Drunk Drone Pilot

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by NoHeat, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    The drone that crashed on the White House lawn was operated by a drunk, he says. NY Times article.

    Summary:
    The man who flew his drone into a tree at the White House Monday morning had been drinking prior to the incident, according to the Secret Service. The man, who is also a government employee, said he was hanging out at a friend's nearby apartment. He was worried the lost drone may have hit White House premises but went to bed hoping it hadn't. When his friends told him about the reports the next day, he decided to talk to authorities.
    I'm wondering, what laws can they say he violated? I'm guessing there's no law against operating a drone while under the influence. Maybe just a law against operating one in DC?
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Drinking drone under the influence,what a genius, probably works in the upper end of some Govt agency. Can't make this s*** up.
     
  3. Kiddo's Driver

    Kiddo's Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    I bet he has not been through the FRZ approval process...
     
  4. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    Model aircraft and UAVs are prohibited in the FRZ. So he can be charged with that. The problem with that is the only people that would or could ever know about it actual pilots in the area who have received the training. The average consumer that purchases these toys does not, would not, and could not ever know about this. It will be an argument for his attorney, and a good one. It might not work, but it's the truth.

    If he was intoxicated, they could also tack on some kind of reckless endangerment type charge. Coming forward to take responsibility will probably go a long way to helping him. If the USSS had to investigate and come find him, it would be much less friendly.
     
  5. Hawker800

    Hawker800 Line Up and Wait

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    Lesson: Don't drink and drone.
     
  6. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Screw that. What's the damage here? Some agent had to pull a drone out of a tree? I think the country can survive it. Why are we so eager to ruin people's lives?
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even better: he was an employee of NGA - an Intel agency, according to press reports...
     
  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Who says it ruined his life? He'll get a slap on the wrist for this. Also, let's face it, he did it for attention. Got liquored up and wanted to make a statement.

    I fly RC aircraft but it's away from people. Operating an RC aircraft over people or around "full scale" aircraft is just plan reckless.
     
  9. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If he has a clearance, he's got a real problem.
     
  10. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    How can you possibly know this guys motivation? Seriously, how?
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ok. What's his motivation for violating the FRZ? You seriously think he didn't realize he shouldn't be violating an FRZ with a stupid quadcopter? Like driving under the influence. You know deep down you're doing something you shouldn't be doing.
     
  12. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    Oh relax. Nobody's life is ruined. You're exaggerating it without knowing anything about it.
     
  13. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    FTFY :D
     
  14. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wrong. You can't have motivation to do something you don't know about. I don't even know this guy, but I can virtually gaurantee you he's never even heard of the FRZ, SFRA, NOTAM, TFR, or anything else. These are consumer products that do not come with any information about that.

     
  15. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    no biggie....cept the part about committing a felony.....not good juju for a Fed. :no: :yikes:

    So....let me get the straight....a fella who works for NGA knows nothing about airspace and the FRZ? Oh, no....make is stop. :rofl:

     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  16. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'm sorry, was he already charged with a felony? Did I miss where he was arrested, charged, found guilty, and sentenced? Oh wait, no I didn't, cause it hasn't happened. You don't even know what he will or could be charged with. The word felony has never even been mentioned. So yes, he's exaggerating and assuming. So are you.

    You think because he is an employee of the NGA, he knows the intricate details of US airspace? No. It doesn't work like that. You have no idea what he does or what he's involved in. Most of the people working for NGA probably know absolutely nothing about TFRs, NOTAMS, SFRA/FRZ, etc. More assumptions based on zero facts or common sense. Furthermore, he did everything right after realizing what happened. Self reporting the incident to his employer and the USSS. Relax.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    So you believe this guy thought it was completely ok to fly over the White House?
     
  18. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    No, and that's not what I said. Common sense would dictate that is a bad idea. But the FRZ is not "the white house". The FRZ is huge. I have no idea why or how it got over the white house. My logical and reasonable assumption is flight over and into the white house complex was accidental. It is very easy to lose track of those things in the dark. And they have a history of malfunctioning and flying off out of control. Bad luck and stupidity combine. If he intentionally flew over the white house cause he thought it would be neat, then he's a moron.
     
  19. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    OK, FRZ or no FRZ. Any teenager with half a brain would realize you don't fly an RC aircraft over the White House. Hence my original statement that this guy knew exactly what he was doing. He just didn't lose a signal and it flew on it's own for miles and it just happened to end up in the lawn of the White House.

    There's AMA guidance FRZ rules and just common sense operating practices. This guy has failed in all the above.
     
  20. Pedals2Paddles

    Pedals2Paddles Cleared for Takeoff

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    I guarantee he is not a member of the AMA. Their guidelines and rules are irrelevant. And I've already explained why this guy and any other consumers would have no idea what an FRZ or TFR is. Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse for the law, but it is an important factor when you consider why and intent.

    I agree with you that he should know better than to fly over the white house. I am agreeing with you that it is moronic. All I'm saying is that it is severely probable that he had no intent to fly it over there. People lose those things all the time in broad daylight while sober due to disorientation or malfunction.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015