Photographer Gets 30 Days in Jail for Drone Accident

February 27, 2017

By Greg Scoblete

A photographer was sentenced to 30 days in jail for a 2015 incident at the Seattle Pride Parade where his two-pound craft collided with a building and then plowed into a woman, knocking her unconscious.

According to the Seattle Times, photographer Paul Skinner was found guilty of reckless endangerment. In addition to his jail term, he was slapped with a $500 fine. Skinner’s attorney is appealing.

The city’s prosecutor, Pete Holmes, actually sought a 90-day prison term, claiming that misusing drones represent “a serious public-safety issue that will only get worse,” according to the Times.

It wasn’t clear which drone Skinner was flying or what happened beyond the reports that the drone first hit a building and then tumbled into the crowd where it struck a bystander in the head.

The Federal Aviation Administration recently released updated statistics on drone sightings to  air traffic facilities. There were 1,274 such reports from February through September last year, compared with 874 for the same period in 2015. Despite the rise, however, no U.S. drone has hit a manned aircraft. The same, sadly, cannot be said for people.