Drone Use for Businesses: FAA Makes Petitioning for Section 333 Exemption Easier With “Blanket” COA

  • ON May 24, 2015
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  • BY The Ison Law Group
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  • IN Drone Law

With the commercial success of the DJI Phantom and DJI Inspire, many Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) (popularly referred to as drones) are becoming economically viable for certain industries. Consequently, whether your business is in real estate, construction, agriculture, filmmaking, or an industry that could benefit from the use of a UAS, many businesses are taking a look at how drones can supplement their productivity.
In order to fly a UAS for commercial purposes, the drone operator must meet certain standards put forth by the FAA. Since the use of drones is a new area of aviation, many of the Federal Aviation Regulations (F.A.R.s) cannot, or will not, apply to drone usage and flights. How, then, can a business fly a drone for commercial purposes and not run afoul of the F.A.Rs or FAA?
Under the FAA Modernization Act of 2012, a business can petition the FAA for a “Section 333” exemption, allowing for the piloting of a UAS even though the drone does not meet the requirements of certain F.A.Rs. If the FAA grants a Section 333 petition, a business may operate a drone for commercial purposes.
While the FAA only recently began granting Section 333 exemptions for commercial drone, the FAA has streamlined the exemption process if a business can operate within a certain set of criteria – referred to as a “blanket” Certificate of Authorization or Waiver (COA). Under the new policy, the FAA will grant a COA for flights at or below 200 feet to any UAS operator with a Section 333 exemption for aircraft that weigh less than 55 pounds, operate during daytime Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions, operate within visual line of sight (VLOS) of the pilots, and stay certain distances away from airports or heliports.
Under this “blanket” COA, drone operators need to be 5 nautical miles (NM) from an airport having an operational control tower, 3 NM from an airport with a published instrument flight procedure, but not an operational tower, 2 NM from an airport without a published instrument flight procedure or an operational tower, or 2 NM from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.
The “blanket” 200-foot COA allows flights anywhere in the country except restricted airspace and other areas, such as major cities, where the FAA prohibits UAS operations. Previously, a business had to apply for and receive a COA for a particular block of airspace, a process that can take 60 days. The FAA expects the new policy will allow companies and individuals who want to use UAS within these limitations to start flying much more quickly than before.
If your business need to commercially operate a UAS, but the “blanket” COA is too restrictive, your business must obtain a separate COA specific to the airspace required for that operation.
The Ison Law Group is prepared and equipped to handle your petition for Section 333 exemption under the FAA Modernization Act of 2012. Give us a call today at 855.LAW.1215 or 863.712.9475.

How Can You Get A Lien On An Aircraft: Aircraft Mechanic’s Liens

Most people would never dine and dash. If you sit down at a restaurant and eat a five course meal, you are going to pay your bill before leaving. It would be nice if that moral concept carried over into other professions. For instance, when you as an aircraft mechanic perform work on an aircraft, you want to get paid for your services. So when an aircraft owner stiffs you on your bill, your question is probably: “how can I get a lien on an aircraft?” Aircraft mechanics can assert a lien against an aircraft when he or she has not been paid for services performed on an aircraft such as repairs, maintenance, storage, etc.
First, what does an aircraft mechanic’s lien do for you? Once “perfected,” an aircraft mechanic’s lien impedes the aircraft and usually, although not always, prevents the aircraft owner from selling the aircraft without first obtaining a release from the lien claimant. Enforcement of an aircraft mechanic’s lien will likely bring about payment to the mechanic through either a foreclosure sale or the owner’s desire to retain a “clear title” for the aircraft. Nonetheless, before you as an aircraft mechanic can enforce a lien, you must make sure that your lien is properly established.
So, how can you get a lien on an aircraft via an aircraft mechanic’s lien? In order to “perfect” an aircraft mechanic’s lien, Federal law requires that a mechanic’s lien statement or claim be filed with the Federal Aviation Administration. Additional state requirements will need to be established depending upon what state you live in and what the lien statutes require within that state. Generally, a lien statement should be filed within 30 to 180 days from the last date that the mechanic performed work on the aircraft. A typical lien statement will include information such as the (1) identification of the aircraft by N-number and/or serial number; (2) make and model of the aircraft; (3) registered owner of the aircraft; (4) type of work performed; (5) last day of work; and (6) amount of the lien claim. Some states will even require that you still be in possession of the aircraft at the time of filing the lien statement. Although check with your specific state statutes and aviation attorney as to what should be included in your lien statement.
There is no need for you to lose money when you perform honest and good work. Often times, the use of an aircraft mechanic’s lien is the best thing for protecting your assets and business. If you feel like you should file a lien statement with the FAA or state agencies, call The Ison Law Group and we will walk you through the process. We are available toll-free at 1-855-LAW-1215.

Can I Sue My Criminal Defense Attorney: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

When you’re sitting behind bars because your attorney failed to effectively represent you in your criminal case, one question you should be asking yourself is: “can I sue my criminal defense attorney?” The answer to that question depends on whether or not your attorney’s representation was truly ineffective. If you can prove that your attorney gave you ineffective assistance of counsel, it is possible to bring a legal malpractice suit against your lawyer and collect money damages. So, what is ineffective assistance of counsel and how can it be proven prior to bringing a legal malpractice claim against your attorney?
Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850 allows the court to vacate a conviction, judgment, and/or sentence, when your attorney fails to render effective assistance, such that had effective assistance been offered, the outcome of your case may have been different. When could something like this happen? Some common forms of ineffective assistance occur with your attorney fails to properly file pretrial motions, fails to convey a plea offer, fails to advise you of the consequences of a plea, fails to investigate exculpatory witnesses or evidence, and fails to preserve the right to appeal. A common instance of ineffective assistance of counsel is when an attorney fails to advise you that a plea could subject you to deportation if you aren’t a US citizen.
Having the court grant you post-conviction relief in the form of ineffective assistance of counsel is crucial to being able to survive a claim for legal malpractice against your criminal defense attorney. If you feel that your attorney did not represent you effectively, contact your team at The Ison Law Group and we will walk you through the steps of obtaining post-conviction relief and additionally filing your claim for legal malpractice. Call us today toll-free at 1-855-LAW-1215.

Can My Real Estate Company Use a Drone to Take Pictures?

As a realtor, you are probably thinking that an aerial photograph would be a valuable tool to market the Henderson house that just won’t sell. With drones being in the news so much lately, you are probably wondering: “can my real estate company use a drone to take pictures?” The answer to that question is: not so fast. Drone use for commercial purposes is not permissible unless you receive a certificate of airworthiness or Section 333 exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration. While this may seem like an unnecessary obstacle, it’s not as difficult as you may think for your real estate company to obtain the necessary authorization.
In late 2013, a photographer from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville was fined $10,000 for using an unauthorized drone for commercial purposes. While the court dismissed this case for other reasons, it is important to note that the FAA is not afraid to penalize you if your real estate company uses any type of unauthorized drone. While some in the real estate game are refusing to use drones out of an abundance of caution, avoidance of drone use will only put you behind the competition.
The commercial use of drones is permissible when you file a Section 333 exemption with the FAA. Section 333 exemptions allow the FAA to summarily approve drone operators and vehicles for use on a case-by-case basis. Filing an application for exemption is something that you will want to discuss with your aviation attorney, as the application requires precise language and exact form. Without the help of your attorney, your real estate company runs the risk of waiting longer than necessary for a permit. Call The Ison Law Group today at 1-855-LAW-1215 and we will discuss filing a Section 333 exemption for your real estate company.

Sue Your Criminal Defense Attorney for Legal Malpractice

The need for an attorney that handles legal malpractice cases may not be readily apparent – until you realize that you need to sue your criminal defense attorney for negligently handling your criminal case. Perhaps your criminal defense attorney failed to properly investigate your case, allowing you to remain in jail when you should have been set free. Perhaps your criminal defense lawyer failed to have the prosecution drop the charges against you when you should not have been arrested in the first place. In these certain types of cases, you may be entitled to sue your criminal defense attorney for legal malpractice.
Our Forefather’s built America upon certain fundamental principles that were groundbreaking and revolutionary for their time. These fundamental, Constitutional principles are no less important today than they were when they were first inked in 1787.
One of the most important rights that Americans enjoy stems from the Fifth Amendment guarantee that no person “shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This Constitutional Amendment is often taken for granted – that is, until you find yourself on the wrong side of the law, sitting in a jail cell for a crime you did not commit. And while the American justice system is the finest in the world, negligent mistakes happen – mistakes that could be avoided if your criminal defense attorney properly investigated your criminal case.
Criminal defense lawyers in Florida can be held liable for legal malpractice if they fail to properly investigate a criminal charge. For example, in Rowell v. Holt, 850 So.2d 474 (Fla. 2003), John Rowell sued his Public Defender for legal malpractice after his attorney failed to provide evidence to the State Attorney’s Office that would have secured his immediate release from custody. Mr. Rowell spent two weeks in jail before his lawyer submitted the proper documentation to the prosecutor, which proved that Mr. Rowell should not have been arrested. The criminal defense attorney committed legal malpractice because he had been in possession of this documentation for nearly two weeks, but failed to do anything – leaving Mr. Rowell to sit in jail.
A Florida jury found that the criminal attorney for Mr. Rowell was negligent in committing legal malpractice which caused Mr. Rowell to suffer damages for mental anguish, pain and suffering. After all, his attorney’s failure to do his job caused Mr. Rowell to sit in jail for two weeks – clearly an infringement upon Mr. Rowell’s pursuit of life, liberty, and property. As such, a jury awarded Mr. Rowell $16,500.00 for the brief period of time that he wrongfully remained in custody.
If you want to sue your criminal defense attorney for failing to properly investigate your case, call the Florida legal malpractice attorneys at The Ison Law Group at 863-712-9475 or 855-LAW-1215.

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