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French teenager with UAV charged with endangering lives

Discussion in 'Phantom 2 Discussion' started by Peter Evans, Feb 14, 2014.

  1. Peter Evans

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    A French teenager has been arrested and charged with "endangering the lives of others" after flying a UAV and camera over the city of Nancy.

    The French daily newspaper 'Le Figaro' has run the story with a photo of a Phantom at the head of the article. I have no idea whether the student was flying a Phantom or not.

    I've now found a French newspaper from Nancy with what seemed to be a reasonable telling of the story. I've translated it below

    "The court of Nancy is prosecuting a young man because he filmed the city with a drone and posted a video on the Internet. After 400,000 views the authorities finally took an interest and the teenager has now been charged with "endangering the lives of others ."

    Thomas Nans, aged 18 from Nancy, is being prosecuted for having made a video from the air of the old town. The young man, still in high school, is nicknamed by some "a teen-entrepreneur " because he has already created two companies: one in the communications business, the other in the rental of cameras and drones.

    In late January, under a cloudless blue sky, he equipped one of his drones with a camera and filmed breathtaking images of the old town and the famous Place Stanislas from a new angle, keeping close to the buildings' beautiful facades. When he posted the video it became very popular, gaining 400,000 views in two weeks. It was a great stunt for the young entrepreneur, but his joy was short-lived.

    Rumor has it that it was a jealous competitor who alerted the authorities. Thomas fell foul of the Directorate of Civil Aviation and also, last Monday, by police who summoned him because the young man was in breach of the decrees governing the use of unmanned aircraft which were issued in 2012 . Users of such craft must undergo training similar to those of aircraft pilots and must get a special authorization if they wish to fly a drone over urban space. Finally, the camera is also a problem with respect to privacy laws.

    Hans says he did not realize that what he was doing was illegal. He will appear in court in the coming months charged with "endangering the lives of others." This is a first in France and something that will obviously set a precedent. More and more individuals are equipping drones with cameras. They were one of the best Christmas sales. Very often young users are unaware of the risk of a crashes... and the law."
     
  2. Peter Evans

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  3. runeste

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    The laws and regulations is becoming steadily harder, and thats not a bad thing.
    This makes people that wants to use them, make an effort to aquire the correct authorizations, and perhaps do some training.
    These things are after all, be it small, aircrafts, and can inflict immense damage in a worst case scenario.

    In Norway we have to apply for a license with the Norwegian Security Authority, as well as get a authorization for the aviation government to fly out of sight, or higher than 122 metres.

    All good, just take the time, fill out the paperwork. The "prick" down the street who just wants a epeen will either do it illegally, get caught, or just dont do it at all. Weeds out some people who just as well are kept away from it all.
     
  4. SARC

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    It's a nice video. He seems to be pretty good at flying it. I am starting to get increasingly worried about the publics reaction to quadcopters and I think this is the first of many such incidents. You can see it from the different points of view.......... his angle is he is creating and documenting something of historic value, getting publicity for his company, and he is not damaging anything in the process. The authorities angle can be the thing could fall out of the sky at any minute and kill someone (possible but EXTREMELY unlikely). The truth is somewhere in between. Has he increased the publics risk of being there ? Yes, but no more than if one member of the public decides to start reading a text message while he's crossing the road.

    As per a few other posts, I recently took my P2 to Bora Bora and got some great fun footage with it, but it was the first time I got complaints about it too (too noisy, shouldn't be here, privacy, etc, etc) These complaints came from people who had rented over water bungalows which were on the flight path of the incoming airport traffic, surrounded by jetskis and motorboats whizzing around, near and under their bungalows regularly). I was flying about 600 feet up in the air. I could hardly see the P2 nevermind hear it.

    One of the key things for me in getting a P2 (my first ever radio controlled anything) was the video and photography aspect, which kind of demands you are flying around something interesting. We go to a dog park at the weekend because here in CA you can't let your dog off leash in public places. So this dog park is a fenced in area where owners can go and let their dogs off leash in a confined enclosed space. I really hope there is never a need for a "Phantom park" where we all go to fly within 2 feet of each other in a cage :-(

    I'm ok with runestes points. I don't mind registering/training/certification but at the end of it I actually want to fly the thing over stuff that's interesting, not around a barren wasteland field in the middle of nowhere
     
  5. Ozzyguy

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    Unfortunalty because of the blaze` attitude of even some people on this site more regulation is inevitable(look I flew my phantom to 2000ft etc). If people were sensible there would be less rules.
     
  6. Ozzyguy

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    If you think the aviation administration isn't reading posts like that and scratching their heads trying to think of laws to prevent it,
    then you are mistaken. Some common sense is called for.
     
  7. aoatley

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  8. Magnumb

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    In Canada for instance, an unmanned (drone) aircraft (regardless of size) falls under the classification of a 35lb + aircraft. All rules and regulations governing that 35 lb aircraft now apply to your 10 lb quad.

    Paperwork required to become legitimate is draconian and onerous to say the least, and places even stricter rules, such as, 90 meters clearance from buildings. (Like that's required on your friends farm)

    The authorities in many countries are making huge mistakes in how they are handling certification for these machines. They should be doing anything and everything to bring as many "drone" users under their umbrella of standards, vs miring people in paperwork and red tape.

    This would allow a standard to be set for drone users of machines 15 lbs or less that would be both attainable, educational and more importantly, help fulfil the mandate of many civil aviation authorities, to keep safety at the forefront.

    The more onerous the process the less likely anyone will bother and you will continue to have issues such as this.

    The charges brought against this guy are likely based on some old law...so in Canada, if I did the same thing with my 10 lb machine, I would be charged like I was flying a 35 lb drone. Which is just ridiculous.

    Countries all over are getting it wrong, and while the issue is real, so are the opportunities to bring so many of these users into the fold in a way that sets standards for equipment and safety in a way that doesn't scare people off, but brings them in so they can help get others involved in the hobby safely.

    Just my two cents. I've written as much to Transport. Canada who is rather far ahead of the game in handling "drones" vs many other countries like the US etc. but Canada is blowing it two. And until they figure this out, Canada will be full of mavericks like any other country.
     
  9. dave_milne

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    I reckon it is only a matter of time before they are banned full stop. Round about the time some terrorist realises they can equip one with a lb of semtex and remotely pilot it into a crowded city centre.

    Ignoring that grotesque scenario, the number of posts on flyaways, highlighting either software issues, pilot inexperience, power lines, wifi interference or your generally preferred explanation, would indicate that drones are not fit for purpose for flying over city centres, lacking redundant backup systems on motors and electronics, encrypted digital communication etc etc, piloted unregistered by people without any insurance even if they are skilled.

    It is just a matter of time before the inevitable accident and 1.3kg comes down on someone's head.

    It seems clear to me that the sensible idea is to fly them at low altitude in LOS in the countryside. Sorry to be a killjoy. I'm a newbie with a P2 so feel free to disregard my opinion...
     
  10. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    This poor kid did more for the city of Nancy than any of their town officials have in years and now he's potentially looking at a prison sentence. Where do I donate to his defense fund???
     
  11. robdrone

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    I completely agree!
     
  12. dcrainmaker

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    Hi All, first time poster.

    This particular post caught my eye because my Phantom actually just arrived this weekend (though, I just arrived home so I haven't unboxed it yet), but more importantly - I recently relocated to France/Paris.

    In doing some searching, I'm trying to find out exactly how I go about procuring said license of sorts that's apparently required. Can any folks (likely French) point me in the direction of how to get it? Or any detail on what it takes to get?

    Just want to ensure I'm doing everything correctly. Thanks!
     
  13. Peter Evans

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    Hi and welcome to the forum. I was a newcomer four weeks ago :)

    Here's what I've found in my own researches so far (sorry, but I don't offer a general translation service!) :

    http://www.helicomicro.com/drones-respect-de-la-loi-5/
    http://www.drone-rc.com/reglementation
    http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichTexte.do?cidTexte=LEGITEXT000025860151&dateTexte=20140214

    Note, buried towards the bottom of the second link down, under the heading 'KBis', there is a lot of detail on using for commercial photographic purposes a drone with an all-in weight of less than 2kg (yep, 'un drone' is the official French generic term for this type of aircraft).

    The question posed is, "I want to take photos of the Brittany coast from an altitude of 100 metres which will be for business purposes. What do I need?"

    "KBis (le cas des professionnels)

    Question : Je veux faire des prises de vues de la côte Bretonne, depuis une altitude de 100 mètres, que je vais commercialiser. Que me faut-il?

    Réponse « légale » : Un appareil équipé d’une caméra ou d’un appareil photo classe vos prises de vues comme « activités particulières » (Article 3, a). Supposons que vous choisissiez un quadricoptère de moins de 2 kilogrammes, tout équipé. Il est considéré comme un « aéronef télépiloté » de « catégorie D » (Article 4). Puisque vous pratiquez des « activités particulières », l’article 9 indique que les dispositions à adopter sont décrites par l’Annexe II. Supposons que les vols que vous désirez effectuer se passent à bonne distance de tout rassemblement de personnes ou d’animaux, vous êtes en « scénario S-1 » (Annexe II, 1.3). Le « scénario S-1 » et la « catégorie D » sont compatibles (Annexe II, 1.4.1). Côté documents, il vous faut :

    Un MAP, Manuel d’Activités Particulières (Annexe II, 3.1).
    Une DNC, Déclaration de Niveau de Compétence (Annexe II, 4.3.1).
    Une déclaration annuelle d’activité (Annexe II, 3.8).
    Une connaissance opérationnelle des cartes aéronautiques de la zone de vol.
    Un brevet théorique de pilote ULM, avion ou planeur (Annexe II, 4.2.1).

    Côté matériel. Il vous faut :

    Apposer une étiquette de 10×5 cm avec votre nom, adresse et numéro de téléphone (Annexe II, 5.1.4).
    Disposer d’un altimètre barométrique pour obtenir l’altitude du quadricoptère en temps réel et la limiter automatiquement (Annexe II, 2.2.1).
    Disposer d’un système « fail-crash » pour forcer un atterrissage en cas de problème (Annexe II, 2.2.2).
    Disposer d’une fonction d’indication de la position GPS du quadricoptère (Annexe II, 2.2.3).
    Disposer d’un enregistreur des informations des 20 dernières minutes du vol (Annexe II , 2.2.5).

    Côté opérationnel :

    Vous devez effectuer une reconnaissance préalable de la zone de vol et vous enquérir de la météo, définir une zone de protection, vérifier avant le décollage la conformité du vol avec le MAP, et du bon fonctionnement du quadricoptère (Annexe II, Appendice II-2, B, 1.1).
    Vous ne pouvez voler qu’en vue directe de votre quadricoptère (Article 8, 1).
    Vous ne pouvez pas voler à une distance horizontale de plus de 100 mètres de votre position (Annexe II, 1.3).
    Vous ne pouvez pas voler à une altitude supérieure à 150 mètres.
    Vous ne pouvez pas voler à moins de 30 mètres d’une personne hormis vous-même (Annexe II, Chapitre III, 3.10.4).
    Vous ne pouvez pas voler à proximité d’un aéroport ou aéroclub (Arrêté B, article 4.2).

    Notez que si vous désirez filmer les clochers des villages aux alentours, vous passez en « scénario S-3 », vols urbains, qui vous oblige à obtenir une autorisation préfectorale et à disposer d’un enregistreur des informations des 20 dernières minutes de vol (Annexe II, 2.2.5). Réponse « bon sens » : dans le cas d’une activité professionnelle, il est impératif de vous conformer aux exigences de l’arrêté du 11 avril 2012, donc à la réponse « légale ». La question a souvent été posée sur les forums : peut-on faire agréer un Phantom de DJI ? La réponse est non, la machine n’est pas compatible avec les exigences des arrêtés. Mais il est possible d’y parvenir en effectuant des modifications sérieuses de l’appareil (changement du Naza-M par un Wookong, changement de la radio, ajout d’un OSD)… qui alourdissent la facture et requièrent des bidouilles matérielles. Mieux vaut opter pour un engin adapté pour éviter des déconvenues. Le Phantom 2 a fini par être homologué par la DGAC (voir ici), moyennant quelques modifications. Théoriquement, tous les modèles de Phantom peuvent être homologués eux-aussi.
    Quelques liens importants

    Le fil Twitter de la DGAC (Direction Générale de l’Aviation Civile) https://twitter.com/DGACfr.
    Le site du Ministère de l’Ecologie, du Développement durable et de l’Energie, auquel est rattachée la DGAC, se trouve ici.

    Et un dernier point ?

    Vous voulez contourner la loi ? Voici une manière de le faire. A vous de juger si elle en vaut la peine
     
  14. Peter Evans

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    I meant to ask, did you buy your Phantom from Studiosport.fr?

    If so, DO NOT fly it or unpack the props or put any stickers on the arms. Take some photos outdoors at 100 ISO (just open a window and shoot something with some detail outdoors). Then check the resultant image from the RAW (.dng) file on your computer at 100%. If the image is poor (e.g. soft on the left, right, or even totally), send the whole thing back.

    In fact, even if you bought elsewhere, I'd recommend that you do this.
     
  15. dcrainmaker

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    First, really appreciate all the detail above, been reading through it now. Still sifting through it all, but the first link is great for me. I'm not interested in doing professional photography work, so that should help me on the KBIS side (not dealing with that). The first link outlines my scenarios quite well, including even the Bois de Vincennes and using a Phantom with camera. In general, it appears that I'm largely good in un-populated areas as long as I'm using common sense and not violating a slightly confusing set of height/distance regs.

    As for purchase, no, unfortunately not. I had initially just ordered it on Amazon.fr, which sub'd it out to Globe Sports elsewhere in the Eu. Appreciate the heads up on StudioSport though, good to have some French options.

    Thanks again!
     
  16. Peter Evans

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    I just edited my post above. Studiosport is not a good option!!
     
  17. dcrainmaker

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    Ahh, thanks for the heads up. I'm a bit lucky in that I went for the Phatom 2 with the gimbal, so no camera included.
     
  18. Peter Evans

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    OK. Yes, of course. I forgot which section of the forum I was in! :oops:

    I don't know how well you know the French as a people but I was talking about this issue over dinner with some French friends on Saturday night and they told me a joke that the French have about themselves and their bureaucracy. They said, "In the UK and the USA, you can do what you like unless there's a law saying that you can't. In France you can't do anything unless there's a law that says you can." :lol:
     
  19. goldfishrock

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    Sensible and also the law. In the UK the CAA stipulates that you have to operate the drone below 400ft / 120m altitude and within 500m horizontally (amongst other things). A little light beadtime reading.....

    http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP722.pdf

    It's all common sense at the end of the day. We all know what these things are capable of and we are all very aware of the ramifications of one of these going wrong at altitude / at speed around people and property. I would say the majority of us operate our Phantoms responsibly but as others have said, it only takes one...... :eek:

    This poor lad in France seems to find himself on the end of some pretty rough justice. I was planning on taking my P2 with me to the South of France this summer but I am having second thoughts now.... I wouldn't want to give ‘Les Gendarmes’ any excuse to confiscate my pride and joy.
     
  20. qtluong

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