Today, we have a very interesting question from Scott, a firefighter in Pennsylvania. Scott has noticed in his job that more and more drone pilots are showing up to accidents and emergency scenes. He wants to know if it is legal for a pilot to fly their drone over an emergency.
While there are many reasons why pilots might do this, many of these drone operators fall into the category of “ambulance chasers”. We talk about what constitutes an ambulance chaser and discuss the state laws that exist around this practices. Additionally, we talk about the ethics of flying drones near emergency scenes. Thanks for the great question, Scott. Fly safe everyone!
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[01:20] Today’s question discusses the legalities of driving drones over emergency scenes
[02:09] Is “ambulance chasing” or “case running” illegal in all US states?
[02:23] What are some of the phrases used to refer to drone pilots flying over emergency scenes?
[02:42] When are case runners or bottom feeders likely to show up?
[03:45] Can data gathered by drones from emergency scenes be of any value?
[04:38] Is there an appropriate channel through which you can legally fly your drone over emergency scenes?
[05:18] Paul lists the states where it is illegal to a drone over emergency scenes
[05:36] What does California state law say about flying your drone over emergency scenes?
[07:12] Defining the term “ambulance chaser”
[09:17] Is it advisable to contact a lawyer to ascertain the legality of flying drones over emergency scenes?
[10:34] Paul reads out professional ethics for attorneys laid out by the American Bar Association. Are these ethics standards applicable to drone pilots as well?
[14:10] Can you be arrested or your FAA license be revoked if you are involved in ambulance chasing?