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What is lost in this story is that the only reason this was considered a violation of FAA "policy" (not even a regulation) is that the photographer worked for the paper and the video was used to further their business of reporting the news - that made it commercial. Yet, if another RC modeler was standing beside him, flying the exact type of set up, recording the same scene, and posted it on a personal Yo_Tube channel - it is perfectly legal and the FAA cannot do anything about it. The "hobbiest" flyer can fly and record video from a model aircraft most anywhere as long as no money or non-hobby business is involved.
Also, unreported is that regulations in other countries for the commercial use of small unmanned aerial vehicles have been around since 1996 (Japan was #1). Some figures put commercial operations of UAV's in the US after it is "allowed" at $95 billion over the first five years. How many billions of dollars and jobs have we lost because of the FAA? How are they going to make up for another high tech business that has been lost overseas? So, perhaps, it would be good for the news media outlets to call the FAA and ask them why they have not allowed this in the most "free" country in the world, and do so without having gone through the process of rulemaking required by law. Why does the FAA have to reinvent the wheel when Japan, Australia, China, S. Korea, UK, Canada, Germany, and most of the EU have regs that work and can easily be applied in the US?
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