Did you know flying your drone recklessly can get you locked up in jail? Paul M. Skinner, of Oak Harbor, Washington, didn’t, but he was still sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $500. This may seem bad, but considering the maximum sentence is 364 days in jail and a $5,000 fine, it could have been much worse.
What happened that caused Skinner to be viewed as “reckless” in the eyes of the law? Skinner was flying his drone during the 2015 Pride Parade in Seattle, Washington, when he lost control and flew his aircraft into a building. The crash also caused injury to two bystanders; one even got a concussion.
On February 24, 2017, a Washington judge sentenced Paul M. Skinner to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for “reckless endangerment” arising from the use of a personal drone. Skinner lost control of the two-pound drone during Seattle’s 2015 Pride Parade when the drone hit a building, resulting in the injury of two bystanders. One of those bystanders, an adult woman, suffered a concussion. The other, an adult male, suffered a minor bruise. Both took the stand at trial. In imposing the sentence, the judge noted the incident was an accident. A restitution hearing for the woman’s medical costs is scheduled on May 25. Skinner has appealed the conviction, though he must still take a certified class on drone safety under the sentence.
Don’t be the next Skinner by flying your drone recklessly, especially when education and certification are so cost effective. Drone Universities offers a full complement of courses. Register today.