Fly them while we still can... Another nail in the coffin

Jan 29, 2015
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We need a specific forum for "the sky is falling" posts. I think it actually should be named that.
I guess it's just my imagination that every time these incidents happen our beloved congress along with the FAA don't start thinking about more restrictions.
You must be young and don't know how it used to be. I can tell this, it didn't used to be this way.
Nov 27, 2013
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Really they should make a example out of him toss him in jail and big fine . No fly zone means No fly zone . Just more amo for the enemy . You just can not fix stupid .
Aug 27, 2014
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Westford, MA
Really they should make a example out of him toss him in jail and big fine . No fly zone means No fly zone . Just more amo for the enemy . You just can not fix stupid .

All that is likely to come of this is a policy asking the manufacture/sales of personal drones be accompanied with the FAA rules summary. And even that is unlikely considering various jurisdictions (FAA, Customs, The United States International Trade Commission)- who has the authority to force importers to notify the buyers? I don't know, but I can see the FAA struggling to make a rule that has nothing to do with flight since personal drones are not FAA type certified they don't have any authority over import or sales. The FAA is very unlikely to go the certification route because the cost to the FAA would be huge and to turn the Phantom into a certified aircraft would raise the cost to the end users by thousands of dollars per unit. ("... just to gain FAA approval for a new GA-type airplane might cost $25 million…" [cite]). I can't think of an alphabet jurisdiction that has the authority to unilaterally require notification at the point of sale. Individual states could. congress can, but either of those would take months.

As much as you would like to throw the book at the operator to make an example of him, realize that the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment does not permit selective enforcement "to make an example". We're better than that.

There have been lots of inadvertent flights into the Washington DC no-fly zone since 2001. "... almost 2,800 violations have been recorded so far [November 9, 2003], about half of them in the Washington ADIZ and Camp David TFRs. The zone around the president's ranch in Crawford, Texas, and the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, also rack up high numbers, as do the traveling TFRs that follow the president around the country." [[cite ]

FAA enforcement is civil, not criminal. They have to refer a violation to the DOJ to get criminal charges. All the FAA can do is civil fines and certificate action. TFR and ADIZ violations have always been handled as a civil issue. Usually a retest for their pilot qualifications and a fine.

"In a Nov. 26 [2007] letter to AOPA President Phil Boyer, [FAA Acting Administrator Bobby] Sturgell wrote, 'I want to reassure you that pilots who commit inadvertent violations of TFRs protecting security airspace are not subject to criminal charges and fines under 49 U.S.C. 46307. The FAA will refer to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution only TFR violations of National Defense Airspace that involve Knowing or willful conduct.'" [cite]

Considering how many thousands of personal drones are in the public's hands, it should not surprise anyone that many of the owners are completely unaware of the rules. This incident will likely be handled just like the many manned aircraft flights into the no-fly zones have been handled.
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