Category Archives: Legal

Regulation, restrictions, lawsuits, criminal prosecution

Federal Judge Overturns City Drone Ordinance In First Ruling Of Its Kind

The City of Newton, MA, like many state and local governments, thought it could regulate drone flights in the airspace over its city limits.  It passed a law this past December that sought to ban unmanned aircraft flights below 400 feet, flights over private and public property without the landowner’s permission and to require local registration of drones.  A federal judge in Massachusetts ruled today that the City of Newton was wrong : it does not have that authority because it is preempted by the federal government.

Read the full story here.

Peeping Drone Pilot arrested in Chicago, Il.

A 52-year-old female “victim” observed the drone flying outside the 42nd floor of a condo tower in the 500 block of North Lake Shore Drive around 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

Amit Kleiman, 31, attempted to recover the drone when it landed on the third floor, police say.

He was taken into custody and charged with one count each of criminal trespass; reckless conduct; and breach of peace. Kleiman was also charged with two counts of having a small  unmanned aircraft, police say.

Read the full story here.

Racehorse hit by drone in parade ring incident at Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland

The drone was flying over the parade ring and briefly landed on the racehorse, St Killenagh, causing a commotion, after which the operator was approached by a delegation of senior Turf Club stewards.

Killarney racecourse manager Micheal Lucey has described the incident that led to Keith Watson’s runner St Killenagh being struck by a drone in the parade ring before he contested a handicap chase on Tuesday night as reckless.

“He was a tourist and I’m not sure he understood the gravity of what he was doing,” Lucey added. “But what happened was reckless, there’s no doubt about that.

“These things are small and easily disguised and brought into a racecourse. I’m not sure what protocols will have to be put in place to ensure they’re not there, but certainly advertising and signage to the effect that drones aren’t to be used and that prosecutions will follow if they are.”

Read the full story here.

 

Arrest made after drone used after drone used to smuggle 13 pounds of meth across Mexican border.

A 25-year-old U.S. citizen has been charged with using a drone to smuggle more than 13 pounds of methamphetamine from Mexico by drone

He used drones to smuggle drugs five or six times since March, typically delivering them to an accomplice at a nearby gas station in San Diego.

Border Patrol agents in San Diego allegedly saw the drone in flight on Aug. 8 and tracked it to Rivera about 2,000 yards from the Mexico border. Authorities say agents found Rivera with the methamphetamine in a lunch box and a 2-foot (0.6-meter) drone hidden in a nearby bush.

Read the full story here.

 

Drone discovered on airport taxiway at Bankstown, New South Wales, Australia.

The drone was discovered last Sunday on a taxiway during a routine morning inspection.

“It looks like it may have lost control after losing an engine because it was upside down,” Bankstown Airport chief executive officer Lee de Winton said.

Ms de Winton said the discovery is disappointing given Bankstown Airport’s efforts to highlight the dangers of drones.

Read the full story here.

A Gold Coast man was caught flying his drone near a chopper at Sea World

The drone pilot said he didn’t expect his flying device would come close to the helicopter.

“It was pretty sketchy how close it got,” he said.

Footage has emerged of Kian Van Dewiel flying his drone at The Spit this afternoon and swarming several beach goers before the aerial toy hovers near a Sea World chopper.

van Dewiel could face hefty fines of up to $20,000 after flying his drone under a helicopter near Sea World.

Read the full story here.

Arizona leads nation in illegal drones flying over wildfires.

Arizona’s lengthy list of wildfires so far in 2017 has correlated with another unfortunate distinction. The Grand Canyon State also has seen the most number of illegal drone flights above those fires.

There have been seven recorded drone flights over wildfires this year.

Flying over forest fires is illegal because it causes dangerous flight risks for helicopters and airplanes fighting flames.

Gene Alan Carpenter of Prescott Valley pleaded not guilty on Thursday in Mayer Justice Court and remains free after posting a $25,000 bond for flying his drone over the Goodwin Fire on June 24, shortly after it began.

Read the full story here.

Homeland Security concerned about drone terror strikes in the U.S.

The Islamic State has made great strides developing and using drone technology to attack opposition forces in the Middle East.

A study by the RAND Corporation said the advantage that drones provide to terrorists “is not, therefore, in the destructive power that they can carry; rather, it is in the way they carry it and the distance from which they allow an adversary to control its delivery. The value of this advantage to an adversary and, as a result, the likely attractiveness of these systems will therefore be driven by the benefits of aerial attack in solving specific operational problems.”

Read the full story here.

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