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French teenager with UAV charged with endangering lives

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

  1. Peter Evans

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  2. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
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  3. pault

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    It does seem a bit heavy handed but it is definitely not good news for people flying drones in France. I do not know how French law works but if the guy loses in court and is found guilty it might be taken as a precedent which would rule out flying in most scenic places when the public are present. I wonder what their attitude would be if one would get up very early and fly when there are only street cleaners etc around .....
     
  4. Peter Evans

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  5. Peter Evans

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  6. Pull_Up

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    1. Beautiful city!

    2. I can see why he got into trouble, that's a very built-up area.

    3. I can see why the local government were pee'd off too - some of those close fly-by's of public buildings/monuments were very close, and some of the low-level stuff on pedestrian footpaths and accesses was pretty reckless.

    4. I'm assuming that he did all this without permission, without a spotter to keep members of the public safe and without any liability insurance.

    Endangering lives? That seems a bit heavy. Reckless as to whether or not his actions could cause personal injury or damage to property? In the absence of any evidence to the contrary I'd say that's about right...
     
  7. Peter Evans

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    I 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."
     
  8. mem_ny

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    Many of us who really enjoy this hobby, both experienced and new, tend to underestimate standards and responsibilities necessary for safety. Many of us are jaded because we "think" we're in control.

    For the outside world looking in, however, the bottom line is that flying over people in populated areas is irresponsible under any standard. Last fall, we had an idiot flying in midtown Manhattan. He was arrested.

    http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/investigators&id=9292217

    We've had people in this forum posting videos of their drones chasing natural wildlife. Absolutely moronic. In most jurisdictions, and whether you agree or not, it is a crime to harass wildlife.

    As an attorney in New York, dealing with law enforcement personnel, they are acutely aware of the hazards and threats of posed by drones, not only for photographing sensitive areas, but also for delivering payloads. One of the most popular topics in this forum is FVP range. I personally am among those engrossed with the topic. Take a step back and think about it however. The dangers are significant and very real.

    My point is that the inappropriate and irresponsible use of drones is extremely damaging to those of us who use them responsibly.

    Stories like this, for many jurisdictions, will accelerate the ultimate ban on our hobby. Let's not be naïve. I think it's inevitable.
     
  9. pault

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    Very strongly agree
    (o/t apols)
    Edit: what we need is to draw up our own voluntary Code of Conduct before someone does it for us.
     
  10. Pull_Up

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    There is precedent for forming a "virtual" flying club with rules and codes to which members agree to adhere. fpvuk.org in the UK is one such, and its clear rules and good name have helped to get the UK CAA to relax further the limits of its exemption for immersive FPV pilots who abide by the strict guidelines.

    Perhaps we need a more general, worldwide virtual flying club for general recreational UAV pilots who aren't at the bleeding edge and do want to act and be seen to act with responsibility.

    Trouble is real life committees are bad enough, let alone trying to run a worldwide virtual one...
     
  11. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
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    Aside from the obvious fact that this is creating negative publicity for us, it also demonstrates the fact that you don't necessarily have to get "caught in the act" in order to run afoul of the law and create bad publicity. As mem_ny said...

    I think he was absolutely in the wrong to be flying in a highly populated area to begin with. We all need to be aware of the fact that UAVs (drones, whatever) are a trending topic with the media. They just LOVE to glom onto stories like this, over sensationalize them, blow them out of proportion, distort the facts, misquote everyone involved and generally tailor the news to fit their agenda and whatever print or air space they have available. IMHO we should make it a point not to give them any ammo...

    -slinger
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    The video is blocked in the US for some reason so can't see whether or not he was truly reckless or not. Surely there's a way to film in built-up areas without putting people at risk or having to jump through major bureaucratic hoops. I think the issue is that any idiot can pick up a Phantom or something bigger and fly it into a crowd of people. But does that mean even with reasonable precautions taken, one shouldn't fly in a built-up area? That would be too bad.

    And I can't help but think these examples are simply political fodder that gets bureaucrats and press frothing at the mouth. And with the volume of drone videos made in built-up areas, seems the biggest mistake this guy made was making his video too good.
     
  13. flyshasta

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    +1


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  14. marcus600

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    Why have a drone with camera if you can’t get good video like this guy did. Go out to open field and get same video over and over? boring. I think it more about privacy with government they can to it but we can’t. GREAT JOB ON THE VIDEO need to see more. :)
     
  15. Jre

    Jre

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    As beautiful as it may be I wouldn't want to live in France with laws like that. And if in 2015/2016 I need a pilot's license to fly my quad in the U.S., I'll seriously start looking for another place to live.
     
  16. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Finally got to watch the video. I don't get it. I see nothing wrong with it. I don't see any undue risks being taken. It looks like he had control over his machine at all times and wasn't flying aggressively. He kept a reasonable distance above crowds.

    What I see makes me want to go back to France to appreciate the architecture! And if I went, I'd bring my P2 and do EXACTLY the same thing! They shouldn't be punishing this kid. They should be giving him an award for doing a better job of promoting his city than any tourist board ever has! Good for him!

    People saying it was risky and he shouldn't have done it sound just like the politicians trying to be authoritative on "drones". This is what the Phantom was made to do! With reasonable precautions, there is no reason why this type of filming should be prevented.

    People drive cars in built-up areas and at least here in the US, you can be blind, limbless and and in a coma and probably still pass the driving test. So if a 16 year old girl can legally sit behind the wheel of a 4 ton death wagon from hell in an area chock full of people, then I should be able to film architecture with a 2kg "drone" without some politician using me as an example for their own personal gain.
     
  17. kloader

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    I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg on drone crackdowns by our respective governments. Just wait until one of our pals putting their UAVs up to 1,000 foot-plus in the air results in a mid-air collision with a piloted aircraft. It's going to happen. I expect we will then be reduced to flying our drones under 200 feet, or less, and only in approved locations. Enjoy while you can.
     
  18. Jre

    Jre

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    +1
     
  19. gunslinger

    gunslinger Moderator
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    +1

    And if she happens to be texting at the time, she'll get a light slap on the wrist... I doubt she'd be charged with endangering lives... Good point...
     
  20. iResq

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    I can view it just fine.