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Man Jailed After Drone Crash

A Seattle, Washington court sentenced a man to 30 days in jail for reckless endangerment. Why? Because the man was flying a drone in public airspace and lost control of the drone, which crashed, injuring two people. It is the first prosecution of its kind in Washington State, so an appeal is expected. It is rare for a criminal case against a drone operator.

Most problems with a drone are civil cases that result in a fine rather than a jail sentence. The victims in this case could still file a civil suit to recover expenses related to their injuries. As commercial and personal drone use increases, so do incidences that wind up in the courts. Federal law says that it is illegal to fly a drone out of your sight line.

Flying a drone over people, near airports, near aircraft or federal properties like the White House and federal courts are all forbidden. If you have a drone, it is best to consult your local and state laws before operating it in public.


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