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Wed, Jan 08, 2014

FAA Says 'No Gray Area' For Journalists Using UAVs

Photographer Had Used Aircraft For Aerial Shots

A photographer who thought he was technically legal when he used a UAV to capture video from 30 feet above the ground has discovered that the FAA does not see it that way.

Jesse Tinsley was the journalist who used a camera mounted on a small UAV to get the shots he wanted. He had said it was "not illegal, but currently in a gray area," according to a report appearing on a blog from the Poynter Institute.

But FAA spokesperson Les Dorr said "There is no gray area." Hobbyists flying RC aircraft are OK, within certain guidelines. But anything that has a hint of commercial activity, including journalism, is verboten, according to the FAA.

Dorr said a cease-and-desist notice is usually enough, and that usually the UAV operators are cooperative. He said that the FAA's soon-to-be-published guidelines for UAV use will clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding their use.

(Image from file)

FMI: www.faa.gov

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