Pirker Wins: Commercial UAV’s now Legal in US

TrappyA Raphael Pirker (aka Trappy) who is a member of what could be described as an FPV activist group known as Team Black Sheep has just WON an on-going legal battle with the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) over claims he flew a UAS/UAV/Drone for commercial gain which the FAA declared as “illegal activity”.

This victory has now rendered the commercial use of UAV’s legal (as long as you follow the FAA guidelines) in US air-space by default; The case (the first to be brought to court by the FAA for this type of offence) was dismissed by the judge who ruled there are no enforceable laws that cover the alleged offence.

The FAA had attempted to slap a $10,000 fine on Mr Pirker after he used an RC Plane to film a commercial for the University of Virginia; Although his lawyer, Brendan Schulman, fought the case, saying that the use of model aircraft had never been regulated by the FAA and that it’s entire case for making them “illegal,” was simple a 2007 policy notice, which was not legally binding.

So for the time being (at least) US citizens and businesses are free to fly un-manned remote control aircraft for commercial purposes. The FAA will probably try and establish an emergency ruling but its not clear how long that would take or even if it will happen.

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