How the FAA is Catching Drone Pilots

How the FAA is Catching Drone Pilots

Hey everyone! Today, we are looking at a recent work of research from a specialist drone lawyer based in the US. They looked at 70 cases where the FAA prosecuted a drone pilot to draw essential data such as how the FAA found out about the illegal flights, what the pilot was doing when they were caught and how much the fine was.

Read more about the article here:


Watch our UK Drone Rules playlist here:

Thank you to our channel sponsors:

Drone Masterclass – find out more about their A2 CofC and GVC courses:

Moonrock Insurance have launched their insurance product aimed specifically at hobby drone operators in the UK. Go get a quote now at:


You can follow Geeksvana on the following social media as well:

Twitter: @geeksvana –
Instagram: @geeksvana –

If you have any questions or just want to reach out and say hey! My name is Sean, come and talk to me!

#FAA #DroneRules #HowTheyCatchYou


  1. FiMI Cloud Busta on August 11, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    E.bay now flooded with plz buy my drone ..its as much use as a chocolate fireplace.

  2. Steve T on August 11, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    They can have my drone when they pry the controller from my cold, ungloved hands.

  3. Twobarpsi on August 11, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    Great video!

  4. Beenthere Donethat on August 11, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    From what I have heard/seen, the FAA gets reports from the public, other drone Pilots, and watch’s utube and other videos. Yes they get the drones that crash.

  5. Jose Huertas on August 11, 2022 at 8:09 pm

    does the b4ufly app LAANC authorization assure i will not be penalized financially ?? as long as i have my certificate and/or part 107 commercial license and registration ??

  6. Daniel J on August 11, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    Before I bought a drone I watched a lot of YouTube videos of drone tests (rage tests , follow tests etc.) and I was shocked to learn bvlos flights were illegal. There are literally hundreds of range tests where people are flying bvlos and it made me think it was completely normal. Why would you post a video of yourself violating an faa rule?

  7. John Pratt on August 11, 2022 at 8:11 pm

    I’ve crashed scores of RC airplanes. Lost control, landed in trees, etc. Felt bad but told that “ if you haven,t crashed ,you haven’t flown “. Then experienced pilots talk of crashing “hundreds “ of models. These are all FAA violations? Or they don’t care unless you hit someone?

  8. W.E.S. Wesley entertainment studios on August 11, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    This is ridiculous over some toys

  9. Fpv Pilot on August 11, 2022 at 8:15 pm

    Why was all of our rc plane flying for 40 years not a problem? We had cameras on planes that weighed up to 50 pounds, had gas engines and could fly through the clouds. All of a sudden small light toy drones are super dangerous. Makes no sense unless you are the one collecting all the fines. I still think this is all about large companies willing to pay big bucks for hobbiest air space which we had first.

  10. Rocket Willy on August 11, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    Maybe I missed it but you didn’t answer "how" they are being caught. The subject of the video.

  11. chitoon100 on August 11, 2022 at 8:21 pm


  12. SouthOfHeaven on August 11, 2022 at 8:23 pm

    don’t buy commercial or name brand drones build your own

  13. Vital Ral on August 11, 2022 at 8:25 pm

    can’t catch me.
    I call my lawyer before each take off.
    he call FAA and goes through various maps and community guide lines.
    then I too call FAA to confirm.
    then I call FAA again to confirm the confirmation.
    then I… take off.

  14. Jeff Parisse on August 11, 2022 at 8:26 pm

    All current C-UAS systems focus almost solely on DJI. Drones flying alternate RF and telemetry systems are not prioritized. Defunct systems (72MHz and other frequencies) aren’t scanned. NoLimitDrones sells replacement firmware to de-DJI a DJI drone. Good luck FAA!

  15. Drone2theBone on August 11, 2022 at 8:29 pm


    Let’s talk about how the FAA is violating our First Amendment right to free speech and freedom of the press when it involves YouTube.

    It’s not free speech if we have to pay a $175 fee to the government and pass their rigorous knowledge test for their permission to publish our own original work. They don’t care if you fly without a commercial license or if you shoot drone photography without a commercial license. It’s not the flying or photography that they object to, it’s the publishing that they object to.

    The FAA says that posting our original and creative work to a non-monetized channel indicates an intent to make money from flying. That assertion assumes evidence not yet available and is nothing more than conjecture. There are many recreational pilots who don’t want or need money (such as myself) but who just want to share their videos.

    But the FAA doesn’t care about that and they will fine you for doing so. That’s what I call preemptive punishment for a non existent crime. If they want to punish people for making money with a drone, then they should wait until money is made before punishing anyone.

    YouTube will never monetize a channel that contains content of drug use or guns, it’s against their stated policies. So if your drone videos contain any footage of people using guns or drugs, including alcohol which is a dangerous and addictive drug, just include a disclaimer and some footage of someone shooting a gun (but not at a drone!), drinking a beer or smoking a joint (but not before or during flying!) and your channel will never be monetized. That eliminates any nonsense about your "intent."

    The FAA’s glaring hypocrisy is evident by the fact that while drones are shot at frequently, they have to date only prosecuted one case of drone shooting that I am aware of.

    Fly on and be free! Power to the people!

  16. Adam on August 11, 2022 at 8:29 pm

    Are you talking about us faa?

  17. Amazed on August 11, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Another cash cow

  18. Ready get set Jam on August 11, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Use a mini or mini 2 and no worries unless you’re in a restricted area.

  19. Aerial Designs & Videography on August 11, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Honestly as a Business owner who flies these drones every day I feel like the fines are a little excessive. But if you took your part 107 test and passed you should be very informed about all of these rules and you should abide by them

  20. God Knows on August 11, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Doesn’t your phone GPS has that accuracy and isn’t it used to send it to your aircraft for return to home location

  21. W.E.S. Wesley entertainment studios on August 11, 2022 at 8:32 pm

    Best thing to do is not post criminating videos online…. that’s the only stories u hear about people being busted. The faa has got alot more important stuff to do then trace a drone in reality.

  22. Max Ingham on August 11, 2022 at 8:33 pm

    As a hobby flier I just see more and more rules. I’ll soon need to purchase liability insurance of 100,000 plus . Ill find another hobby if need be.

  23. Alpha Infinitum on August 11, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    They catch you because you registered your done, or better said, you use a drone that is traceable to you.

  24. James Howell on August 11, 2022 at 8:34 pm

    I wonder if you own a 1000 acres in a deep canyon and you keep your altitude at or below the 400 ft level, they would be more lenient on the out of visual site as long as you have good video reception, Plus the property you own is only occupied by you. This might be a stupid comment.Just saying. Also l hold a UAS Drone pilot license and my Drones are FCC Registered, Thanks for the great video.

  25. Brian Dougherty on August 11, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    The FAA is just another tool for our government to rob people legally.
    They are collector’s for the mob.
    I use common sense when flying so I’m extremely cautious and careful. I don’t fly over people, private property, no events or gatherings of anything.
    I only fly for fun, never business nor do I make money or compensation with my drone. I follow all FAA rules and regulations.
    I am registered and have passed the FAA safety test and also am studying and practice the FAA 107 although it’s unlikely I will ever use or need a 107
    If you use common sense and obey the law, you should be OK.
    Insurance is a good idea to protect yourself from liability because accidents do happen.
    Also coverage for expensive drones are a good idea.
    Allstate Insurance is good if your not in California.
    Dji drones can be covered through Dji, yes even a used dji drone may be eligible, depends on the model.
    Good luck, fly safe and legal and just have fun.

  26. Armando Ramirez on August 11, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    So, pretty much, fly over 400 ft accidentally and get fined thousands of dollars or jail time. But go in to stores and rob as much as you want and just walk out because laws protect the crime.

  27. Felix Ruiz on August 11, 2022 at 8:35 pm

    Did this report included hobbyist fines ?

  28. Christine LaBeach on August 11, 2022 at 8:37 pm

    I stopped flying a year ago. Just not worth the risk now. There are so many rules and regs now it’s too easy to accidentally break one and then get a huge fine. I have a brand new DJI MA2 still in the sealed box that I will never fly. Sadness! I believe the hobby will die a slow death now which is probably what the FAA wanted anyway.

  29. Js Bchad on August 11, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Give me a break!!!! Just like a speed trap!!! Every rc pilot I have ever seen fly has crashed their plane more than once. Went home rebuilt it and crashed it again. This is a cash cow for municipalities everywhere.

  30. Eric Kimbrel on August 11, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    The FAA looks at youtube videos basically. Sends letters to those that are not doing it right as a warning or fine or informing them of eminent prosecution.

  31. Steven Adams on August 11, 2022 at 8:39 pm

    Develop auto drone separation from other aircraft, TFRs , restricted airspace and takeoff prevention if the wind could send the drone in any of those airspace.

    All drones should have Auto Return to Home / if it drone looses contact with the controller.

  32. Steve Kratz on August 11, 2022 at 8:41 pm

    Wouldn’t it be awesome if our governments actually went after real crime?

  33. Ed Ruttledge on August 11, 2022 at 8:42 pm

    number of deaths from crashes of the 737 MAX = 346
    number of FAA bureaucrats fired or fined for approving the 737 MAX to fly = 0 (as far as we know)

  34. Marco Cortes on August 11, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Hi is good information so please speak slowly

  35. That Guy on August 11, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Post online… maybe maybe not.

  36. Phillip Maguire on August 11, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    I do appreciate that sufficient regulation is necessary, and benefits everyone… However….. if authorities become too hard and regulators become too strict, we will for sure see the end of the hobby, and will only see drones used for business purposes…

  37. Alien Vampire Busters Who you gonna call on August 11, 2022 at 8:45 pm

    Land of the free

  38. Diving Falcon FPV on August 11, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Most time faa gives people warnings. They Talk to them. Then fine if they do it again. Unless it’s real bad . Hence airspace and flying over people and crashing. Stadium guy.
    And alot time faa getting violations from people watching YouTube and reporting people.. rv couple talked about it. Faa called on them. They were told by faa they need part 107. Yeah government always vague so they can have judge just decide what they want to do

  39. Fz09_bay on August 11, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Don’t crash your drone. You won’t get caught.

  40. Jakes Dronelife on August 11, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Very educational and an informal video thanks buddy I enjoyed it !

  41. Jonathan Jackson on August 11, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    Get your TRUST CERTIFICATE PEOPLE!!! takes about 30 minutes online…

  42. Richard Cranium's Fantasium on August 11, 2022 at 8:51 pm

    good luck lol. i wont be registering mine. i went to do it, i try to stay as legal as possible, and they ask such absurd info that i refuse to. wtf longitude and latitude are they even asking for? they have my address already lol. anyways its stupid and ill have no part of it. ill pay nothing if they try also.

  43. Diving Falcon FPV on August 11, 2022 at 8:55 pm

    $182k was drone Philly wasn’t it. He tried to ignore all their threats. Then eventually they find him like a million but I think they negotiated it down. Pretty sure that’s him.
    Real estate business here v sometimes goes drone pilots. They said you have to be really carefully cause they have had people lie in past

  44. The Thai Life on August 11, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Police state.

  45. Brian M on August 11, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Honestly, to be brutal, the FAA is being run like a dictatorship. They force you to take a test that MOST flyers will never need the info for. As a recreational, I follow the rules, I do as needed and I take a nice photo. No issues from the FAA at all, they approve of everything we do. BUT now someone likes your photo and wants to purchase it. OMG THE WORLD WILL END if you sell that photo. Bullshit. They approved everything you did and said good job. But try to sell it and your in violation. That’s not their zone, commercial sales is an IRS issue, tax issue they keep track of. Not the FAA. They are overstepping their boundaries.

  46. Darrell on August 11, 2022 at 8:58 pm

    Book em Danno, we have a pilot that is doing everything legally as a hobbyist except someone just benefitted from the drone and now it’s a safety issue. No one benefits, then it’s not a safety issue and no license is needed. Makes perfect sense.

  47. Mark Wyman on August 11, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    Guess we know who owns the space above ground level.

  48. mark gomez on August 11, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    Can anyone help we have a drone problem in Cibola Texas the cops say nothing they can do but when you sit outside a bathroom window that’s just a high-tech perv

  49. Pete Engard on August 11, 2022 at 9:03 pm

    I have a hobbyists certificate and have been told by a local FAA employee that they have teems of people searching for hobbyists making money. Your not even allowed to use your drone to look at the neighbors gutters for a plate of cookies. Exact words.

  50. Snowy Owl on August 11, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    What do the fines pay for in the end? I cannot see these fines as effective deterrents from the data analysis. Seemingly most of these cases are an unfortunate and unplanned event in the flight of a emerging technology. The law makers and rule makers are cognizant of the government and industry desired use of the commons. The private property (emerging technology) is should be “ruled” by the owners. The tragedy of commons problem was best addressed by the Noble Prize winner Elinor Ostrom. Seeing 70 cases of command and control intervention rather than 70 workshops between the stakeholders is sadly evidence of what the problem will grow to become.

Leave a Comment