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The FAA is currently working on regulations that would allow drone deliveries without putting the public or manned aircraft in danger

Amazon may be able to get its drones up in the air after all, as a recent court case found that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) lacks the authority to ban the commercial use of drones in the continental U.S.
According to Market Watch, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) administration law judge found that the FAA shouldn’t have fined a man $10,000 because his drone was no different than a model aircraft. 
Raphael Pirker, an aerial photographer, flew a small drone near the University of Virginia while making a commercial video in October 2011. The FAA fined Pirker $10,000 in an attempt to regulate commercial uses of small drones in U.S. airspace.
Pirker then appealed the fine, and the court found that the FAA doesn’t have any regulations that govern model aircraft flights or those that classify model aircraft as an "unmanned aircraft." In other words, the line between drone and toy hasn't been drawn. 
The FAA successfully banned the commercial use of unmanned aircraft over the U.S. airspace (until it develops rules for their part in the national airspace, at least), but there are no clear-cut rules for commercial drone use. In fact, the FAA is considering dealing with the drones on a case-by-case basis. In this case, it wasn't clear if it was an unmanned drone or toy plane.

The FAA believes that it should be able to ban drone flights because it has the power to regulate access to the national airspace.

The FAA isn't completely against commercial drones. In fact, it's currently working on regulations that would allow drone deliveries, thanks to a law passed by Congress in 2012 that told the FAA to have the rules ready by September 2015. But since those regulations are not yet complete, the subject is a huge grey area for now. 

In December 2013, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said he wanted to use unmanned "Prime Air" drones for small package delivery. Bezos said the company is currently testing unmanned, octocopter drones called "Prime Air" that have the ability to deliver small packages to customers in just 30 minutes.

Source: Market Watch

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Go ahead FAA...
By MrBlastman on 3/7/2014 1:49:51 PM , Rating: 2
Try and regulate drones. You'll piss off thousands of RC Airplane flyers across our country in the process. What will you do when a 12-year old boy flies his plane without a license? Send him to jail?


The FAA should stick to doing what they do best--regulating airlines and private manned aircraft. It seems to me like someone was bored and needed a new crusade to make them famous to get a promotion in the organization and now... it has all imploded on them.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By sorry dog on 3/7/2014 2:12:04 PM , Rating: 3
Gotta say I'm torn on this issue.

I agree the FAA in general needs to take a hike, because as arbitrary and vindictive bureaucracies go... they are up there with the IRS.

Yet, the commercial drone issue has the potential to go off the rails into lots of legal and practical problems such as privacy, owner and operator liability, and even safety with respect to manned aircraft. Currently a turbine must able to withstand a 4 pound bird... do we need to up this to 5 pound amazon prime package?

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Belegost on 3/7/2014 2:40:01 PM , Rating: 4
Really I see this the same way as the early days of manned aviation. Go back to the early 20th century and anyone who could slap together a motorcycle engine with a propeller and some wings could just launch wherever. Young people traveling around the countryside barnstorming for money was a lot of fun.

That was fine when this was a relatively small group of people, similar to current model planes.

However as the technology moved forward and attracted increasing numbers problems began to bubble up. Accidents that hurt innocent people, the question of safety for commercial passenger carriage, problems with controlling traffic around busy airfields - these led to the necessity of a body to regulate aircraft.

Similarly as these small unmanned aircraft begin to rise in popularity, new problems are going to come with them - interference with manned aircraft, privacy and safety of people on the ground, security of private property from unwarranted surveillance - commercial or government.

And very much like the early barnstormers there is a strong resistance from the people who have been doing this for years and feel nothing should change.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Mint on 3/7/14, Rating: 0
RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/7/14, Rating: 0
RE: Go ahead FAA...
By w8gaming on 3/7/2014 6:48:03 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder will you be still thinking this way when a drone crashed into your window destroying furniture and such due to technical glitches. That's putting the potential consequences mildly. Think about what would happen if the road is not regulated and everyone needs to get a licence to drive. When drones flying reaching the same volume as the early land vehicles, it will be obvious that you cannot simply let everyone dictate how and where they want to fly without forcing them to follow rules.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/8/2014 8:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
Wait let me get this straight, you are conceiving a reality in which the sky will be full of "drones" piloted by Joe Shmoe everyman?

That sounds retarded.

I wonder will you be still thinking this way when a drone crashed into your window destroying furniture and such due to technical glitches.

I'll be thinking new furniture! And a nice civil lawsuit maybe on top of that.

All without the Fed's getting involved. Shocking, I know, but we already have ways to deal with this today.

it will be obvious that you cannot simply let everyone dictate how and where they want to fly without forcing them to follow rules.

Amazing. Somehow Americans have been using RC planes since the 1930's without any disasters or them triggering the apocalypse. But now, today, we need more federal oversight on the RC menace!

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By freaqie on 3/9/2014 12:50:33 PM , Rating: 2
I understand your sentiment but how do you propose to find the owner and controller of this drone?

some legislation like:
drones cannot fly within say 2kms of an airport landing strip
drones may not fly higher then 50m above the ground surface.
the owner and contact info of the drone should always be printed on the side of the drone

would help get some of this stuff regulated a little bit,
we don;t ned the FAA to jump in but some rules and logic might be benefificial

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Mint on 3/11/2014 6:34:39 AM , Rating: 2
Amazing. Somehow Americans have been using RC planes since the 1930's without any disasters or them triggering the apocalypse. But now, today, we need more federal oversight on the RC menace!

Are you so dense that you cannot see the difference between the 1930's and today?

These things are orders of magnitude cheaper, will soon be operable by just about everyone with minimal training, can communicate wirelessly, be equipped with 40MP cameras, etc. Hell, they can even be rigged with weapons.

How do you suggest we prosecute somebody breaking laws with them? Everything from public nuisance to invasion of privacy to assault or even murder is possible with complete anonymity.

Welcome to the robot age.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By BifurcatedBoat on 3/7/2014 8:54:17 PM , Rating: 1
My attitude on these issues really is personal responsibility and common sense.

For example, in regards to noise as a nuisance, rather than putting laws in place to cover every single device that makes noise and banning half of them because they might be too loud, there are blanket laws that cover noise generation in general. So if somebody wants to have an air compressor for example in their garage in a residential neighborhood, they can as long as they install soundproofing to make it quiet enough.

Likewise, rather than banning "drones" because of other problems that they might create in some scenarios - which at this point are still projections rather than a proven reality - how about just making sure that legislation exists to handle the nuisance side of things, and see if a market for useful drones can adapt around it?

Leave it up to local governments to weigh the pros and cons of allowing drone use in public areas. Let existing regulations on noise and safety cover other potential problems, and make sure that people who do cause damage are held liable so they don't want to do something risky with them.

Maybe we will find that as a whole, we really do not want drones coming around bothering us, and the benefits of say, 30 minute Amazon delivery aren't worth the nuisance under any circumstances. That's fine. But on the other hand, it's possible that we might find drones really useful and rather than blanket banning of them, there is a good compromise that can be found that offers a combination of pros and cons that we're in favor of.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/7/2014 3:59:47 PM , Rating: 2
Currently a turbine must able to withstand a 4 pound bird... do we need to up this to 5 pound amazon prime package?

These Amazon drones, if they'll be used at all, will be in very dense metropolitan areas. They'll be flying extremely low, relative to air traffic, and it's obviously NOT going to be crossing airport runways or going anywhere near an airport.

So what the hell? In what possible reality do you see these drones meeting up with an aircraft turbine?

All this obsession with safety to the point that common sense is thrown out the window!

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By JediJeb on 3/7/2014 4:12:48 PM , Rating: 5
I agree. The only regulation these need is a max ceiling for drones versus a min ceiling for manned aircraft with a buffer zone between the two.

Concerning property damage liability and such, make it a civil matter just like it is for automobiles. You break it you pay for it, whichever side is at fault. If some kid smashes a RC plane into your patio door, he(or his parents) are liable for the damage. Same with drones.

Wow, how simple, we just solved the whole problem with about two pages in the CFR.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By inperfectdarkness on 3/10/2014 3:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
It already exists. It's called a coordinating altitude, and it's regularly used to separate rotory-wing from fixed-wing aircraft.

I STILL say this is skeet-shooting with prizes.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Mint on 3/11/2014 6:47:19 AM , Rating: 2
Concerning property damage liability and such, make it a civil matter just like it is for automobiles.

Automobiles are heavily regulated, genius. You didn't solve jack, and in fact you are implicitly advocating a bunch of legislation to be passed regarding drones.

You're also completely overlooking the fact that we have license plates and VINs to assign liability to an individual. We have registries tracking ownership, and somebody has to be present in a car when it causes damage.

Drones are an entirely different matter.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By kickoff on 3/7/2014 4:19:43 PM , Rating: 1
I'm usually arguing with reclaimer if I comment at all, but I'm starting to get sick of the nanny state stuff myself.

The only drones around here now are the nanny-state lovers who want their ass wiped for them so they don't have to do it themselves. I'm getting sick of this.

These things will be flying much too low to interfere with FAA bullshit.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Samus on 3/8/2014 1:12:43 AM , Rating: 2
I still find it amazing that terrorism can only be linked to 5,000 American deaths over the last two decades (including military personal) and we've lost all this freedom from the TSA to the NSA, yet nobody is doing anything to push background checks, mental health requirements or firearm safety workshops when guns have been linked to over 1,000,000 American deaths in the same period.

Nanny state indeed.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By JediJeb on 3/10/2014 3:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
Well background checks are required to purchase firearms, the federal government just hasn't done their job to produce an easily searchable database that they were supposed to do a long time ago. You are also not allowed to own a firearm if you have mental health problems, but again the federal government hasn't done its job because a few people whine and complain that keeping a publicly searchable record of those with such conditions is an invasion of their privacy. Firearm safety classes are available from many sources including many NRA sponsored free classes, people are just to lazy to look for them or just won't because they think they know more than they do about guns. Most good gun shops will even tell you about the classes when you make a purchase.

The general public believe you just walk into a store, pay money and walk out with a gun, but most responsible gun owners know it isn't like that. The media really likes to push the above belief to sensationalize any gun related story. Even the gun shows I have been to have required the checks before selling a gun, at least by any legitimate dealer. Now there are always the few out in the parking lot trying to sell things out of their trunk, but there are also ATF agents around looking for those guys too. The requirement for checks is not going to stop those backroom deals any more than the requirement that you have a prescription for Oxycontin will stop people from buying it on the street somewhere without one. If the news outlets were truly unbiased then they would be running stories on all the horrible people who go to the pharmacy ever day to purchase legal pharmaceuticals just like those legal, responsible gun owners that go to a gun shop to purchase a legal firearm.

As for the TSA, that is an agency that should have never been established, and the NSA should have some severe oversight placed on them by civilian observers.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Wondering Fool on 3/9/2014 7:20:27 PM , Rating: 2
I may be wrong but it appears to me that they are merely trying to put some laws in place. No, the drones won't be interfering with commercial flights but that doesn't mean that they won't create problems in air space. Let's just say that the news company's decide to use drones instead of their ridiculously overpriced helicopter and then their drone interferes with the hospitals medical chopper and results in a death. There will need to be laws in place before something like that happens. Then there are always people who want to push the envelope. I immediately think of dirt bikes and motorcycles. Dirt bikes are not road legal and you don't even need a drivers license in most places but that doesn't stop kids from driving them on the roads and causing accidents. What will the capabilities be limited to for these things? How high/fast will they actually be allowed to go?

I certainly don't want to see air traffic controllers for these things. I also don't want to see more of my freedoms taken away in the name of safety but having some ground rules in writing is a good thing.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Imaginer on 3/8/2014 9:28:21 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is, the 4 pound bird is not metal.

I am sure many would know the damages that CAN happen with a single screw lodged in a turbine. Those drones, are more than one screw, and they are or can be with metal.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Imaginer on 3/8/2014 9:13:47 AM , Rating: 2
The thing is, they already defined this.

Class G airspace, anything from under 700 feet AGL to 1200 feet AGL (above ground level), can be flown without any clearance requirements and is uncontrolled airspace wise.

Drones can completely operate in this area.

This means, you can rightfully fly anything in that space, given you are abiding within other laws of right of way. Any avid RC plane pilots would know this.

Voice radio communications is also not a requirement with Class G airspace.

The BIGGEST problem right now, is that Class G is UNCONTROLLED. Meaning it is solely up to the flyer and the craft owner to take responsibility in how they operate in that space. This means, the FAA DID leave it to the hands of aviation public for this area.

This is where some opponents to automated drones come in. I would say, that the responsibility would lie with the drone owners and operators rather than having another mandate with the FAA - because they already laid the rules for all other commercial and controlled airspaces,

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Imaginer on 3/8/2014 9:23:50 AM , Rating: 2
As is right now, many drone designers are forgetting the number one requirement that any flyer in airspace needs to adhere to, and that is communication amongst other aircraft and pilots of their intentions.

I would not want to take any craft above the Class G airspace, namely, because I cannot communicate my whereabouts, intentions, and in return know where other craft are, their intentions, and calls. Nor would an automated drone would be able to handle a human pilot's hailings to have the more nimble drones move out of the way of the oncoming or looked-ahead aircraft.

And if any, many drone makers and operators in my opinion, do need to know as a basic VFR pilot or if one would need to know in knowledge for a private pilot's license.

RE: Go ahead FAA...
By Arsynic on 3/10/2014 3:36:54 PM , Rating: 2
This is the MO of government agencies, especially under Obama.

Typical FAA
By mgilbert on 3/7/2014 1:54:25 PM , Rating: 2
The FAA loves these frivolous, high dollar fines. They love screwing pilots over. Typical Big Brother... I've flown lots of models, and all were bigger, faster, and more dangerous than these little quadcopter drones. I built one model plane with a nine foot wingspan, and a 23cc gasoline engine. I've also flown large model helicopters, big and powerful enough to kill if they hit you in the head. The FAA needs to quit looking for excuses to screw people. These little drones are not a significant danger to anyone.

RE: Typical FAA
By Mint on 3/7/2014 3:05:13 PM , Rating: 3
Yean, and lots of people can say they've driven cars without hurting anyone. That doesn't mean they'll come to the inane conclusion that police need to stop enforcing traffic laws.

Danger isn't even the only issue. The bigger one is about the public nuisance of having these all over the damn place when they get cheap.

RE: Typical FAA
By Reclaimer77 on 3/7/14, Rating: 0
RE: Typical FAA
By Belegost on 3/7/2014 5:58:43 PM , Rating: 3
So I might be with you, except reading further in other places it actually seems like this pilot was flying his RC aircraft in an unsafe manner. Take from Ars Technica's article(1):
The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), which lobbies for "model aviators" and acts as a liaison to the FAA for them, was also taken aback by how close Pirker’s remote aircraft—flown in first-person view mode from a distance—came to buildings, ships, bridges, and a national landmark. In a statement for the AMA, spokesperson Rich Hanson said, “The nature of the flight was outside the realm of recreational aeromodeling activity as defined by the AMA Safety Code and posed a significant threat to people and property.”
In the case of the Virginia flight, Pirker allegedly flew his styrofoam plane within 100 feet of an active helicopter pad and 20 feet above a crowded street. The FAA claimed one person had to take “evasive maneuvers” to avoid being hit by the plane, and the administration issued its fine for operating the drone “in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."
My belief is that an individual's rights to do something end when they threaten the rights of others. If the way this person was operating the machine was a "significant threat to people and property" then I believe that consequences are necessary as a safeguard on the rights of others not to be endangered by unsafe remote control piloting.

The fact that the regulations have not caught up with technology here merely makes this not currently illegal.


RE: Typical FAA
By jasonb on 3/7/2014 6:42:13 PM , Rating: 2
Then the state can choose to prosecute under existing reckless endangerment laws.

RE: Typical FAA
By Mint on 3/11/2014 6:23:18 AM , Rating: 2
And how do you prosecute those you cannot identify? How do you track a drone involved in reckless activity to its owner?

These are going to get cheap enough that they can easily do more damage (particularly that relating to spying and invasion of privacy) than they cost.

RE: Typical FAA
By Reclaimer77 on 3/8/14, Rating: 0
RE: Typical FAA
By Belegost on 3/8/2014 11:47:23 AM , Rating: 3
That does not give the FAA jurisdiction over all RC activity. And it sure as hell doesn't mean they can arbitrarily fine you tens of thousands of dollars because they "think" you were being unsafe. What happened to due process and innocent until guilty?
Never said it did, I was just pointing out that your assertion this person was just "minding his own business" and "Nobody was at risk, nobody was going to be hurt" don't match with what others, including the activist group supporting model plane pilots, say. The judge rightly pointed out that there was no existing law covering this, and hence the FAA was wrong.
Nice platitude, but it must be tempered with some reality. A little boy flying a kite could lead to you losing an eye, or wrecking your car. Accidents happen.

You people think you can legislate and regulate away every single activity until zero risk to others is achieved, it's ridiculous. It's impossible.
A little boy responsibly flying his kite in an open park with adult supervision has a low probability of causing harm to anyone, though it could happen. However if this little boy is flying a high speed stunt kite over a busy downtown square buzzing people as they walk by the risk of harm is hugely increased.

Thus you have successfully pointed out the need for laws that are non-vague and describe the cases where the actions of people have reached a point of negligent disregard for the safety of others.

I don't want some fairy world with no risk, that's nonsense. However I feel I have a reasonable expectation that I should not have to deal with unnecessary risk caused by others simply being irresponsible. Overall I wish we could just use basic laws on reckless endangerment - but thank the lawyers who will argue the sun is black until night comes for making it impossible to have a small body of reasonable laws covering general scenarios.
Yes I bet you just can't wait until all the evil RC pilots can only operate in their designated zones, after paying outrageous licenses and fees to our Federal overlords for the "privilege".
Why would I want that? I want clear laws on what reasonable limits are. In the past model planes have been more restricted to flying within line of sight of the pilot, because real time video communications were too expensive and/or slow to maintain. Now we have the ability, which means it's far easier for someone to fly their craft in an unsafe manner far from their actual location. And as this example shows there are people willing to be irresponsible with it, so it seems like rules limiting flights, so that there is say a reasonable area around helicopter landing pads that craft should avoid, and a reasonable distance from visible civilians to maintain. If someone is found to have violated these rules they should be fined accordingly.

And as I see it the AMA already has guidelines in place, they know that responsible flying will keep them from being targeted for Draconian licensing and zoning.

To make it more personal, I am a fan of classic weapons, I own several swords and a 4 ft battleaxe made by a friend with a forge. I have the right to own these, and I honestly feel I should have the right to carry them responsibly in public (which I don't). At the same time I in no way feel like I have the right to walk around the city swinging my axe around on the streets where it is very possible I could harm someone. Why? Because I'm a responsible effing adult. The fact that there are others who can't limit themselves is why we need laws to define limits and consequences from exceeding those limits.

This article contradicts itself...
By woody1 on 3/7/2014 6:03:30 PM , Rating: 2
This article contradicts itself.

The headline says that the FAA can't ban commercial drones, but the body of the article says the opposite. Looks like what the headline should say is that the FAA can't ban toy or model drones. Really, this is some bad writing.

By sorry dog on 3/8/2014 11:01:50 AM , Rating: 2
Tiffany should have done a little more research before posting. I'm not going to search it exactly, but the FAA does carve out an exception for private model operators to operate under a certain altitude and basically within line of sight.

The FAA has several test areas going on right now to test drone tech integration with actual airspace traffic. Now, congress can mandate all the rules by such and such date it wants to, but if the FAA tests drone products to the same standard that they test other aerospace products like avionics, airframes, and ground comms then it's gonna be a while before commercial products are approved operate close to any real traffic.

I can see it now
By trexas tremor on 3/8/2014 7:02:40 PM , Rating: 2
Large red blinking lights at the top of every tall tree,
Christmas all year long.

RE: I can see it now
By drycrust3 on 3/9/2014 2:50:29 PM , Rating: 2
Worse! Because vision is a secondary consideration for a drone every tall tree, tall building, tall mast, large bill board, etc will have to be on a digital map, like Google Maps or Open Street Map, so you'll have to apply to your city council if you want anything on your property that is higher than the roof of your house, e.g. a permit to install a TV aerial, so the information can be added to the digital maps.
What I think will happen is drone users will default to using one way "roads" to get from one side of the city to another and fly at more or less the same speed to minimise the chances of collisions, so those will be the places where the problems will be.

might work
By sulu1977 on 3/7/2014 8:39:38 PM , Rating: 2
If drones were programmed to only fly over public roads, 50 to 100 feet altitude let's say, and have automatic collision avoidance, then it might work.

turbine models
By ssobol on 3/8/2014 12:47:37 PM , Rating: 2
There are already RC turbine aircraft that weigh tens of pounds and travel between 200-300MPH. These are much more "dangerous" than a 5 pound electric quadcopter. Not only are they heavier and moving much faster, they are also carrying a quantity of jet fuel, kerosene, propane, or the like. One of those hitting your house is likely to do a lot more damage than breaking a window and messing up your couch.

To the best of my knowledge the only requirement on these models is that they weigh less than 55 pounds and stay below 400' AGL (in the US).

At times, for a model exhibition or meet the organizers will get a TFR for a particular place in order to exceed these limits. However, at least as far as the FAA is concerned Joe RC pilot can fly wherever he pleases as long as he is below the weight and altitude limits. There may be local restrictions that may interfere with Joe's plans though, like a ban on flying RC models in his city parks.

By drycrust3 on 3/8/2014 4:16:23 PM , Rating: 2
and the court found that the FAA doesn’t have any regulations that govern model aircraft flights or those that classify model aircraft as an "unmanned aircraft."

There is a point which seems to have been missed, which is where does a "drone" passenger aircraft fit in? As I see it, there isn't anything to stop someone taking the regular flight controls out of an aircraft, e.g. a helicopter, fitting in drone controls, download the mandatory app to your smartphone or tablet, and Viola! You have your own drone helicopter that you can fly around using your iPad without needing a pilot's licence.
Ha ha, a new word for the dictionary: "WiFly: Flying an aircraft using a smartphone instead of regular flight controls", that is just so seriously funny on the one hand, and at the same time the technology is already here and there is nothing to stop it from being a reality.
I can see the next generation of aircraft crashes won't be things like "pilot error", but "user error", e.g. "went out of coverage area", "flat battery", "Received a phone call", etc.

Academy of Model Aeronautics
By rinconchuck on 3/9/2014 5:23:14 PM , Rating: 2
Many people are unaware of the Academy of Model Aeronautics which is also known to modelers as the AMA. The AMA provides many benefits to Radio Control fliers in the form of liability insurance, flying field acquisition, flight safety rules, flying club charters, flying contests and organizational expertise.

The point of bringing this up is that there is already an organization that works closely with both the FCC and FAA to provide the hobbyist with a safe and enjoyable experience.

Herein lies the problem the real problem with "drones". In the past, it took time to learn the skills needed to fly safely and these skills were ususally learned as a at an AMA club field. The AMA has always treated safety as paramount.

In the last few years, electronics have allowed individuals to take up the flying of "drones" without having to learn safety or flying skills through the AMA club environment. This has resulted in flights, both hobbyist and commerical, that are just plain unsafe.

It is not safe to fly any aircraft at a crowded park or campus. You need room to be safe. So it was with amazement that I read that the aircraft of point in this article was flown in the presence of unsuspecting individuals. This is the real problem, that people will fly without taking safety into account. I believe that the best way to solve the flight safety issues associated with "drones" can be solved through the FAA, the FCC and AMA working together on safety rules.

Privacy is an entirely separate issue from flight safety and is, I believe, adequately covered by current laws.

Just for the record, I have been an AMA member since 1973.

I Don't Trust....
By greywood on 3/10/2014 12:14:20 AM , Rating: 2
1. Some nerd sitting in front of monitor in a room somewhere to see and avoid my airplane.

2. Some government snoop to keep his dang vid-cam out of my business.


1. The first (and every) time I catch any drone anywhere near a window of my home, I'm gonna take a shotgun to it - and I don't care whose it is.

2. The first time some misguided drone crashes into my airplane (or even interferes with my flight safety) there is going to be one helluva lawsuit (provided I'm still alive) against everybody from the FAA director, down thru the drone maker/vendor, to the nerd in front of the monitor.

As for leaving regulation of drones to local governments - that would only create an absolutely absurd tangle of laws, that nobody could comply with. FAA stupidity and arrogance not withstanding, drones MUST be regulated at the federal level, so that all drone users can operate under a uniform set of rules.

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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