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Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TFW, Jun 30, 2015.
Came across this in this mornings paper.
Ya can read about it in news more http://www.phantompilots.com/threads/woman-knocked-unconscious-by-drone.46570/unread
I wouldn't say criminal, unless there is a law against it. Civil only.
Dont know about the FAA's powers in the US, as far as i know it has no enforcement powers as such, however in the UK that would possibly result in a prosecution by the CAA.
They prosecuted a guy for flying within 50m of a bridge when his plane went 'out of control' so they would probably (and quite rightly in this case) have a field day with violating the 150m exclusion zone around crowded areas.
Yes as much as the FAA tries to bully us. They really don't have as much legal power as they think. They can enforce commercial operations involving aircraft of any size which is the only reason they're trying to get us all to apply for commercial use. That's they're only legal loophole is the "commercial use" aspect.
As far as prosecutions in the US. Don't quote me but I believe they treat this as an automobile to some extent. Obviously if you crash your car into Ms. Mulberries garage. She can go after you for payment but the police will have nothing to do with you except a police report for insurance reasons. Unless you've been drinking but that's another story.
The injury and compensation is a civil matter. The FAA can issue a citation for something like reckless flying if they want. This would make the civil case much easier to win.
Only way it would be criminal offense would be if some one deliberately hit some one with there drone then it would be assault with a weapon. Even if they just picked it up and smashed it over some ones head it would still be the same.
Blasphemer! I can't even imagine using my Phantom is such a way!!
The local police can charge the operator with leaving the scene of an accident. He did finally turn himself in but no charges have been filed yet.
The FAA tries to "bully us"? Have they ever contacted you? Ever? Do you even know anyone who has been contacted by the FAA?
There has only been ONE drone pilot charged with flying a personal drone for commercial purposes without a commercial pilot's certificate, and an NTSB Administrative Law Judge dismissed that in the first hearing saying that the FAA has no rules for model aircraft. The FAA did not appeal that dismissal, but they did appeal the dismissal of the 91.13 "Careless and Reckless" charge. The full NTSB decided that the FAA can enforce 91.13 on anything that flies, and sent the case back to the first ALJ to decide if the flight meets the level of "careless and reckless" in 91.13. The operator settled for a small amount ($1,100, the original fine assessed was $10,000) with no admission of guilt.
If you fly for a hobby then the Part 107 Commercial Drone Operator's Certificate won't apply to you. Just realize that the AMA guidelines will be codified in the rules eliminating BLOS and solo FPV flight.
BTW, the injuries were minor, treated at the scene and no hospitalization required.
Can someone explain the liability difference of somebody being injured by a falling UAV or a baseball/softball in or around a public park and/or gathering? Or, perhaps a golf ball hitting someone or damaging property away from a course or driving range? (I assume people playing on a course or parking in the lot have accepted the potential risk of being struck by a golf ball?)
I don’t think we should ever fly over unprepared crowds of people or busy roadways but in the event of a fly-away and/or system malfunction and UAV strikes someone or damages property - I feel we’re just as responsible as if it were your swing or errant throw of a ball in the above example.
I certainly wouldn't consider it criminal. Accidents happen and that's why they're called "accidents".
Well, for one, they "chose" to be around falling baseballs/softballs. They've not volunteered to sit/stand under falling drones. But yeah, without "malice", it seems it would still be a civil matter. I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.
What about people who’re not participants and just happen to be in the vicinity or walk by playgrounds and/or ballparks and get hit by balls? How about a car/house window that gets broken from a flying ball? Or, a bicyclist crashes into someone? Or, the parking brake on a parked car fails and it rolls into someone? It all falls under liability for civil damages and injuries but nothing criminal or malicious about it....
Yes, you're correct.
I think also when it comes to some one getting hit by a base ball or a golf ball out side of some place thats a baseball Field or a golf course. The liability would lie with the insurance on the property. The city next to mine has a city owned golf course that has a main road that runs right threw it and cars are always getting hit by balls that make it over the nets and the city is who always has to pay out not the person playing golf on the field.
It's only a matter of time before a golf ball kills someone. Oh, wait, it already happens a few times every year. (http://golf.heraldtribune.com/2010/11/29/death-by-golf-ball-not-all-that-uncommon/)
Good points all, thank you. That’s in line with how San Diego (and probably others) work with local flying club(s) on city property. Must be insured member of AMA to use those designated/leased locations.
The obvious wrinkle may be unauthorized use of a public “play area”? Interesting topic to be sure…
Actually, if the cops request charges and send the report to a DA who's really bored that day the operator, if found, could be charged with endangerment. Like all laws, it's all about how the DA applies it.
Here's the AZ law:
13-1201. Endangerment; classification
A. A person commits endangerment by recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.
B. Endangerment involving a substantial risk of imminent death is a class 6 felony. In all other cases, it is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Please don't beat me up about it, I'm just the messenger.
A DA would never pursue that charge in a minor injury case. There would have to be a substantial injury and even some intent to get that charge... unless the DA was trying to make a name for themselves. I don't see a DA wasting their budget on that type of charge unless they were trying to set precedent and be somebody. If there is political pressure on the DA, he'll act. No pressure or public outcry, nothing will be done.
I would never say never, it's all about prosecutor office policy, politics, which way the wind is blowing, how tight were his shorts that morning, did he have a fight with the wife last night, is it election year, etc. "Recklessness" is a different state of mind, it requires a different standard than intentional. My county attorney (DA) is 100% politician and a "drone" prosecution would make page 1 in local newspaper. After he got all the press, you'd get off with a small fine. I would not want to have a battery go bad and hit someone on the head in my county...I'd be dead meat.