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Drone youth faces ‘danger’ charges

Teenager accused of ‘endangering lives’ by flying remote-controlled aircraft in city centre without a licence

A TEENAGER who filmed an aerial view of the centre of Nancy using a remote-controlled drone has been charged with “endangering lives” by flying the drone in a populated area without a licence.

The 18-year-old posted a video of Place Stanislas and other monuments in the Lorraine capital on social websites and it was viewed tens of thousands of times before being taken offline on the orders of the Préfécture de Meurthe-et-Moselle.

It had even been on the site of the Lorraine regional council social site,

Officials from the French civil aviation authority Direction de l’Aviation Civile had also spotted the video and ordered an investigation.

The Nancy prosecutor told journalists it was a first in France but drones were treated as light planes as they could be dangerous if they fell on to someone in a populated area. There was also a special risk in towns of violating other people’s privacy.

Anyone who wanted to fly a drone in a built-up area should have the equivalent of a ULM [Ultra-léger motorisé – microlight] licence.

The youth, who had set up his own business called Golox to hire action video cameras and equipment for drones, has received messages of support on Twitter as he warned others of the dangers.

He was interviewed and charged this week by gendarmes and he will appear in court in coming months for “endangering lives”.

Place Stanislas was voted the fourth most beautiful square in the world by Lonely Planet.

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