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FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartford

Discussion in 'News' started by boomboom, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. boomboom

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  2. CoppellDarryl

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    So let me get this straight....

    1.) the accident was on a public roadway
    2.) the aircraft didn't cause the accident
    3.) the aircraft didn't appear till after the accident
    4.) the aircraft didn't film the body
    & 5.) no one says the guy was doing it commercially.

    Hmmm, better get the authorities investigating that quickly before more people don't do anything harmful in a public pace for recreational purposes.
     
  3. CaptainChet

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    ""“The presence of a drone at a crime scene for journalistic purposes is in violation of FAA regulations.”

    I know the FAR's pretty well and I've never seen this regulation! Pure speculation on the part of the media/or police department. Good luck with that one!
     
  4. thongbong

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Doesnt matter if he didn't break any written laws, he is still an idiot for flying over peoples heads. And other idiots like this guy will get us all banned from flying in our own backyards very quickly. It doesnt take the FAA to stop us flying in our own town, all it takes is a quick vote on city ordinance and you can kiss your rights good bye.
     
  5. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ ADMINISTRATOR
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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    I just assumed it fell under the 'no commercial use' ruling. While the story doesn't really confirm it, it seems the guy may have been gathering footage for use in a news story? I am basing that on the reason given by the authorities.
     
  6. Buk

    Buk

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Does this sound familiar:

    That paragraph is obviously, at least today, fictitious and is fabricated from a definition of the privilege of driving an automobile.

    While a single act may cause rules to be established by local, state or federal agencies. Anyone can take a peek at YouTube and see hundreds of acts that maybe deemed careless or dangerous by some individuals. Quite frankly there is probably an equal number of folks watching those videos and praising the number of videos filmed demonstrating flight beyond visual range, flights over historical monuments, flying over residential areas or flying over high traffic roads and highways.

    If you are concerned about losing what you perceive as a right, become an activist for your cause. Or if you are independently wealthy, hire a a lobbyist. Being concerned on a Phantom forum does nothing to protect your interests.

    While I may believe filming a dead body inappropriate for any news agency or bystanders with camera phones, I find the Hartford incident no more troubling than the multi-rotor flying over the Olympics. At least that is my opinion today, it maybe different as more incidents become published.
     
  7. petersachs

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Thanks for this post, Buk. A couple of comments I'd like to add:

    Legally, local and state agencies can only establish laws that apply to its own agencies, not the general public. Any other laws would be preempted by federal law. And any laws that would amount to an infringement of everyone's constitutional right to photograph anything in plain view from a public place will likely be struck down by the courts.

    I am intimately familiar in the Hartford "incident." To clarify, he didn't film a dead body. He photographed an overall scene from 150' in the air. I saw his photos of the incident, and nothing can be seen other than the overall view of the scene from above. (As opposed to the very close video clips that actually aired on TV, which were taken by the other journalists at ground level with their zoom lenses, and which showed quite clearly a blanket-covered body.)

    In my opinion, the Phantom operator in the Hartford "incident" did nothing wrong, legally or morally. He's a journalist and did what journalists do— cover news events. And if anyone thinks he did something "morally" wrong, then they ought to also think the other journalists at the same scene did something "immoral."

    Stay tuned for more on this "incident" very soon.
     
  8. Buk

    Buk

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Thank you for the correction. I should have said authorities as in municipalities and legislatures. For example, my local municipality has chosen to prohibit radio controlled flight in city parks and golf courses.

    You pique my interest, is there some web reference I could read to understand my constitutional right to photograph anything.

    Timing would be the difference between filming an exposed body versus a blanket covered body. The sooner you arrive the more you see. Distance from the scene would seem to be determined by the skill level of the model flyer.

    The increased ability of mobile devices to perform as cameras and the ability to send photos and videos to both on-line presentation services, i.e. YouTube and on-line and on-TV news gathering services, i.e. CNN or FoxNews has made many of us into de facto journalists already or is it pseudo-journalists?

    I look forward to being tuned in for additional information on this incident.
    Thank you.
     
  9. petersachs

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    The most popular website for this issue is http://photographyisnotacrime.com, which posts articles where the right to photograph has been infringed. A good summary of the law is posted at https://www.aclu.org/free-speech/know-y ... tographers

    As for drone law in general, my site, http://dronelawjournal.com has the law (or lack of law) laid out, at least as far as my legal opinion is concerned.

    Yes, I would agree that the sooner you arrive the great the "opportunity" to see something and capture something graphic. However, the media (with very limited exceptions) never shows graphic imagery anyway. It doesn't play well with the readers/viewers (or advertisers) so in additional to the ethical self-restraint, they don't show any for those viewership & sponsorship reasons.

    As for distance, yes, the closer the Phantom the more detail it would be able to photograph or videotape. He chose to fly at 150' rather than very low. That, in my mind was an exercise in good judgment, and was also way farther away from the scene than the ground-level journalists. (Although there would be nothing illegal about flying lower, provided he did not "interfere" with police, as that is defined under CT law.)

    :) I think "citizen journalist" is the popular term being used these days. But remember, you need not be a journalist to do this. Every person enjoys the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment, not just journalists.

    And thank you for chiming in. I actually appreciate opposing or different views. (Thinking alike all the time is boring.)
     
  10. Buk

    Buk

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Thank you for the discourse, I haven't formed an "informed" opinion of the various aspects of Phantom flight yet and hope to be challenged and challenge others. Although, learning proficient flight is a slight bit more of a priority. Gotta be ready for that FAA test. :eek:
     
  11. petersachs

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  12. spaceweasel

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Connecticut!

    Says "Constitution State" on the license plates.

    We ought to have a class action lawsuit for misrepresentation!
     
  13. OI Photography

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  14. petersachs

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    Re: Re:

    Often controversial, but superb. Think "F. Lee Bailey" or "Gerry Spence."
     
  15. OI Photography

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    Re: Re:

    Cool. As long as it doesn't end up being about him and not the case ;) It needs visibility, but not showboating.
     
  16. petersachs

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    The civil rights lawsuit was filed this morning in Federal District Court in Connecticut.

    Here's the complaint if you're interested:

    Pedro Rivera v. Foley, Yergeau & Hartford PD
     
  17. OI Photography

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Nice, thanks Peter.

    Looks like item 17 has some messed up wording at the end:

    "Upon information and belief, defendant Foley either requested that discipline beimposed upon the plaintiff by his employer, or suggested that the employer could maintain its goodwill with the employer by disciplining the plaintiff"

    (emphasis mine)

    Shouldn't that read "...the employer could maintain its goodwill with the Police Department by disciplining the plantiff"..?
     
  18. petersachs

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    Good catch! Yeah, he's aware of the typo. Amended Complaint will be filed. Thanks!
     
  19. Erroneous007

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    It will be interesting to see if he wins the lawsuit. That would help send a positive message I suppose (just like the Pirker case). Peter, I read on the FAA website that local authorities do not have jurisdiction in the NAS and that only the FAA can legislate that space. It said that any local regulations could not ban UAVs or other aircraft because any regulation would be superceded by the FAA regs. I assumed that meant that as long as you took off from private property (your's or another's with permission) they couldn't stop you from, say, flying over a City park. (Of course they could control the ground and takeoffs and landings there). (Not necessarily trying to do this, just trying to understand that current law.)
     
  20. petersachs

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    Re: FAA Investigating Possible Illegal Use of Drone at Hartf

    [Not legal advice]

    That is true. Only the federal government can regulate NAS under the doctrine of pre-emption. Any state law that steps on the feds toes (its exclusive jurisdiction) is pre-empted. A state can only regulate how public agencies within that state operate drones, not the way non-public agency people operate them. And all of these new state laws that are being proposed (and passed in some instances) will ultimately be tossed because they are either pre-empted by federal law, or in the case of attempts to limit photography, unconstitutional under the First Amendment.