NTSB panel reverses Judge Gerachty in Pirkler case

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Andy Johnson-Laird, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. Andy Johnson-Laird

    Andy Johnson-Laird Administrator
    Staff Member

    Jul 31, 2012
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    Thanks to an early morning email from Gary and Scott Strimple, I've been reading the order.
    You can find it here: http://www.ntsb.gov/legal/pirker/5730.pdf

    The bottom line, established by a quick read, appears to be:

    1. The Pirkler case is remanded back to Judge Gerachty for "further proceedings."
    2. The Zephyr Ritewing is an "aircraft" subject to the FAA's authority.
    3. Pirkler's argument that the FAA's ambit includes only manned aircraft is wrong.
    4. AC 91-57 does not exclude model aircraft from the prohibition on careless or reckless operation (FAR 91.13(a)).
    5. An "aircraft" is "any 'device' 'used for flight in the air" (with exclusions for tethered devices it seems).
    6. There is still a exception to be made for model aircraft: "At most, we discern in the advisory circular a recognition on the Administrator’s part that certain provisions of the FARs may not be logically applicable to model aircraft flown for recreational purposes." Last para, page 11.

    Pure speculation on my part: Pirkler is going to lose. The FAA will be granted authority over all aircraft, especially commercial operations, under FAR 91.13(a). Better find $10K Trappy, plus lawyers fees. (Not sure whether he can be forced to pay if he's not in the USA.)

    Is anyone really surprised?

  2. Steve Maller

    Steve Maller UAV Grief Counselor

    Oct 30, 2012
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