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Prosecutions?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by upinair, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. upinair

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    Has anyone in the UK been prosecuted for flying for a commercial purpose unlicensed?

    I've read lots and lots about the need for CAA registration, but can't find anywhere what the penalties might be.

    For the record, I fly for fun but have found that my employer woud benefit from some aerial pics. I would get no extra payment for this, but I suppose it could be deemed to be flying for commercial reward.
     
  2. Audaciter

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    Location:
    Sunnyvale, California, USA
    It's time to have a conversation with your employer.... You are the one taking the risk, while they get the reward.
    Will they pay the fines if you are penalized ? Talk about risk, vs. reward. Is the cost of getting licensed more than
    the benefit of the aerial photos ? If so, stop shooting them. It may be fun, and may get you some attention, but
    believe me, It's not going to be the thing that saves your job, if cutbacks are made, or there is an accident while shooting.
     
  3. upinair

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    Because the site I work at is out in the countryside it's been a great place for me to practice flying. One photo I took already hangs in the office and looks pretty good. I'm expecting to be asked to go to other sites and take similar pictures, and that's where I'm concerned it could be seen as commercial flying.

    In the UK it seems a licence, exams, insurance etc would cost me around 1500 to 2000 pounds.

    And... I can't find one instance of anyone actually having been prosecuted, or what the fine / charge would be. I presume it would be only a civil matter, so no criminal prosecution?
     
  4. DeweyAXD

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    I feel your pain my friend. I have a load of applications that I could use the Phantom for commercially with my web design work and plenty of customers that, when discussing the phantom casually, have expressed interest. I'm playing it safe at the moment and not risking it but then i own my business so my company reputation is at stake.

    I'm of the opinion that you are highly unlikely to get found out and proving a case all the way to full prosecution would be so expensive for the CAA that it would outweigh the fine. 'Getting away with it' though is not going to be much fun. You/your employer won't be able to advertise the services as that in itself exposes you to willful misconduct. While you are employed by the offender, you as the owner/pilot may find that it is you that are hit with a penalty should they wish to make an example of you too.

    Of course posting your original comment on here won't help as it is traceable to your IP address and is proof that you are aware of the law now so you can't plead ignorance if you get caught and they find this place (how will you sleep at night!) :lol:

    My advice... just be sensible. A picture here and there on a wall is not going light up the radar. Advertising a business online that uses shows regular use of aerial photography/video may cause an issues if it is found/reported. I'd not risk it myself... like many government organisations across the globe the CAA in the UK likely don't have a sense of reason when it comes to this. It is black or white. Technically you/your employer will be deemed as risking harm to people/property for the sake of monetary gain due to operating without appropriate license/training (and hence insurance).... sounds over exagerated but just think how a prosecution lawyer would put it :roll:
     
  5. upinair

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    Thanks for that.

    To be honest my thoughts have now moved on a bit, and I'm now considering doing the BNUC qualification. With the exam fees, accommodation, travel, expenses and liability insurance I'm probably looking at 3k to get going. I can see an obvious market for aerial images, but in my opinion it'll be a short term one or two year market before it becomes saturated by new entrants pushing the returns down.

    Anyhow, I'm still interested to find deatils of a successful prosecution for flying unlicenced...
     
  6. The Editor

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    Why not ask your employer to foot the bill? You could offer them £3,000 of service to them without invoicing upon gaining your qualifications. After all, it is they who asked is it not? In any event, they won't pay for it as it will be tax deductible !!

    You would have full qualifications payed for by your company, they get 'service to the value of' AND a tax deductible 'cost.
    The most you would possibly have to pay is the tax based on a benefit in kind (although that is debatible since you could call it training!)

    Everyone wins!!