Episode 3: The Pirker Case and FAA Drone Regulation

In this episode we take a deep dive into the famous case of Pirker v. FAA. This is the case where commercial drone operator Raphael “Trappy” Pirker challenged a $10,000 fine from the FAA. Pirker’s case highlights the legal problems you get when you try to apply the rules for manned aircraft to unmanned drones. We discuss Pirker’s case from start to finish (the case settled), and put it in the context of the FAA’s historical approach to regulating unmanned systems. You may have heard of “Advisory Circular 91-57,” the 2007 “clarification” of that advisory, and the FAA’s position on commercial operation. This episode goes into all of these things and explains how they all work together. Don’t worry, we make it easy! Listen in for more…

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Nothing in this podcast is legal advice! Please don’t make legal decisions for yourself or your business before consulting counsel of your choice.

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Resources for You:

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FAA’s Complaint against Pirker

Pirker’s Response (authored by Brendan Schulman)

Amicus Brief: Angel Eyes UAV (filed by our law firm)

Administrative Law Judge Order (Pirker “wins” at trial)

NTSB Decision (FAA “wins” on appeal)

Advisory Circular 91-57 (AC 91-57)

2007 Clarification of AC 91-57

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