Pilot of a Drone sentenced to 30 days in jail

In Seattle, in the state of Washington (United States), a man was sentenced to 30 days in jail for having injured two people while he was maneuvering a drone, used for some shots during the Pride Parade in 2015 in the city. A court found guilty of dangerous conduct M. Paul Skinner, and it is the first time someone is convicted of having used a drone in a public space in Seattle. The sentence is one of the few so severe so far issued in the US for drone pilots: one of the two affected people had lost consciousness for a few minutes.

Skinner, who has 38 years and manages a small company for aerial photographs, will also have to pay a fine of $ 500. Prosecutors had asked for 90 days in prison for him, claiming that the drone could have caused much more serious damage as he fell to the ground. The Skinner’s attorney has instead called excessive sentence for an accident and certainly not an intentional act; He has also said that he wanted to make his client a case in point, for discouraging the use of drones for aerial shots.

The incident occurred on June 28, 2015 at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Madison Street during the Pride Parade. A drone of about 45 cm to the side, and weighing less than 1 kilogram, piloted by Skinner slammed into the front of a building, rushed down into the crowd and wounded after a first hit a woman in the head 25 years. His companion grabbed her in time before you accasciasse to the ground unconscious. Later the couple was helped by a firefighter, who called the police. Skinner admitted that he was the owner of the drone and collaborated with agents.

The incident occurred on June 28, 2015 at the intersection of Fourth Avenue and Madison Street During the Pride Parade. A drone of about 45 cm to the side, and weighing less than 1 kilogram, piloted by Skinner slammed into the front of a building, rushed down into the crowd and wounded after a first hit a woman in the head 25 years. His companion grabbed her in time before you accasciasse to the ground unconscious. Later the couple was helped by a firefighter, who called the police. Skinner Admitted That he was the owner of the drone and Collaborated with agents.

The use of commercial drones, then purchased by everyone and in some cases with the expense of a few hundred Euros, is still not regulated in much of the world. In the United States, where the drones are becoming increasingly popular, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the government agency in charge of civil aviation, is considering the introduction of new rules for their use. In a report on 2016, the FAA says it has received an increasing number of reports of possible accidents involving drones. In 1,200 cases, it was possible collisions between drones and airplanes, in 2015 had been 874.

Confirm the incidents, however, it is very difficult and now the FAA has been unable to record with any certainty. In March last year had done much to discuss the report of a drone that would miss about 60 meters a plane of Lufthansa line while he was approaching the airport in Los Angeles. It may seem a large distance, but it is not that much in a context such as the air, with high speed and predetermined trajectories for airplanes.

Near Seattle last summer a light aircraft had to make some diversionary maneuvers to get away from a drone. In January, a drone was instead crashed into the Space Needle, the observation tower and the main symbol of Seattle. The drone was finished on the highest terrace of the tower, where there were some workers at work, which almost were not affected.

Following recent incidents, the state of Washington is considering the introduction of new state laws to regulate the use of drones. The manufacturers of these devices, however, are opposed to the adoption of state-level laws, because it may conflict with those of the federal FAA. Also, a too severe or confusing regulations could have consequences on the market, reducing sales of drones.

The guidelines and the regulations issued so far by the FAA require that the drones can be driven only on condition of remaining visible to their operator. This restriction makes it impossible to use the drones for different activities from filming, as for example the delivery of remotely parcels. For this reason, companies like Amazon and UPS are lobbying for changes and exceptions, to use their experimental drones for home deliveries.

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