$10K fine for drone recording tornado damage?

$10K fine for drone recording tornado damage?

The Federal Aviation Administration, is looking into another matter dealing with a remote control pilot using a drone to record the tornado disaster in Arkansas. You will recall that the agency previously try to levy a fine against Raphael Pirker, a videographer whose company ‘Team Black Sheep’ uses drones to capture unique footage. Pirker won that case, which is being appealed by the FAA.  In a recent move by the FAA as reported by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on Tuesday. “The FAA has initiated a probe into the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to gather aerial footage of the terrible scene in Arkansas, where at least 14 people died over the past few days due to the tornados. One of the worst hit areas was Mayflower, Arkansas, located just 40 minutes away from the state capital of Little Rock, where over a dozen people died.”

The incident involved a storm chaser and videographer Brian Eminger who sought to help the public understand just how bad the disaster was by sending a drone equipped with a video camera over Mayflower just moments after the storms had passed.  He posted a short video on YouTube, which attracted nearly two million views within just 48 hours.  The video showed emergency crews sifting through rubble where homes and buildings once stood. The images proved that the small Arkansas town was unrecognizable compared to just hours before. check it out here:

Eminger’s drone measures approximately 18 inches wide with small propellers that are about eight inches long, he told the Gazette. He used it in the past to help a local TV station obtain footage of a hotel fire in Hot Springs, Arkansas, but could now face a $10,000 fine because of strict FAA guidelines.

When questioned Monday on whether the FAA had seen Eminger’s video, FAA spokesman Lynn Lunsford told the Gazette that “We are looking into it.”

for more information see:

http://rt.com/usa/155756-faa-journalist-drone-tornado-investigation/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gregorymcneal/2014/04/29/faa-looking-into-arkansas-tornado-drone-journalism-raising-first-amendment-questions/

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  1. It seems recently our government is only looking for ways to punish US citizens. Our government has decided on numerous fronts that only they know what is best for us. When we know many government bureaucrats couldn’t hold a job anywhere else.

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