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French teen fined for illegal drone flight

'Nancy from the air' videographer's wallet €400 lighter

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The 18-year-old French lad who strapped a GoPro to a drone 'chopper and used it to produce a noteworthy aerial video of the city of Nancy has been fined €400, Le Figaro reports.

Nans Thomas bought the vehicle on the internet and sent it aloft without realising he needed proper training and air authority permission. The online success of the video proved his undoing, and an advisory letter from Regional Directorate of Civil Aviation was followed by a visit from the boys in blue, and subsequent appearance before the beak.

In court, Thomas pleaded guilty to a charges of unauthorised use of a drone and "endangering the lives of others". He was fined €100 on the first charge and €300 on the second. It's the first time anyone has been prosecuted in France under UAV-control legislation, Le Figaro notes.

Thomas said he felt he'd been "treated like a criminal" and was considering a move to Spain or Portugal where the rules were "more relaxed" than in France.

Sadly, he may have to shorten that list, since Spain recently clamped down on UAV use. ®

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