Today marks a pivot point for the drone world. The most outspoken "illegal" pilot was investigated and let go.
Today, I read an article from another drone pilot who had FOIA'd (requested a freedom of information act request) the FAA about the Casey Neistat investigation. Casey has been posting youtube videos of flying drones in New York City's congested (Controlled) airspace. Traditionally, drone pilots would need special permission to fly in controlled airspace. Today, we realized even if you do fly in controlled airspace, there will be no enforcement action..unless you hit someone with a drone...then they would be scrambling.
If you're not familiar with the popular youtuber, let me help you out.He's got a channel on youtube, millions of subscribers, thousands of federal violations on flying drones. Literally you can find one in almost every video.
I'm not the only pilot who has noticed these blatant violations of Casey flying in New York City's airspace, one of the largest areas of controlled airspace in the United States. In fact, thousands of people have commented on Casey's videos about his blatant acts of disregard.
Recently, on one of his shows, Casey mentioned he was being investigated by the FAA. Many drone pilot's perked up when they heard he was being investigated in hopes that maybe the FAA would enforce against him. If the FAA would enforce these violations, it would bring so much more credibility to Part 107 Drone Pilots.
Rumors swirled as pilots debated whether he deserved enforcement action or not and what message it would send to other pilots. After all, every drone pilot has seen his flights. Ask any drone pilot you know if they've heard of Casey Niestat, chances are they have.
Yesterday, Andy posted his blog post detailing how he discovered the full Casey Neistat story here. His post details the documents he received from the FAA and the details garnished during investigation.
What was the FAA's conclusion about Neistat?
The FAA concluded that there was not sufficient evidence to prove casey was holding the controls when flying in controlled airspace. They did however, mention that there were illegal flights in controlled airspace. The reasoning for lack of evidence comes down to electronic evidence that doesn't show Casey at the controls. The drone world has its mouth on the floor.
The most well known drone pilot on youtube showed off blatant violations, set the precedent of illegal flights, was investigated and nothing has happened. He's free to go. Scott Free.
Now Drone Pilots know, as long as there are not pictures of them at the controls. They are safe.
Notice something here, the FAA did not announce the conclusion of this investigation, even though they did announce the conclusion of the SkyPan case.
While thousands of other pilots wrestle with regulators for airspace authorizations, many are going to wonder why they should. Casey has proven that you can fly where you want, without issue, hobby or commercial, controlled or restricted airspace and you won't have any enforcement against the pilot.
We all have to thank Andy who filed the FOIA request and figured out that the FAA didn't find conclusive evidence...Well Done.
Without his work, no-one would have found out what happened.
Read the Original Article Here:
About a month ago I posted about famed Youtuber Casey Neistat’s FAA investigation. He casually had mentioned in his vlog that he wouldn’t be flying his drone anywhere because he was being investigated and the internet (well, at least the vlog-following part of the internet) went berserk. I tried to clearly distinguish between fact and speculation as to what I thought any enforcement action could look like, after which I was lectured by Internet Commenters about how I was an idiot for not knowing the rules about whatever it is they were saying.
There’s no question about it: some of Neistat’s drone shots are risky, especially in light of the air traffic above New York City. The r/caseyneistat subreddit and other drone enthusiast sites would constantly go nuts whenever Casey would fly, assuming that Casey had not secured proper permits or licenses to fly in controlled airspace.
.......go to his site.