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Hollywood Man Arrested For Crashing Drone Into LAPD Chopper

Soumis
 
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A Hollywood man was arrested Thursday on federal charges that he operated a drone which slammed into a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter back in September, forcing it to make an emergency landing. Andrew Rene Hernandez, 22, was arrested by FBI agents on one count of unsafe operation of an unmanned aircraft, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reports. Authorities say it’s the first criminal case in the nation in which a person has been charged with unsafely operating a drone. (losangeles.cbslocal.com) Plus d'info...

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JoelOwens
Joel Owens 10
I was all gung-ho to get my UAS license and buy a really nice drone. I bought all the books and started studying and taking sample tests. Then I kept seeing all the documents from the nearby airbase insisting they also control from ground to the top layer of the Class C cake - far more than what the FAA was calling controlled airspace. Add to the FAA regulations are several new paragraphs of Texas Code concerning drones which any trailer-park lawyer could use to turn you into a homeless person, I decided I was better off finding something else to do.
tongo
Dan Grelinger 6
I wish everyone were as wise as you are.
jimluntz
JAMES LUNTZ 3
ditto for Joel, need more of him.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 8
It's unlikely that Hernandez provided the dronie (drone selfie) used in the article, so it likely came from the digital evidence that was found on the SD card of the crashed drone.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 14
In other words Hernandez didn't provide the picture, the picture provided Hernandez.
stansdds
Michael Stansfield 12
Prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.
Rickh52
Rickh52 6
Its guys like this idiot that give a bad name to all responsible drone pilots. Not to mention the federal regulations that are precipitated by such irresponsible flying
tongo
Dan Grelinger 5
I have not yet seen any comments concerning one or two details that bothered me most.

1. He heard alarms and sent his quad-copter up to take a look? Hello? Alarms generally mean law enforcement, either now, or very soon. Not very bright. It appears to be another instance of "If I am allowed to buy one of these, it must be OK to operate it anytime, anywhere, anyway I like." I blame the retailers for this.

2. He saw the helicopter strike his drone! Did he report it? No. And it appears that he had a month to think about it and do so. If I was the judge deciding this case, that makes a big difference. It's one thing to do something stupid out of ignorance or carelessness. It's a completely different thing to do something wrong with forethought, plenty of time to think about it.
ukusapkm07201942
Paul Miller 8
It's ony going to be a matter of time before one of these drones operated by some irresponsible idiot's brings down an AIRCRAFT !!!!
kasica
Stanley kasica 7
The helicopter was an AIRCRAFT
djames225
djames225 4
Try telling that to the jacka''es that get all "oh the FAA drone laws are too strict and I wont follow them." I would love to take said drones and beat them over their heads. Idiots making it harder for those who do fly responsibly
jimquinndallas
Jim Quinn 7
He violated more than one law. Flying at night, interfering with first responder activities, probably (my guess) is that he was in restricted airspace, and perhaps not being Part 107 liceensed, interfering with aircraft operations and probably other things. Misdemeanor? I don't know about that. I think he should get a hell of a lot more than a year in federal prison. Make an example of him. I'm sure that responsible drone operators share my sentiment. Damned fool.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 7
He does not need to be Part 107 certificated either if he only flies a small recreational drone and not for profit.

I have a Mavic Air 2 and it has a ADS-B receiver. When an aircraft with ADS-B Out approaches, I am warned about it and shown its location on a map. I expect ADS-B In and Out to eventually become mandatory for anything that flies, maybe in conjunction with an automated TCAS system.
sparkie624
sparkie624 7
That is correct, but he is also in violation of the FAA as he probably did not have his FAA License that is required as well as having your name and FAA license number displayed on your Drone or A/C. If it had been there, the authorities would have contacted the FAA and immediately known who it belonged to. 1 More law Broken.
user3956
user3956 2
THIS. It sounds like he didn't have the FAA number on the drone, and he didn't report it, those two things are going to hurt his case severely.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 3
Agreed.

Side note: I wonder which knucklehead downvoted your perfectly accurate comment down to 0.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 0
That FAA technical advisory group or whatever the hell it was called considered and rejected both of those options. They instead put together a plan that anyone with any fleet tracking (especially back end) experience will tell you is a flat-out technical impossibility.

The group consisted of folks either employed or funded by mom and pop companies like Amazon, Airbus, Google, DHL, etc. In other words, a real diverse mix of drone delivery market heavy hitters and zero hobbyists.

I'm sure they all got a good laugh at the idea of some kid's Spitfire taking a nosedive every time the connection between the airplane, his smartphone, the mystery servers supplied by private industry (for a small monthly fee), and finally the FAA drops a few packets and has to reconnect. And if that doesn't work they thought up a laundry list of other barriers and restrictions, each of which is capable of killing off the rc modeling hobby all by themselves (which is exactly and precisely the point).
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Thankfully the AMA has been standing up for us on this issue... We definitely have to have someone to represent us.
djames225
djames225 2
He can fly at night, recreationally, since he was able to see the drones lights. But you are right about violating more than 1 law. The 2 biggest: "Never interfere with emergency response activities such as disaster relief, any type of accident response, law enforcement activities, firefighting, or hurricane recovery efforts." and "Do not operate your drone in a careless or reckless manner."
He won't see a federal prison, unless they tack on more charges. Will be local serve of remaining jail time..but I'd slap the fool with HUGE fines and if caught ever flying any R/C vehicle again, not just a quadcopter, then 5+ years federal.
JoelOwens
Joel Owens 2
Like the driver who runs into the school bus, this guy has really screwed the pooch. The FAA will likely file charges that result in a fine, but the LAPD and/or the City of LA will be filing a lawsuit to recover damages to their asset.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
He is a long ways from being off the hook... he is going to have it coming from multiple different directions for some time...
sparkie624
sparkie624 4
Just a note, it is not illegal to fly at night with an RC Aircraft or Drone... Done correctly it can be quite fun... I do so quite often... I have upper/lower flashing beacons, Nav Lights (Wings and Tail, wings Right Green, Left Red) and Logo Lights on the tail. I stay below 400 feet and only fly at sanctioned fields and when a Full Size a/c flies over our I immediately move out of the way. I do not fly Drones, I only fly Fixed Remote Controlled A/C.... I do not know why everyone wants to group both groups together when they are night and day in comparison..

I do not that on the rest of what you say I do agree with you. He probably was not in restricted airspace, but he was totally in the wrong in allowing his craft to get anywhere even close to a full scale aircraft... I would like to see an example set of him getting 20+ Hard Years! No excuse for this or compassion for this idiot.
linbb
linbb 2
I am a model airplane pilot these damn drone or actually quad copter things have been nothing but trouble as those who fly them for the most part could care less about anything but themselves.
Now we are all faced with regs that can kill the hobby of models to the point no new people will join the hbbby.
Where I fly the only items that cause us problems are some full scale pilots who dont follow the rules. One did a buzz job straight in straight out at very high speed ten feet off the ground.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
Yes, you are correct. Just last week we had a Single engine to fly over our field between 250 and 300'... We had one plane up that was about 200' up.. Everyone yelled out and our guy took a nose dive (did not crash)..
ghstark
Greg S 3
It a terrible shame that more of these irresponsible drone operators are not caught and prosecuted. They still haven't caught the LAX jetpack clown(assuming it's really a drone), have they?
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
It is IDIOTS like this idiot that is causing all the problems for the good people who fly RC Planes... Causing Unneeded regulations that won't work. I hope he gets Lots of Jail Time.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 1
The 90% of all drone operators that are out there doing stupid crap like this make it really difficult for the 10% of us who are properly licensed, who follow the regs, and who use common sense. We keep getting lumped in with those idiots and those idiots have alienated the AMA and R/C flyers to the point that they don't even want to hear anything you say after, "I fly a drone..." They hear those words and in their mind you're automatically an idiot, an ahole, and just generally a target for derision and abuse. You could be the safest, most highly trained, rule&reg following maniac and it doesn't matter to them.

I used to fly my drones at my buddy's place, a 400-acre farm surrounded by woods and well clear of any local airport. We always stayed above his property, never went above treetop height, and got nothing but grief for it from some of the local R/C flyers. They called the sheriff on us twice, made up complaints about us supposedly breaking all kinds of regs, then started harassing us, buzzing his house a couple of times with their planes. Eventually, we just stopped flying. My drones have been sitting packed away in their hardcases for a couple of years now.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -1
Wow, you need to be your own protected class. Maybe a college fund or something...intolerance is destroying the US.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 1
What the heck are you talking about with a college fund? I got my degrees more than 35 years ago.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -1
It was a joke...what "Protected Class" does not have a college fund? ;-)
emkostiuk
emkostiuk 1
Having a "drone" near miss while on Final I pray they will throw the book at him over several violations.
Dothetime
David Krakowsky 0
All drones should have gps hardware that limits them to 500 feet above ground.
That should solve most of the problems.
sparkie624
sparkie624 3
Be careful about how you group Drones with legitimate RC... I have to disagree with you on that one. The Authorities need to 100% separate Drones from RC Planes and RC Helicopters.... They are apples and oranges... The ONLY one's causing the problem is the Multi-Rotor and all because they go to any store to get them, and then go out and do stupid things without training. In the True since of RC Planes... We learn to fly with a Trainer in most all cases and are proficient, member of AMA (Aircraft Modelers Association), member of a club and have a great and safe time...
Rpogatchnik
Ronald Pogatchnik 3
350'. Thse drones are the BANE of aviation.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 2
I thought lasers were the bane of aviation.
tongo
Dan Grelinger 2
Ha! You're both wrong. It is stupid people that are the bane of aviation. Stupid people with drones. Stupid people with lasers. Stupid people with jet backpacks. Etc.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Ha! You're both wrong. It is stupid people that are the bane of civilization.

There, I fixed it.
f4fntm
john doe 2
We have met the enemy, and he is us.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 2
I thought the TSA was the bane of aviation?
linbb
linbb 2
The dumb asses who fly them have caused problems with the model Aircraft people as they are not the same in any way we dont do what they continue to do. Also they for the most part are not hobby people just people who dont care about anything but themselves. I agree with your statement about quad copers model aircraft are lumped into the same deal is the problem.
djames225
djames225 1
Many do have flight altitude restrictions built in, but can be easily overridden. Also there are companies out their who put out "flight modification" software. Governments have done nothing about either of them.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
Correction.. They all have Altitude Restrictions of 400 Feet... as per the FAA.
djames225
djames225 1
Actually sparkie, not all do. Although many "toy" quads have trouble reaching 300' on their own, some can, and have been tested past 400' with no mods.
The main units, prosumer grade, can get past it with a setting on controller and warnings only. Others that won't let that happen, have had software hacks put out that overrides the built in.
Personally, I'd love to put a catcher net on my hexacopter and snag these idiots.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
I was refer to Hobby vs Commercial.. Hobbyist are limited to 400 feet under the new ruling. Flying over 400 feet in my opinion on a RC plane is crazy... With Altitude logging on a few of my planes... I have purposely flown to 400 feet to see where it was at (visual Reference).. I personally do not like flying that high... to me, I like seeing more of my plane... LOL... They all tend to get very small the higher they go.
djames225
djames225 2
Hobby or commercial..both have a 400' AGL ceiling and have done so for a long time. Commercial can get an exemption as long as it stays commercial work. But again, between the not caring idiots flying them and governments not stepping on proper toes (come down hard on these hack outfits that put out sidestep software), the good flyers are getting shafted.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
The reason I did not mention commercial, is they can get an exemption... But Hobby RC and Mutlti Rotor (AKA DRONES) cannot get that exemption.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff -2
It’s not AGL, you are allowed to fly 400’ above a nearby building or other structure.

Downtown Los Angeles is home to the 1100’ Wilshire Grand, and there are no other flight restrictions there as found in places like New York City. So a recreational flyer can legally fly at an altitude of 1500’ near the building. Ironically the LAPD heliport is just a few blocks from there.
djames225
djames225 2
A bit of a take on what sparkie said..recreational can traverse the ground level and fly up to 400AGL, such as the mountains or hillside he mentioned. BUT only Part 107 can fly 400' above the highest point of ANY building/structure, as long as they stay within a 400' radius. Plus they must get a waiver should they go BLVOS above the structure.(and some even need a waiver to be able to traverse a structure)

Using the 900 Wilshire Blvd address (Wilshire Grand location), according to both Airmap and Kittyhawk, that address is within an overlap of 2 low priority flight restrictive states for heliports. Add to that, about about 2Km away a red DOJ NSUFR is in place.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
It is 400' AGL regardless of where you are at in the US... If you are on a 14,000 foot mountain you can fly to 14400 Baro... If you are a sea level you can fly to 400' Baro. The rule is for 400 AGL and that has always been what is referenced.... Never referenced as Baro altitude.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
I checked and the "nearby building or other structure" clause applies only to Part 107 operation. I refer you to https://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=22615

"The maximum allowable altitude is 400 feet above the ground, higher if your drone remains within 400 feet of a structure."
RECOR10
RECOR10 0
500? Would be modified out in seconds....
Moviela
Ric Wernicke 0
My nephew wrote software that allows 256 drones to fly in formation, execute complex maneuvers, and not run into each other even when spaced 50 feet apart.

Now why can't drones listen to ADS and autonomously avoid other aircraft?

I think everyone agrees that no one should have their life or aircraft endangered by a drone because the technology to increase the safety is expensive.
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
I fear birds FAR more than drones....
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
Your nephew can probably explain it better than we can.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -3
UGH.. NO WAY! - Problem with that is the equipment is VERY VERY Expensive and the fact that it is Heavy... Smaller RC planes cannot carry it and the expense would kill the Hobby... That is an idea that was brought up a while back and pretty much dismissed... If they need anything, they need to know that I am flying... They do not need ADSB information and the data flow would overload the system... This is not a good idea by any means.... Your Nephew probably has the brains not to fly around live a/c... Many Multi Rotors operators are clueless about how things work.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 1
We're way past that. The futility exercise they call the public comment period ended like a year and a half ago.

ADSB would have been doable, the proposal they gave the rubber stamp approval is not.
tongo
Dan Grelinger 1
ADS-B in (which is all that is required to avoid other aircraft) is neither heavy or expensive. Perhaps you are referring to ADS-B Out, which would be heavier and more expensive, but unnecessary to see and avoid ADS-B Out equipped aircraft.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -2
You are correct for small aircraft... We are talking about putting ADSB in a/c that weight less than a pound. If you take a small light 1 lb box and put it in some of these planes they are grounded.. Will never get off the ground. What is heavy to me and you is one thing... You have to keep in mind where you are mounting this stuff... The Biggest receiver that I have goes into a 9 pound plane and has an 80" wing span... The Receiver weighs 19 Grams or .67 Ounces... The ADSB would have to be powered, have a 1090 GHZ Antenna and transmit a signal... All of that alone would be 9 lbs... Only a FOOL would expect that to work in anyway shape or form... The ADSB would kill the RC Aircraft and the Drones would still be flying illegally... Not the dummy flying this drone... He did not even have his FAA license number or his name on his drone... Do you expect them to get the ADSB...

I am an Avionics Tech/Specialist... Even the ADSB-IN is ungodly heavy for an RC A/C. You need to put things in prospective... If the box weighs 1 pound in a Cessna 150, in a scale comparison it would be about 2 ounces or 56 Grams.... But we know it will never be that light and everyone knows it. The thing will have to transmit a signal. Keep in mind that ADSB-IN still talks to the Transponder which does transmit... The one they have will have to transmit...
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
You must not have seen my earlier comment about the DJI Mavic Air 2, which I own. It has ADS-B In, and when a aircraft with ADS-B Out approaches, I see its realtime position on a map, and various levels of warnings based on altitude and direction relative to my drone.

DJI markets the feature as AirSense: https://www.dji.com/flysafe/airsense
sparkie624
sparkie624 -1
No I did not miss that.. However, you have a Transponder on board... you have to to have ADSB... The ADSB and Transponder commumnicate on a common buss and the Transponder Transmits for you... Explain to me in detail how an ADSB Stand alone unit will get the information to other local planes and ATC without Transmitting? The idea is so that other planes can see us... They will not give a Radar Reflection. If we have nothing that Transmits, then they have no clue where we are at!
tongo
Dan Grelinger 1
"The ADSB would have to be powered, have a 1090 GHZ Antenna and transmit a signal"

Wrong. ADS-B in (all that is required to know the position of other aircraft) transmits nothing.
djames225
djames225 1
That is how DJI Airsense (ADS-B) works..it then transmits a warning back to the controller.
sparkie624
sparkie624 -3
Ok... How is ATC going to know it is there.. Explain that... I can have ADSB all day long... ADSB on A/C works with the Transponder that transmits a signal... It has to transmit a signal for others to see... What about that do you not understand... I will assure you that if you fly low over the field I am flying at, that I will see you, but ADSB or not you will not see me if I am not transmitting. Will you please authenticate your knowledge and licenses held... I am full A&P, FCC Radio Telephone Licensed General Class with 38 years experience... It has to transmit to work.. How is it going to report if it does not transmit the 1090 signal so that others can be aware of local traffic. I am also fully trained on the Full and Complete Avionics package from Rockwell and fully trained on the ADSB. Can you present your credentials!
tongo
Dan Grelinger 3
You need to go back to the beginning of this thread and re-read it. You've gotten confused. Here is the original comment:

"Now why can't drones listen to ADS and autonomously avoid other aircraft?"

You've gone off topic when you change the subject to something else, i.e. transmitting a signal to ATC.
user3956
user3956 4
Dan For The Win!

It looks like Sparkie was confused from his first comment.
djames225
djames225 0
How much mass, in an average size RC fixed wing, would be to heavy for an ADS-B unit with transponder?
Mmeyers7167
Michael Meyers -1
He is only 22 years old don’t be so harsh on him. Haven’t we all done stupid things when we were that young.
djames225
djames225 3
Harsh on him?? Not harsh enough! We may have done stupid things but we paid the price. Now it's his turn, only this time, his stupidity could have killed people! That and it puts the FAA's stink eye back on all RC aircraft.
RECOR10
RECOR10 -1
Um, every time I drive I quite literally 'put the lives of others" at risk....life is dangerous, sport. You need some better coping mechanisms.
djames225
djames225 2
And you need to pay attention. You drive but have rules of the road you follow. If your driving puts the lives of others at risk. stay the H off the road because it sounds like you can't, or won't, follow some simple rules.
Drones fly but have rules of flight to follow, 1 of them is stay the H away from other aircraft. This idiot did not pay attention to rules and that could have cost. Nothing at all to do with my coping mechanisms!
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -1
Why are you so afraid of him?
tongo
Dan Grelinger 2
I think djames clearly answered your question in his post. Perhaps you missed it...

"his stupidity could have killed people!"

Aren't you afraid of dying? I know that I am. And that is being reasonable.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -1
Could have, but didn't. I'm more afraid of a society that jails people for something they didn't do.
Bernie20910
Bernie20910 2
So, we should wait until he actually does kill people before taking him to task for his stupidity?
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
When was it that 1984 and Animal Farm were banned from public schools?
tongo
Dan Grelinger 1
You're funny.
djames225
djames225 1
Who the H said I was afraid of him? P*ssed off that the little idiot could have done more than just damage a helo, because of his stupidity? P*ssed because he places the FAA attention's to bound and gag responsible drone and RC aircraft pilots even further? Yes.
Not all drone pilots use them as just a hobby either!
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
You clearly do not understand!
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON 0
No, you don't understand. The only lesson he'll learn in prison is how to be a real criminal. When he gets out, and he will get out, you'll have a lot more to worry about than your hobby possibly getting some unwanted attention.

What I don't understand is how there are still people around who haven't figured this out.
sparkie624
sparkie624 2
People get off to light in this country... Only ones winning are over priced lawyers. No Compassion and I did not say he should go to prison... Is what I said if someone had died he could face Prison Time.
JMARTINSON
JMARTINSON -1
Too light compared to what country? It's not a country on this planet, because the US (who just has to be first in everything) locks up more per capita than any other country in the world.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
Yes the US!
RECOR10
RECOR10 1
The USA is, in general, "the first" because we are "the best" - period. And yes, the prison system is a fiasco beyond the comprehension of most.
tongo
Dan Grelinger 2
Yeah, good thing they don't allow people that age to vote. Think how bad THAT would be.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
22 UGH.. he is a grown adult, 16 you can drive, 21 you can Drink... Give me a break... If that copter had crashed he may be up for Manslaughter... Personally I think he is pretty lucky... What ever punishment he gets... He is not getting enough!

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