more equivalent Illinois statutes or Chicago criminal ordinances, they could have arrested you on the spot and seized the UAS as evidence OR obtained your personal information, seized the UAS as evidence of a crime and conducted further investigation before making an arrest decision.  You would generally get the property back at the conclusion of the investigation if no arrest was made, or its disposition would be determined by the Court if an arrest was made and prosecution ensued.

Chicago may have adopted an ordinance criminalizing UAS takeoffs and landings within the city limits - a number of jurisdictions already have.  If so, they didn't need anything more than that.

Either way, it would not be a Fourth Amendment violation to seize the UAS without a warrant assuming, for sake of discussion, that they reasonably believed a state, county or local criminal law was violated.  In that case the crime occurred in their presence and the instrument of the crime was in plain view.  These provide exceptions to the warrant rule.

Moving on to the airspace violation: if you have your Commercial ticket then you already know that Class B airspace surrounding an airport like Midway extends to the ground where shown on the sectional or TAC chart and that depending on local specifics there can be carve-outs for neighboring Class C or D airports and there can also be extensions depending on local requirements.  The FAA doesn't give a rat's tail about the DJI geofencing or other third-party references you may have relied upon.  They hold the Remote Pilot In Command (you) 100% responsible for staying clear of other-than-Class-G airspace, using FAA-approved references, so if you were a quarter mile inside the Class-B-to-the-surface area, coupled with whatever behavior the Chicago PD reported to them, this could be a significant problem.  They would likely be much stricter with you than a UAS hobbiest with no background since as a Commercial ticket holder you already know the airspace classifications and could reasonably be expected to know if you were flying in an area prohibited to UAS.  To the point where if you're using your Commercial ticket to make a living, be aware that they could go after that in addition to whatever other sanctions are involved.

The people who told you to huff and puff at the cops about the Fourth Amendment and demand they return your UAS or you're telling Mommy are out of their minds.  In 37 years of law enforcement I cannot tell you how many times someone who arrogantly professes to know the law (but doesn't know NEARLY as much as they think they do) has gotten themselves or the "friends" they were advising into MUCH deeper trouble through such puffery.  Yes, there are people shooting each other in Chicago and yes there are lawless areas but if CPD was worried you could have killed someone by dropping a UAS on their head or the FAA thinks you could have brought down an airliner if you'd had a flyaway inside a Class B those concerns are no less valid.

I would strongly consider consulting an aviation attorney, especially if you make your living with your Commercial ticket.  The FAA has just had several hundred thousand UAS added to what they have to oversee, more than doubling the number of aircraft for which they're responsible.  They're overwhelmed, terrified of an incident that could bring down a manned aircraft now that this is leg imagery on their watch, and looking to make some high profile examples.  Hopefully you will not be one of them, but you have to take this very seriously and be VERY polite (while not incriminating yourself).
2016-8-31
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PeteGould
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dearme11@live.c Posted at 2016-8-25 02:38
LOL I wish there was more to the story. I posted this because I'm super confused about it. The FAA w ...

To finish the thought: while you can follow this up yourself, it may not be advisable to do so.  Being cagey or arrogant will get you in deeper trouble.  Giving the government 100% of what they want, if it conclusively proves a Class B incursion, could result in an enormous fine, suspension or revocation of your Commercial ticket, or a criminal conviction for state or local law violations.  It could also result in nothing more than a stern warning.  A lawyer can often make the difference, and the time to engage one is BEFORE you end up in court or provide any further information to the government.

For others reading this thread: my forecast for the immediate future is that this is all about to get very ugly for awhile.  The FAA wants the entire nation to know how serious this stuff is.  I have no doubt that with the adoption of Part 107, effective the 29th of this month, they are going to come down like ten tons of bricks on what they see as cases that can be made high profile.  They will want the cases to make the national news.  They will want to put the fear of God into people who fly these aircraft now that they have unquestioned jurisdiction.  They don't have enough enforcement people to handle every case, so they will want to scare the nation into voluntary compliance when they find something they can all-out go after - and something the police thought was dangerous, conducted inside a Class B, has a starring role.  While I think they will focus more on those of us who fly commercially, I think they will also aggressively go after some hobbiest violations, especially around high-volume airports like JFK, LaGuardia, Midway, Atlanta, LAX etc.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I think this has to be taken very seriously.  I hope you're lucky enough to get your aircraft back with nothing more than a warning.  I guarantee that there will be others who will not be so lucky.
2016-8-31
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delcodrones
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Fisrt,  flying in a downtown area near a major airport, that is asking for trouble in my opinion
2016-9-3
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wingingit
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To the OP, if this sounds like I'm beating up on you I promise I'm not.  But you said you have an FAA pilot certificate and it doesn't sound like you're 100 percent confident of your exact distance from a very busy airport.  You need to take an FAA chart and use that to reference exactly how far away you were based on the FAA chart.  DJI has gotten very sophisticated with tools to assist you like GEO, but as Petegould (I think) mentioned, the FAA is going to use their charts.  

If it looks like you were too close then you have two options:

1.  Lawyer up.

2.  Come clean with them and explain what you used to determine you were a safe distance.  They don't care about anything but govt charts, but if you can show you put in the effort ahead of time using anything, they might lean towards a slap on the wrist.  In any investigation their first option is to use education if the violation wasn't something major.  And you didn't hurt anyone or damage any property.  Now in your case, as a commercial pilot, they are going to lean towards you should have known better versus someone that just bought a drone and has no aviation background.

So option one might be your best bet.  It just seems right now like you're already locked into an adversarial relationship with them anyway.  They want your card, you're telling them you don't have it (they know someone pulled it) and they don't believe you.  If they have to send your Inspire off to Washington and have the NTSB waste time on a quadcopter I promise you it will eventually be hammer time.  The NTSB budget is supposed to be spent analyzing black boxes from airline crashes, not a quadcopter.  So find out exactly where you were in relationship to the airspace corridors in that area and good luck.
2016-9-4
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RichJ53
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PeteGould Posted at 2016-8-31 04:54
I'm coming to this story late but I wanted to comment on some of the (mostly really, really bad) ad ...

Hi Pete,

I just saw your responses and wanted to thank you for taking the time to provide us with your insights on these matters. I think we tend to forget the big picture sometimes and I for one appreciate your experience and your examples.

Rich
2016-9-6
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PeteGould
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RichJ53 Posted at 2016-9-7 12:17
Hi Pete,

I just saw your responses and wanted to thank you for taking the time to provide us with ...

Thanks for the kind words.  I'm hoping we hear back from Dearme11 that this had a good outcome..,,
2016-9-6
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eggbeater
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Hazardous Attitudes and Antidotes
Being fit to fly depends on more than just a pilot’s physical condition and recent experience. For example, attitude affects the quality of decisions. Attitude is a motivational predisposition to respond to people, situations, or events in a given manner. Studies have identified five hazardous attitudes that can interfere with the ability to make sound decisions and exercise authority properly: anti-authority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho, and resignation. [Figure 10-2]
Hazardous attitudes contribute to poor pilot judgment but can be effectively counteracted by redirecting the hazardous attitude so that correct action can be taken. Recognition of hazardous thoughts is the first step toward neutralizing them. After recognizing a thought as hazardous, the pilot should label it as hazardous, then state the corresponding antidote. Antidotes should be memorized for each of the hazardous attitudes so they automatically come to mind when needed.

You are experiencing the first baby steps of the FAA authority over UAS.  They are looking for examples of people flying with hazardous thoughts and developing an antidote for the rest of us to use when we have one of those hazardous thought patterns.  
2016-9-9
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wwjclemd
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I agree... they are definitly looking to make an example of someone. I know it sucks that they took your drone. Truthfully, I'd be pissed too. However, knowing all these new laws and regulations are being put into effect, I suggest to tiptoe around for a while before even more rediculous legislation is thrown in our faces. Sucks u lost your drone bro, but atleast they didn't hit u with the absolutly rediculous fines u could get for unlawfully flying in class b airspace. Everyone is paranoid about privacy, terrorism, the end of the world.. ya know. Simply put, Drones still scare people. But the more waves u make, the more likely the FAA is gonna try and make you their poster child for what not to do. Just my opinion... good luck.
2016-9-9
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terrylewis
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While the DJI GO App provides rudimentery fly & no-fly zones. For US pilots, the FAA provides tools that can assist in pre-flight preparation.

While not perfect, the FAA smartphone app, B4UFLY, will take your smartphone location, map it, and will advise you if you can fly safely at that location. You can take a look at the FAA web site here -> Click here to go to the FAA, B4UFLY web site.

The app is available for both Android on the Google Play Store -> Click here to go to the Google Play Store
&
for iOS devices on iTunes App Store -> Click here to go to iTunes

Today, anyone taking flight with a drone should be aware of their flight envorinment. In the US, B4UFLY can confirm that your flight location is not within restricted airspace or within the boundary of an airfield. Notice that most large cities are very restricted and advanced preparation is often necessary. Midway has a southwestern extension that isn't reflected in the GO App.

Midway Class C

Midway Class C

Restricted Class C

Restricted Class C


2016-9-9
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DJI-Ken
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wwjclemd Posted at 2016-9-10 01:42
I agree... they are definitly looking to make an example of someone. I know it sucks that they took  ...

I personally know the FAA is going to start cracking down on people who fly where they are not supposed to. Just be careful where you fly and fly responsibly.
2016-9-9
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