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Privately Owned Drones

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Interesting story out of California about drones impeding efforts to fight the fire that swept across the highway yesterday.

Five drones showed up in that short period of time, given this and a bunch of other stories I've heard in recent months I would expect legislation is coming.

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There is a guy flying around an aerial photography drone here and posts photos all over facebook and videos on youtube that show him operating in class E airspace within a couple nm of a local airport, and also flying at night, through clouds, and well above 500 AGL. I looked up his "business" name and they are not on the 333 Exemption list, therefore cannot be operating as such and especially not for compensation. This area is relatively busy with GA aircraft as well as a TON of military helicopter operations just about every single day.

I called the FSDO just to ask for clarification about operations in the area, and the FSDO UAS guy told me they would contact this knucklehead "educate him" on legal use. He also said that they rely on pilots to report activities like this because they are basically already in over the heads with this UAS business, now that drones are becoming so affordable and everyone seems to want to get in on the trend.

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Lots of conflicting information concerning the number of hobby drones in the vicinity, but one is enough to shut things down.

NIFC PSA about drone strikes:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5Aj0BJi9Hcg

NIFC diagram of the Fire Traffic Area (FTA) for those interested:

http://gacc.nifc.gov/sacc/logistics/aircraft/PMS505_FTA-Card-2013_FINAL-2up.pdf

It's hard enough keeping an eye out for each other and other air traffic in these dynamic situations.

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Anybody have a 333 exemption here? It seems like there would be a business in just litigating the unauthorized....

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So what gives manned aircraft the liberty to freely use the airspace but denies the drone operator the ability to also use the airspace as they would like?

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The person operating the manned aircraft is trained, licensed and has the amazing ability to look out the fucking window thus enabling him to not collide with other aircraft.

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The person operating the manned aircraft is trained, licensed and has the amazing ability to look out the fucking window thus enabling him to not collide with other aircraft.

So what? I'm talking about liberty, not safety.

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In this case, there was a TFR:http://tfr.faa.gov/save_pages/detail_5_7298.html

The problem is that many UAS operators don't know what that means

It takes time for a TFR to be implemented for fire ops. Say anywhere from an hour to a whole day. During an Initial Attack phase the aircraft are responding to a lat/long passed through a dispatch center. Sometimes they are dead on, other times they are WAGs up to 5 miles off. Depends if it was called in by a ground crew already working it, or by someone just calling in the general vicinity. The small ones can be real hard to find sometimes...

I imagine CalFire is on top of it when getting TFRs put in place, but I haven't read how long into the incident they were when the drone(s) were spotted.

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Spitballing here. Perhaps the answer would be short range jamming equipment tuned to the drone control/vid freqs on firefighting aircraft. Or the manufacturers could integrate a "go home" signal that could be broadcast from emergency responders to shut them down, similar to the halo they integrated into the firmware that keeps them from flying around DC now. I see the second option being more viable and likely as this technology develops.

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Well officer, it looked like a duck and it was over my property, so...

And

Spitballing here. Perhaps the answer would be short range jamming equipment tuned to the drone control/vid freqs on firefighting aircraft. Or the manufacturers could integrate a "go home" signal that could be broadcast from emergency responders to shut them down, similar to the halo they integrated into the firmware that keeps them from flying around DC now. I see the second option being more viable and likely as this technology develops.

They'd bypass such an infringement upon their freedom.

Psst, hey kid, wanna hacked EPROM to take full control of that "toy" of yours?

Out

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Private pilot (PPL) and recent drone purchaser here. I bought a DJI Phantom 3 with the 4K camera, and I must say it is badass. Very short learning curve, and it lands incredibly well compared to the previous models. I love it, and will probably not do much manned-civilian flying from now on as it has gotten quite pricey. My understanding of the rules is this...no flying above 500 feet AGL, no flying over people, and no flying within 5NM of any other type of airspace. I typically use my drone for nature shots, and recently got HD footage and pictures for my brother over his new land. He is in real estate, and is thinking about getting one himself.

I thoroughly enjoy my drone, but understand the following. If one uses these to fly for any other purpose than recreational or for a licensed business, then there is a problem. You better believe I'd take out my 12 gauge if I saw one hovering over my property and taking footage of my house. It makes people nervous, and it isn't something one should do IMO.

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Private pilot (PPL) and recent drone purchaser here. I bought a DJI Phantom 3 with the 4K camera, and I must say it is badass. Very short learning curve, and it lands incredibly well compared to the previous models. I love it, and will probably not do much manned-civilian flying from now on as it has gotten quite pricey. My understanding of the rules is this...no flying above 500 feet AGL, no flying over people, and no flying within 5NM of any other type of airspace. I typically use my drone for nature shots, and recently got HD footage and pictures for my brother over his new land. He is in real estate, and is thinking about getting one himself.

I thoroughly enjoy my drone, but understand the following. If one uses these to fly for any other purpose than recreational or for a licensed business, then there is a problem. You better believe I'd take out my 12 gauge if I saw one hovering over my property and taking footage of my house. It makes people nervous, and it isn't something one should do IMO.

I've been looking at that drone. I have never flown any kind of remote control anything so my only concern is jumping into too much, too soon. I don't want to F up a $1300 toy right out of the gate. Am I thinking/worrying too much?

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I've been looking at that drone. I have never flown any kind of remote control anything so my only concern is jumping into too much, too soon. I don't want to F up a $1300 toy right out of the gate. Am I thinking/worrying too much?

It's easy to fly and has an auto land feature so you don't have to do it manually unless you want to. I'd recommend shelling out the extra cash for an extra battery and the hard shell back pack. I worry on occasion but as long as you're flying with a full battery, you're ok.

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Shotguns.

Video NSFW, hence a link instead of embedding it so the thread could still be reviewed at work...

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Louisville, KY man shoots down drone looking at his daughters from over his property.

Maybe there's more to be learned and disclosed on this story. But right now, I'm with this guy. If you're hovering a drone over my property looking in my house and at my daughters, I'll blow that drone out of the sky if I can do it without hurting any bystanders. I'd say #8 birdshot was a good choice.

And frankly, I'd suggest that the gentlemen's comment to the pissed off drone owners that "if you step over that sidewalk onto my property there'll be another shooting" is a perfectly appropriate warning to a group of four who have offered to beat his ass.

Given that this was in Kentucky, I am surprised that they even arrested him. Unless there's something major about this story that hasn't been disclosed, I think this will be laughed right on out of the courthouse - perhaps followed by the Judge ordering that the homeowner be reimbursed for the ammunition he had to use.

http://www.wdrb.com/story/29650818/hillview-man-arrested-for-shooting-down-drone-cites-right-to-privacy

Edited by jcj

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Other articles have said that the faa's stance is they have jurisdiction for all U.S. airspace, from the top of your grass to the moon. There are already federal laws on the books against shooting at aircraft, and for now they consider drones aircraft. None of this has made it through an actual court trial yet though.

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If it has a camera, I'm classifying it as a surveillance (spy) device. Invade my property, get shot.

Out

That's all great that you declared it a spy device, but is there a legal precedence for shooting at someone spying on you?

It's fairly well documented that you can't discharge your weapon into the air in most situations...and destroying someones private property is another thing that's generally illegal.

(and I completely agree that the drone deserved to get shot down (if story is accurate) but that doesn't mean it's legal)

Edited by StoleIt

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"Gee, officer, I thought that it was a pedophile operating that spying device looking in on my kids bathroom."

But before the officer shows up, if the operator shows up first, a picture of them on my doorstep posted to social media calling them pedophiles trying to spy on my little kids gets posted.

Need anymore justification? I could make up all sorts of justification. And I'll gladly roll those dice. Because nobody likes pedophiles.

Out

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You do have an expectation of privacy in your own home, a drone with a camera looking into your home while it hovers over your property is violating that basic principle regardless if it was on the ground or in the air. I see this setting a bad precedence especially for the paparazzi, can't get onto the celebrity's property but fly a drone in "FAA controlled airspace" and there's nothing the person can do as it flies all over their property? Bullshit!

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