Ireland prosecutes, convicts its first rule-breaking drone pilot
When it comes to aerial safety rules, Irish aviation authorities don’t kid around. Just ask the man who became the first pilot successfully prosecuted in the country for breaking regulations by flying his drone above a crowd.
The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) won the case last week as it prosecuted the pilot witnessed hovering his drone over a large protest rally. The infraction occurred in May last year outside the Israeli Embassy in Dublin, where some of the several thousand demonstrators who’d joined marches denouncing what they called violent repression of Palestinians had gathered.
Police monitoring the assembly caught sight of the UAV over-flying the crowd quickly located the operator, confiscated the vehicle, and notified the IAA.
Though the defendant is described as an experienced freelance filmmaker who’d been capturing video of the march, he hadn’t done the work to learn safety regulations necessary for obtaining certification. Aware…