A French teenager has been arrested and charged with endangering lives after flying a UAV and camera over the city of Nancy
A teenager who filmed an aerial view of the centre of Nancy using a remote-controlled drone has been charged with “endangering lives” by flying the drone in a populated area without a licence.
The 18-year-old posted a video of Place Stanislas and other monuments in the Lorraine capital on social websites and it was viewed tens of thousands of times before being taken offline on the orders of the Préfécture de Meurthe-et-Moselle.
It had even been on the site of the Lorraine regional council social site, www.mylorraine.fr
Officials from the French civil aviation authority (Direction de l’Aviation Civile/DGAC) had also spotted the video and ordered an investigation.
The Nancy prosecutor told journalists it was a first in France but drones were treated as light planes as they could be dangerous if they fell on to someone in a populated area. There was also a special risk in towns of violating other people’s privacy.
Anyone who wanted to fly a drone in a built-up area should have the equivalent of a ULM [Ultra-léger motorisé – microlight] licence.
The youth, who had set up his own business called Golox to hire action video cameras and equipment for drones, has received messages of support on Twitter as he warned others of the dangers.
He was interviewed and charged this week by policemen and he will appear in court in coming months for “endangering lives”.
HDW : Superb video but what I take most out of this is that the chap “piloting” the drone is a very skilled operator indeed, fantastic shots not available to any other form other than that of a drone. I agree with one comment on a recent web site… instead of arresting this chap he should be given a medal by Nancy’s mayor for a cracking tourist information film.
Anyway how does this differ from model plane flying…you don’t need a licence to fly a model plane the drone is a model plane with a camera attached…once again its all about money…simple…it seems if you start charging for filming with a drone you change your status from amateur to professional.
Once again bureaucracy gone mad…if the drone had caused harm or damage then you have a case…but give him a telling off or a fine…this does not warrant arrest.
FURTHER ARREST IN PARIS
A member of the French Foreign Legion is expected to go before a judge on Thursday after beingarrested for piloting a small drone around the famous Paris monument.
The 22-year-old Ecuadorian, on leave from the Foreign Legion, was rumbled by police at around 11pm on Tuesday, Europe 1 radio reported.
He had reportedly been flying the drone measuring half a metre by half a metre around the first floor of the tower when he was arrested on suspicion of “endangering the lives of others”.
It’s the exact same charge that was levelled against a French high school student who landed in hot water after using his drone to make an aerial film of the historic sites in the eastern French city of Nancy.
“Nancy seen from the air” (Nancy vu du ciel) is the stunning short film put together by 18-year-old Nans Thomas quickly which racked up some 400,000 views after it was posted on the online video sharing site Vimeo.
But unfortunately for the teenager his success also caught the eye of French civil aviation authorities, who ordered an investigation, TF1 TV reported. It turns out the teenager violated two key provisions of the law according to Nancy’s top prosecutor Thomas Pison.
First, drone operators in a France have to complete a training course similar to the ones pilots must take. Then, a drone flight over an urban area requires specific written approval. Unfortunately for Thomas, he had neither.
“If the aircraft crashed in a densely populated area, the consequences can be tragic,” prosecutors told Est Republican. “The use of drones also raises the question of respect of people’s privacy.”
No word on whether the Legionnaire could also face consequences from his commanders, who have a notorious reputation for stern discipline and stiff punishment.