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Judge Overturns FAA’s Fine Against Drone Pilot

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A judge overturned a U.S. regulator’s first fine against a drone operator, a ruling that may lead to more commercial unmanned-aircraft flights in the U.S. before rules are written to govern their use.

Judge Patrick Geraghty of the National Transportation Safety Board, which decides appeals of enforcement actions by the Federal Aviation Administration, dismissed yesterday the agency’s $10,000 fine against Raphael Pirker for reckless flying. The FAA has no authority over small unmanned aircraft, Geraghty ruled.

“This has very significant implications for companies that have been eager to proceed with commercial applications for UAS technologies,” Brendan Schulman, Pirker’s lawyer, said in an interview. Read more…

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