Why does almost everyone hate drones?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by sanford, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. A bear attacks a drone, we all applaud. A eagle knocks one out of the sky, we all cheer! And then there is the guy who shot one down over his house (he's in real trouble). To me they represent one of science fictions worst predictions come true. A silent, unseen device capable of following you around and watching everything you do and listening to everything you say.
     
  2. Simple.
    No matter what the new innovations are, there is a small group of people that screw it up for the rest of us.
     
  3. Are you talking about drones with cameras, or drones with Amazon packages, or drones with bombs?
     
  4. I guess I would say all. How is that working out for Amazon packages?
     
  5. I only really hate drones when they fly in the flight/landing path of other aircraft. But I also hate lasers since they can be pointed at pilots. What I really hate are bananas - they are a vile tasting fruit with a very nauseating texture.
     
  6. Really--the only fruit that doesn't require washing? And those Dole stickers are perfect for covering the spy camera on your Mac.
     
  7. I think they can be obnoxious. An uncontrolled flying object that adds to the noise level. I am not pleased that B and H sells them either. I believe they will turn into a nuisance as a toy that childish adults play with. I say license the users. Get a way to ID the unit when it is out of bounds. Train raptor birds to pick them off!! Go little falcon, go kill that drone, and watch the rotors...
     
  8. A banana is not a banana Brian. Cavendish bananas are tasteless. There are varieties that do not travel well but are tastier.. Love the fruit...not when over ripe but that is personal, I like a little green on them...
     
  9. "Almost everyone?"

    Just today a neighbor asked me if I'd fly one of my mutirotor camera birds over her house to get a close look at her chimney and shingles, the better to decide if she needs to get a roofer up there. I have clients that, at this point, would consider some of our routine commercial shoots to be completely inadequate if there weren't some overhead shots. I've got a gig next week where a guy who does high-end landscaping wants before-and-afters from multiple perspectives, and some slickly produced video of a finished hardscaping project around a large pool. Once he saw what we could do with camera-carrying drones coasting at tree-top height over his projects, his creative juices really started flowing. He's hooked, now, and coming up with some really cool ideas.
    A silent, unseen device capable of following you around and watching everything you do and listening to everything you say.​
    Have you ever actually been around any of these devices in use, Sanford? They're not silent. They can't possibly follow you around without you knowing about them, and they're certainly a terrible choice for any attempt to record what you're saying - they're much too loud for onboard mics to pic up anything but prop and motor noise. They can only stay in the air for very short periods of time, are incredibly fragile ... what you're describing is essentially cartoon-quality fantasy at this point.

    And ... Amazon deliveries? They're barely under way, on the research side of things. But lots of people are working on such uses. In Europe, they've tested the ability for GPS-guided small machines to quickly ferry things like insulin or other small payloads to off-shore oil rigs or to small islands that don't have regularly scheduled air service. You're not ever going to see Amazon drones dropping things off at your front porch. Picture them running on-demand small supplies to office park rooftop mail drop chutes that have been pre-established for that use ... and presto, way, way less diesel fuel being burned and road space being used by delivery trucks driving office-to-office in some congested areas.

    Others are using them for archaeological research (numerous ruins and other features have been found where on-foot-only exploration would be very time consuming for teams that have only limited days in certain areas). And biologists are loving them for monitoring certain wildlife scenarios. Utility workers are using them for everything from dangerous power line inspection to checking the scrubbers on 200' stacks at power plants - something that used to require a lengthy shut-down and a risky climb by workers. Companies are using them to inspect pipelines for signs of stress or trouble they'd otherwise take weeks to review by other means, or spend huge amounts of money and fuel to look at less usefully from much higher altitudes by conventional aircraft.

    They've tested them for delivering things like anti-venom across rugged terrain to ranger stations in parks. They're being used for search and rescue, to help in situations like little kids lost in the woods at night. During some recent flooding in the south, local volunteers used a small drone to get a light drag line across to people trapped in a house surrounded by rushing, rapidly rising water, the better to set up a rescue tow rope. Fire departments are testing FLIR-carrying quadcopters to help spot possibly deadly hot spots on roof-tops, so they know where it's safe to deploy firefighters who are trying to save lives and structures.

    Turn on your TV for a few minutes. You will see new low-altitude aerial camera work in all sorts of traditional productions, including ads, that would otherwise have been impossible, or required prohibitively expensive or logistically impossible helicopter use. Farmers are using them to inspect hundreds of acres of delicate crops in 30 minutes, instead of all day - and that's allowing them to make smarter irrigation decisions, reduce their use of fertilizers and pesticides, and to more efficiently plan harvests and planting (which means more food per acre and gallon of water, less fuel burned to produce it, and farmers who can competitively get more done on a tighter budget).

    If you want to hate a tool, first spend some time with people who use them, and make your hate more educated. A lot of people would consider those evil photographers with 600mm lenses who claim to be "nature photographers" to be obvious peeping creeps... why does everyone hate long lenses, right?
     
  10. The Press loves them. It give them a subject that they can vilify and write about. Of course there are the idiots that use them inappropriately or don't know how to use them and crash them into things. The idiots provide the gasoline to pour on the presses' flames.

    The only news they make is bad news. You don't see stories or videos (unless you go to YouTube or Vimeo, etc.) of the beautiful photography and video that's being done. How they can peer into things and be useful in gaining information that otherwise is humanly impossible.

    They are like anything else. They can be used for good or for bad. Only the bad makes news and when the press finds a villain, they like to pile on.
     
  11. I like helicopters and we would never have seen Julie Andrews on the hill top at the opening of film Sound of Music without chopper and photographer hanging out the window... That said, I would not want them hovering over the trails in the Grand Canyon. Or out there at below 500 feet on a Sunday morning. And Kauai has limits on choppers and certain hours to fly. Not unreasonable limits..new technology, takes time to get a grip on it..
     
  12. Matt, I'm referring to the coming of the insect sized drone.
     
  13. Yes, some idiots haven't figured out, yet, that being stupid with RC aircraft (which people have been flying for decades!) around airports is a bad idea. Though I've seen more than one pilot explain that the particulars of many of the reports being mentioned add up to obvious false positives, bird sightings, and more. Obviously it's bad enough when a plane crashes because it did something like have the bad luck to ingest several geese into all of its engines ... hitting a man-made object is a forced error that nobody needs. Of course, there are people who fly kits hundreds of feet up into controlled airspace, or who have weather balloons, higher end model rockets, and more all wander into dangerous territory.

    We haven't had a single collision yet, and there are literally millions of mutirotors being flow. Millions. And in the time since they've become popular, more people have died kayaking, shoveling snow, riding in a bus to the airport, or in flames at the hands of suicidal/murderous commercial pilots. Well, even one person would be more than the zero that we can currently chalk up to model aircraft, not counting a couple of notable large-scale model helicopter stunt-flying accidents over the years. Point is, for something that people armed with little information love to vilify, there sure are a lot of OTHER things that are in real life actually more dangerous and involved in countless deaths and injuries ... but because those things have been around longer, it's no longer click-bait on the sensationalized news web sites.

    Meanwhile, if some guy with a drone helps to find your lost or injured family member, be sure to call a local reporter and try to get it some press, OK? I can tell you that every single person with whom I've interacted while operating one of my drones has gone away from the conversation intrigued, fascinated, and in many cases of a completely different mind than when their entire opinion was formed by drive-by hype on the evening news or in some alarmist, context-free HuffPo scare piece trying to get eyes on web ads.
     
  14. I like that one, Matt: "educated hate". Sounds like an oxymoron to me.
    I can strongly condemn certain forms of usages of drones, which are known to have cost thousands of civilian deaths in the Middle East in recent years (mainly in North Western Pakistan), but I don't bother hating the thing as such.
     
  15. I don't think it is "educated hate". Many people just have a visceral negative reaction to drones without any prompting from anyone. Aging hippies I would guess.
     
  16. Sounds like an oxymoron to me.​
    That's the whole point. Except that people who think they ARE educated on the matter are the ones who say they "hate drones," and then point to non-existent scenarios to show why. There are real-world consequences for holding that mal-informed position.

    Anders: Airstrikes intended to kill people, made using large, multi-million dollar machines that aren't meaningfully different than traditional manned military aircraft (except for burning a lot less fuel, and being simpler to maintain) aren't - and you know this - part of the same conversation as a tiny number of people in incidents with 4-pound, plastic, GoPro carrying quadcopters that are essentially toy helicopters like people have been using in their back yards for many years. Lumping together everything that flies through the air without a pilot on board as a "drone" is just silly, and doing so in public discourse is part of the reason why under-informed people form such irrational thoughts on the matter. It's why people ask questions like "why does almost everyone hate drones?" (see the OP, in this case). Given your inclusion of military machines in the conversation, one might as well ask, "Why does everyone hate aircraft?"

    Sanford seems worried about some near-future scenario where his life is being spied on (most of us aren't that interesting) by insect-sized flying surveillance robots. He mentions "drones." You invoke your distaste for military air strikes made against, for example, Taliban insurgents planting IEDs along roads, and include that in the same conversation. And yet when people bring this subject up in the context of photography (here we are on PN), that absurdly too-broad of a brush with which that now essentially meaningless word ("drone") is now being used means that almost no useful information is conveyed. Every conversations that drops in that word either has to begin and end as a low-information exercise in futility, or it has to involve a lot of exposition so that people can talk in some sort of useful context.

    I talk about it in practical, real-life applications that revolves around the off-the-shelf tools that photographers, videographers, and other specialists are now using. That's in a deliberate attempt to prevent people from reflexively conflating such tools with military aircraft, or only-on-TV Sci Fi applications like insect-sized things that follow you around all day. I find that most of the voices in these conversations don't speak from any sort of direct experience, only from the pointless inclusion of completely unrelated things (like 10-meter military aircraft flying around at 10+ thousand meters and serviced by crews of people) or depictions of non-existent things. And yet it's people's distaste for dystopian sci-fi hardware or their dislike of armed conflict that seems to be driving their personal antipathy towards things like their local photographer's customer expectations to have a small camera 10 meters in the air to get a nice real estate marketing shot for a web site.

    In other words, folks: quit talking about how much you sci fi drones that don't exist or military air strikes that use remotely piloted airplanes. Neither has anything to do with the hardware that so many photographers are now putting to work, and which are the right sort of topic for this web site.
     
  17. My first encounter with a drone was above Hanauma Bay State Park, Oahu. I had hiked up a ridge in the early morning to photograph the sunrise over the bay. It was a Tuesday, the day of the week that access to the water in the bay is closed and there were only a couple of other people hiking the ridge that were there. It was very quiet and peaceful and I was contemplating the beauty of nature, when all of a sudden this f***ing drone buzzes by me and continues to fly through my field of view. I never saw the pilot. I suppose that drones are like ATVs or Jet Skis, acceptable for rescue missions, or in the case of ATVs, for farm work, but otherwise a loud and obnoxious affront. On the other hand, being an engineer, I am tempted to play with the things, if I could do it in a responsible manner.
     
  18. Sorry, don't mean to sound quite like that when I say, "quit doing" X ... but that's the problem, here. It's as if every discussion of cameras included discussions of not only quality street photography, but also people who try to get up-the-dress shots on subway trains and escalators, because, you know ... cameras! Substitute "camera" for every time someone says "drone," and you'll quickly understand why people who actually use those tools (both cameras and "drones") constructively get pretty tired, pretty quickly, of the context-free complaints about all drones as if there even were such a monolithic topic.

    Unless we've got the Off Topic juice back, it seems better to assume that when someone brings up the topic here, it's in the context of photography - whether for fun or business. But photography. We all, as photographers, have a duty (to ourselves, if nothing else) to help people talk about photographic tools of all kinds with more clarity. Because the people who assume that everyone shooting landscape or real estate shots from 100' in the air with a GoPro are actually reading their bank statement through the kitchen window ... those are the same people who assume that every street photographer is a perv, and every bird photographer is a sleazy paparazzi.
     
  19. "Unless we've got the Off Topic juice back, it seems better to assume that when someone brings up the topic here, it's in the context of photography - whether for fun or business. "​
    Agreed, and further digressions into politics will be deleted. There's plenty of room for spirited debate on the subject that is relevant to photography.
     
  20. I hope there is still room for addressing legitimate public safety concerns with respect to drone usage when making photographs. For example, in the last two months in drought-stricken California we've had massive wildfires where drones have interfered with fire-fighting efforts five times, twice delaying air tanker delivery of retardant. I'm sure the operators made some truly remarkable fire storm imagery and videos, but in the end, at least to me, those were very selfish acts and should be subject to criminal prosecution and civil sanctions.
     
  21. Sure, safety concerns are relevant, as long as photography is the main issue.
    Same as methods used to tether or secure cameras overhead in gyms when photographing basketball, volleyball, etc. Recording activities from overhead - whether using tethered cameras or drones - shouldn't expose others to danger.
    Or the use of sports/active cameras like GoPros to record extreme sports and stunts. For extreme sports, recording is incidental to the activity. But stunts like drifting in heavy traffic expose innocent passersby to danger, so it's a gray zone between relevance to photography and public safety.
    I think we can accommodate these debates without digressing into disputes over nationalism, military interventions, politics, etc.
     
  22. In California, where we're suffering through a large number of wildfires due to a severe drought, fire-fighting aircraft have been impeded from dropping fire retardants by photographic drones controlled by idiots. Here is one report. Here is another.
     
  23. Simple.
    No matter what the new innovations are, there is a small group of people that screw it up for the rest of us.​
    I think Willis summed it up nicely, and Brad's example is right on. The usual sequence of events is:
    1. A new device is invented which captures public attention; then,
    2. Some idiotic misuse of the device causes an injury, death, and/or property damage; followed by,
    3. Lawyers salivating copiously while waiting for the first lawsuit; resulting in,
    4. Imposition of knee-jerk legal restrictions which affect even legitimate users.
    Any of this sound familiar?
     
  24. Perhaps many feel that way because it's change and people generally don't like change. Not just change, but something new and something new is just 'one more thing.'
    I would love to make aerial shots of urban coyotes, especially when they go off to hide where I can't go. But when I would photograph them with equipment with no Z axis other than a tripod at the city water reclamation plant and its fenced surrounds, passers by a few times called the real police for my 'suspicious' activity. Had I been operating a camera on a drone flying over the plant and it's surrounds?
    Also, the long lens was limiting with rabbits, but rabbits can be pretty entertaining. They looked gorgeous when lofting through the low brush to escape approaching coyotes, I could just see flashes of their tails. Their multiple tails seem to land randomly so I imagine a coyote would be confused about where to run if in pursuit, looked like fish jumping in a lake in the right light, or random waves of bunny tails flashing. Awsome really, seeing how nature works to confuse a pursuer of social prey animals. With a drone I could be right there with it and have more than a few pixels of it? Sitting there outside the plant's fence fiddling with an electronic control unit and no visible drone I fear I would be seeing a lot more of the police, in this imagined instance, the police more agitated?
     
  25. I think there are parallels between some "street photographers" who take the view the photographer is always right, especially when adverse or controversial situations arise, and some drone operators who are not capable of thinking through and understanding (or just don't care about) the consequences of their actions. In the first case it's usually more a matter of ethics, in the second it's about law/public safety, and in both it's not being able to put one's self in others' shoes.
     
  26. SCL

    SCL

    I'm probably restating what others said, but simply recent irresponsible and thoughtless usage, as well as occasional invasions of privacy, real or perceived, I thiink are the primary reasons (within the context of photography) you see an outpouring of negativity about drones. Plus, as with many other things, people comment negativly and get more publicity much more often ( the old pile on theory) than with positive comments.
     
  27. It is far easier to be irresponsible with flying machines that don't carry a pilot, need little space to land, and are of a size that prevents them from carrying identifying numbers visible from a distance. It is horrifying to argue, as Matt has, that no one has died yet. Do we have to wait for an airplane to be brought down by one of these things? Real harm was done by the drones that caused fire-fighting planes to divert from their targets.

    I see good reasons to have photographic drones, but they should be be under strict regulation. Users should be required to carry insurance or a large deposit to cover at least part of the damage they can do.
     
  28. >>> It is far easier to be irresponsible with flying machines that don't carry a pilot, need little space to land,...

    Hector is spot-on. It's far easier to be irresponsible with drones which enjoy much greater usage (and rate of adoption) than RC model airplanes due to their ease of use, stable control, and much lower bar to entry and operator proficiency. Comparing drones to RC controlled model airplanes, which have been around for 50+ years, is not a good or very relevant comparison. I have seen drones in busy retail districts in San Francisco flying close to people and over busy streets with cars, likely making videos. I have yet to see a RC model airplane operate in similar circumstances (but obviously don't deny it has not happened), or interfering with firefighting operations.

    I'm not and I suspect many/most people are not anti-drone. Like Glenn I'm an engineer (systems/hardware) and appreciate the technology as it's pretty neat and advanced at the systems level - when used responsibly. I am against drone operators who act irresponsibly, without thinking about consequences, or not being able to put themselves in the shoes of others, thus acting selfishly.
     
  29. It is horrifying to argue, as Matt has, that no one has died yet.​
    I'm not arguing it, Hector. I'm pointing it out. These are both tools and recreational items. Millions of them are in use. Pointing out that we haven't seen them involved - despite literally millions and millions of hours in the air, in any calamities yet is meant to provide some perspective. I'm comparing it to the thousands of people who die (or kill other people) every year doing other recreational things, or using other tools. The point is that the hysteria in this area is more than a bit over-wrought.

    That doesn't mean that I think idiots getting in the way of first responders should be cut any slack. But that's true whether they're getting in the way by not pulling over in traffic when a fire truck is on the way to a scene, or when protesters blocking a street prevent a quick response to someone's heart attack, etc. And that's the other point: there are already laws about interfering with first responders on the scene. There are already regulations on the books about not blocking an ambulance in traffic, but of course that doesn't prevent it from happening - it just provides a mechanism for prosecution after the fact. Same thing is true, already, if you're interfering with firefighting while taking aerial photos, or by any other means.

    I had a nice long chat about this very topic with the flight crew of one of our state's 10 fancy medevac helicopters. One of them (and several of his colleagues) fly RC aircraft, and have since they were kids. They all play with multirotors ("drones") just to keep up with the technology. In thousands of hours of flying, they've had one person in their line of sight (well out of the way) flying an RC machine that might have been a problem if it hadn't ducked out the way: it was a fixed-wing RC glider with a pretty good wing span.

    One of their real problems, when flying in emergency situations? People on the ground shooting video of their landing and/or hoist-rescue operations. We're talking about people ducking under the police tape surrounding their LZ at crash or law enforcement scenes, as they shoot smartphone video to post on social media. It's an epidemic, apparently - reckless people doing stupid things with cameras for boasting rights... and no drones required for that to be a problem, as it turns out. Which is why regulations won't stop a small number of dumb people from doing dumb things while trying to take pictures, just like it never has.

    Yes, some insurance for a professional using a camera-carrying UAS doing production work is a good idea. Of course, those people already have liability insurance anyway. Recreational users - millions of them with hundreds of millions of hours in the air - have so far proven to be far, far less dangerous to others than are, say, people riding mountain bikes (most of whom have no liability insurance, but who cause injuries and even deaths every month). Just like most enthusiast photographers don't carry insurance despite the possibility that someone might trip on their camera bag and break their neck when they stop on a narrow path to shoot a nice landscape.

    If you think people flying a 4-pound plastic toy helicopter carrying a camera the size of a pack of gum should be making a substantial deposit against possible damage, there are a LOT of other demonstrably dangerous people and activities that should get your attention first!
     
  30. I think the videos and photos of areas that have been photographed ad nauseum now have a different and unusual viewpoint because of drones. They have made photography and videography interesting and fresh again. Who hasn't enjoyed viewing them on YouTube?
     
  31. Why does almost everyone hate drones ? The short answer is: politics, death and destruction !
    As we are not allowed to discuss such things, let's discuss photography instead. I'm all for it.
     
  32. the only fruit that doesn't require washing​
    What?
     
  33. the only fruit that doesn't require washing
    What?​
    LOL. Yeah! I was feeling kind of bad for the orange, the lemon, the grapefruit, the watermelon . . .
    Though I've started washing all those before peeling to get rid of possible ecoli and other bacteria that can transfer from the skin of fruit when cutting and peeling.
    Oh, . . . and the AVOCADO! [Watch the video at the top of the page, which begins after a brief, obnoxious ad.]
     
  34. Here are some samples of candidates for step #2 in my last post:
    http://www.msn.com/en-us/video/downtime/watch-rogue-drones-meet-their-demise/vi-BBlEOa8?ocid=EIE9HP
     
  35. Sure enough, Mr. Kahn. There's ample evidence, in those short clips, of:

    1) Newbie users flying into the side of a building
    2) Newbie users out-flying their batteries and coming down where they don't mean to

    That scene of the larger octocopter tilting and falling into the stands at a sporting event happened about three years ago. Someone rented the unit to shoot some event coverage, and didn't know how to use it. Just like if they'd rented a truck with a camera crane or a lighting mast, and failing to rig/balance properly, had it topple over into the stands. And that's my point: for every event like that, we can find a thousand other mis-haps that involve something other than camera drones, some of which are fatal accidents involving more familiar things ... and so, lacking the novelty, also lacking press hysteria and other people who can't stop themselves from pretending to confusing the equipment with military aircraft for political reasons, etc.

    What this entire area needs is more education. Somewhat more for the users (especially the newbies), and a LOT more for the general public who seem to get most of their information from incredibly bad sensationalist journalism.
     
  36. Sure, Matt, you can find a lot of other mishaps, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzkWTcDZFH0. What makes the drone incidents unique is that they provide their own video from the point of view of the impact. That's bound to generate interest - at least for a time.
    What's worrisome isn't so much the idiocy involved, but the result of the crash. Maybe the FAA should require drone pilot training and licensing, like motor vehicle departments require driver licensing?
     
  37. No. Not more government regulation interfering with our freedoms. Pilot training and licensing is overkill. Another government boondoggle and expense for the taxpayers. Aren't we tired of that? Just how many people have be hurt and killed by camera drones? Have people sued the operators? That's the way it should be handled. Limit areas like near airports. Use a little common sense. This isn't exactly like driving a two ton vehicle at 60 mph.
     
  38. No. Not more government regulation interfering with our freedoms. Pilot training and licensing is overkill. Another government boondoggle and expense for the taxpayers. Aren't we tired of that? Just how many people have be hurt and killed by camera drones? Have people sued the operators? That's the way it should be handled. Limit areas like near airports. Use a little common sense. This isn't exactly like driving a two ton vehicle at 60 mph.​
    I thought we were going to discourage purely political posts. The moderator above already spoke to making our posts photo-related and not wandering afield into pure politics. This post, Alan, is putting him in the unnecessary position of having to delete in order to keep within the confines already clearly set out, something all of us would prefer not to have to happen. If you want self regulation instead of regulation from authority, which seems to form the basis of your argument, then self regulate! [When Alan's post is deleted, I hope mine will be, too.]
     
  39. Alan there are already some programs for pilot training and licensing of 'drone' aircraft, one of them at the university in my home town. It's the inevitable result of the commercial use of anything that flies. This is something I've been looking at getting involved in and have tried to see where the regulators are going. I think Matt has a much more informed point of view than most of us here. This type of aircraft is news because so many operators are using so little sense. Traditional RC aircraft have generally required instruction to learn to fly and that means getting involved with a local club and being taught to fly in a safe and responsible manner. Multicopters have not required this instruction and the operators aren't being taught any responsibility. As a lifelong RC pilot as well as a private pilot for many years I've watched some UAV operations in some questionable situations over large crowds where I would never consider operation of anything else I fly. Regulations or not, this activity is going to grow because there is growing demand for it. UAVs are not going away, there are going to be more and more of them and we are going to have more photographic options because of it.

    Rick H.
     
  40. Fred. First, The OP question is a political question. It
    is not a question about the aesthetic qualities of
    cameras used on drones. Second, since this
    question directly effects how and when photographers
    can use their cameras, it is exactly the kind of thing
    that should be discussions in this forum.

    Finally my first post did discuss the aesthetic rationale
    for drones.
     
  41. Not more government regulation interfering with our freedoms.​
    Well, fine then. I'll simply come back and say that many government regulations are put in place in order to sort out competing freedoms among the population. I believe, in fact, many government regulations have enhanced my own freedom . . . and I'll leave it at that.
     
  42. Though it's possible this post will also evaporate, I think it's necessary to point out that even a discussion of this technology that is truly limited to photo/videographic applications can and must include discussion of the surrounding legal, philosophical, and political issues.

    See other recent discussions on this forum that have involved (for example) a photographer that has shown work that revolves around peering into people's apartment windows in NYC. Very reasonably, that photography and art discussion was also a discussion about privacy, the First Amendment, the laws of physics surrounding light on window glass and curtains, how long a lens is too long under which circumstances and if that even matters, whether civil or criminal courts may or may not play a role, whether local statutes bear, and so on. In that context all of those were very much photographic comments. If someone had said, in such a conversation, "But I hear that cameras with long lenses are also used by special forces when they call in drone strikes on ISIS convoys!" then that deliberately off-topic side bar, classic trolling really, is inappropriate to the topic despite using the word "lens."

    It's reasonable to point out that we have, already in place, every law necessary to deal with idiots of all stripes. Those who buzz crowds in an urban setting in order to get certain kinds of overhead shots without taking sensible precautions? There isn't a jurisdiction in the country that doesn't have reckless endangerment laws under which said idiot could be held responsible in the event of an injury ... just like we don't need special new "zip line regulations" on the off chance that a video team that decides to string up an ad hoc cable-cam between two office windows makes a mistake and drops their rig onto people in the crowd. Yes, that's an observation that some call political (because it points out that enforcement of existing laws would do the job, and that's a position contrary to what some people prefer), but it's completely germane when it comes to the topic at hand.

    Photographers choosing to exploit this incredible new technology absolutely do have to acquaint themselves with the existing laws (local and otherwise) and the FAA's rules (which may or may not apply), and thus they must also become familiar with the media and political landscape that shapes those things. Those photographers may (shockingly!) also have an opinion about the adequacy and appropriateness of those rules, of the public's mis/understanding of them, and have well reasoned reactions to other photographers' calls to regulate their fellow photographers. There have been plenty of reactionary idiots out there that would LOVE to see new regulations around street photography, and plenty of people right here on PN (some in this thread) who in turn make very on-topic but what some might call "purely political" objections to such limits.

    As long as we're focused on all of these issues as they relate to photo/videography, I don't see how they'd be considered off topic. I'd consider them very topical, and vital.
     
  43. Matt, I agree with you and wish we weren't so restricted. But we are.
    Here's my thinking. If we're talking about drones or we're talking about a photographer peering into someone's apartment to make photos, let's talk about those things. But, if we're talking about drones and we add more generic and universal politically-charged statements, statements that are debated ad nauseum everyday on FOX and MSNBC, statements such as "Not more government regulation interfering with our freedoms," then we've moved beyond the photo- or drone-related discussion. If there's a specific problem with potentially damaging regulations over drones, I'd be more than interested in hearing that in this discussion and it would seem like fair game. Pretty much all the points you and others have made have been within the purview of the subject being discussed. But I think what's been declared out-of-bounds is someone's more universal and much less specific and relevant ideological take on government regulations. I know it's a fine distinction but I also think most people can see that difference and probably modulate their comments accordingly.
     
  44. >>> It's reasonable to point out that we have, already in place, every law necessary to deal with idiots of all stripes.
    But sometimes general existing laws aren't enough, especially from a deterrence or *educational* perspective. For example, the crime of assault (loosely, the threat of creating imminent harmful contact with another) has enhancements for special situations; i.e. assault on a police officer/firefighter, assault on a minor by an adult, aggravated assault, etc. Brandishing a weapon in it's most basic form is an assault. Assaults with battery when directed at certain groups and motivated by hate have resulted in special laws, not just for punitive after-the-crime purposes, but to let people know that certain behavior is especially unacceptable in society.
    I live in/near busy flight corridors with multiple nearby airports with aircraft flying at less that 10,000 feet. Apparently some drone operators have not thought things through with respect to consequences here and in other areas. A law with consequences that deals with that kind of behavior should cause operators to *first* think about what they are doing before any flight is contemplated in situations like this. Ditto with drone operators wanting to get spectacular video of massive fires but in the process interfere with firefighters and air tankers trying to save lives and property.
     
  45. Personally I do hate drones - invasive, dangerous and largely unnecessary. Championed by naive optimists everywhere.
     
  46. I'm reminded of the guy who tied weather balloons to a garden chair and rose to a height of 15,000 feet. I thought he would be celebrated as a folk hero but instead he was prosecuted.
     
  47. Drones are a new way to impinge on our right to have a private space. Not that they are only, or mostly, used to peep. But they can, and we do not know what to do about that. There's no defence, apart from acquiring some surface to air weaponry (but they say that's illegal). And apart from not appearing where drone users can see us, i.e. limit our freedom. Hence (no defence apart from limiting ourselves - the pain is still ours) the unease.
     
  48. Paparazzi with long lenses and little respect for personal private life (such as one can normally assume as valid when on one's own property) made life a bit miserable for the famous or rich. Now drones enable similar less than gracious photography and intrusion. Not by all drone users, to be sure, but by some. If we can have regulations regarding the way one drive's a car, where and how and with what limitations, then we can certainly foresee a need for control of drone use, including that of photography. The technology, not very elaborate, is a good innovation, but get to work on regulating it for the safeguard of personal liberties, municipal and state governments!
     
  49. Fred: To take politics out of the posts would mean that the thread should have been stopped when it was first started. The OP presented political questions; policy questions about the use of drones. Not wanted the government to add another limitation on my freedoms by adding unnecessary regulations is certainly an acceptable response to questions about policy of how we should regulate drones. No one but you brought up MSNBC and FOX. I have no idea what their beliefs are about drones nor do I care. I gave you my beliefs about my freedoms. You certainly have a right to disagree with me and present opposing viewpoints. But you have no right to shut me up, your usual fall back position when you disagree with someone.
     
  50. Who can be for "unwarranted and unnecessary regulations" ? We are all against such regulations, I would think, Alan included.

    When that is said, all governments are presently fighting to come up with those urgently needed regulations and laws, whether local, national or international, which can help protecting our freedoms and safety against the dangers drones can represent to people and communities. Such regulations would concern technical safety regulations of drones and regulations on the usage of drones by individuals, government agencies, national or foreign.
     
  51. Anders: you are not speaking from an informed position on this. "All governments" - in the context of this topic - are actually all over the map on this topic. Many, even most, aren't "fighting for" anything along the lines you describe. Those that have recognized the enormous potential for business, productivity, creativity, and science have long since written their rules. Those that are instead reacting to hysteria about how people who take tree-top landscape shots or who produce commissioned architecture portfolios are endangering "people and communities" have done things like completely ban the use of these devices without any regard to their utility.

    The foreign (to you) US, advising on the internal conduct of which often seems to be your hobby, is a mixed bag. Remote control devices, no matter how small, have for example been entirely banned from huge swaths of the US. Businesses willing to spend vast sums to conduct research have been waiting so long for the FAA to get its act together have simply moved their research activities to Canada, where there is less delirious moral panic over interesting uses for aircraft.

    In the meantime, people looking to do creative things with cameras have managed to still get fantastic work produced. Despite the breathless hand-wringing about what amounts to non-existent threats to "people and communities" - as compared to the millions of people taking aerial photos - the tools are still being put to wonderful use. Your urge to continue to subtly conflate military and law enforcement use with the sort of creative use relevant to this forum and web site, would come across as strange, if I didn't know better. We're not talking about law enforcement here, or military use.
     
  52. Please note this is not an "Off-Topic" forum. Please stick to the use of drones in photography. We aren't here to discuss the military use of drones in warfare or Amazon's plans to deliver packages via drones. There are plenty of photography related drone issues to discuss.
    For example the National Park Service bans all drones in National parks. Most drones are/were flown in parks for photography. Last year someone crashed a drone into one of the hot springs in Yellowstone. It hasn't been recovered and it's not known what sort of damage it may cause.
    While some photographers might want to photograph from drones in the National Parks, I like the ban. The last thing I want when I'm out in the wilderness (or even a a hot spring in Yellowstone or in Yosemite valley) is a bunch of drones buzzing overhead. Anyone who wants to fly a drone in a National Park should have to obtain a permit which will state exactly where and when the drone activity is authorized. That way the disturbance can be limited and still allow occasional drone flights in areas the Park service thinks appropriate. Anyone crashing a drone into the park should be fully financially responsible for recovery and associated costs incurred by the Park. Unauthorized drone use should be subject to penalties and fines.
    The only negative thing I can say about the ban is that it isn't widely publicized. It was a temporary ban when introduced last year. I'm not sure of the current status, but I live right next to Acadia National Park and I've yet to see one sign or mention in any of the Park literature that drones are not allowed. I haven't seen any drones either (yet...). I think a drone flier in Hawaii was actually tasered by a Park Ranger. That's going a little bit too far. http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28914009/drone-operator-chased-tased-by-ranger-at-hawaii-volcanoes-national-park
     
  53. Ok Bob, I'll bite. Here's a question that maybe Matt Laur could inform us. What camera (video and/or still) adjustments, composition, filters, exposure, and other factors do you have to consider when shooting pictures from a drone that is different from photography taken on the ground?
     
  54. Whew! That was close. Good save, Alan.

    It would take a lot to pass along what I've learned so far. All standard photographic principles apply, it's just that most of us aren't used to composing from those perspectives. That's one of the key points about it, as it relates to this thread, though: it turns out that shooting from high altitudes with a personal drone is pretty well pointless. It just ends up looking like something from Google Earth. Where these tools really shine is in providing a tree-top style mode, where the human eye can still feel the subject from a nearly familiar perspective. Those unusual angles end up feeling about like looking down from a five-story building - and ironically, many people will look at the resulting images and have no idea that the camera was flying when the shot was made. Too high, and that breaks down.

    In practical terms: it depends on the rig you're using. My smallest machine uses a GoPro - so we're at the mercy of that camera's software when it comes to exposure. If it wants to blow out highlights, it's going to blow out highlights! But when shooting video from the air with that camera, I use a strong ND filter to force it to a slow(er) shutter speed. If the shutter speed creeps up too high, there's almost no way to avoid rolling shutter artifacts because of the inevitable vibrations in the platform.

    I have a larger rig that flies a Sony NEX-7. No in-air exposure control, so it's either an automated or semi-automated exposure, or I meter from the ground, set up the exposure, and then fly. I can shoot and roll video, but no alter exposure comp, etc., while up. But on that rig and on the small one, I'm looking at NTSC-quality video downlink on the ground so I can see framing, etc. On this bigger machine, I've got a two-man config that allows control over camera orientation while in flight, so that makes it possible to execute some pretty complex shots (a fading-away climb with some lateral movement while the camera does a pan-and-tilt ... you get the idea).

    My most recent tool uses a proprietary camera and gimbal, and uses a very slick groundstation app. So perched above the control transmitter is an iPad that's showing me telemetry, a full high-def camera downlink, and complete control over every aspect of the camera (ISO, white balance, shutter speed, focus point/mode, that sort of thing), with appropriate things presenting depending on whether we're in still or video mode. That level of complete integration between the flight controller and the camera system is huge for creative people. I can actually see and react to histograms, classical exposure zebras, focus peaking - the works.

    This stuff is evolving very, very quickly. None of that means a thing, of course, if you've got nothing interesting to shoot. And that brings us back to the atmosphere of this thread. I don't have problems shooting because people ask me to. I show up just to visit, and people ask me if I have one of the drones in the car, because they've been telling their neighbor about it and they want to share. It's all about helping people to see the results (ideally, on the fly, looking over my shoulder while I'm in the air and composing the shots). That pretty much always changes their tune from, "We must stop these evil threats to our communities!" to "Hey, my friend puts up a hay bale maze in his back field every fall - can you come by and shoot some video of it from overhead? That would be so interesting!"

    Biggest factor for most experienced photographers getting in the air: you're pretty much always going to be working with wide (or very wide) angle lenses. They're physically shorter, and do less to magnify vibrations. Biggest factor that most experienced photographer don't realize is REALLY the biggest factor: safety, and that involves all sorts of things that new drone operators usually haven't thought through. For that, they should spend time visiting sites like RCgroups.com, where you will find thousands of people sharing information in a way that will make you remember photo.net from years ago.
     
  55. Some drones (at least the RC helicopter variety, which do quality as drones - remotely piloted aircraft) can be lethal - http://blogs.wsj.com/metropolis/2013/09/05/remote-control-helicopter-kills-man-in-brooklyn/ That guy just killed himself, but he could have killed other people. Most of the RC camera carrying drones don't have a single massive helicopter blade but even a "safer" drone could cause injury if it accidentally crashed and hit someone, especially one of the larger ones carrying serious camera gear. Safety certainly is an issue to be considered since as far as I know you don't need any sort of licence or training to fly one for hobby or recreational purposes and I don't think there's a limit on drone size and weight for hobbyists is there (other than the cost)?
     
  56. That's one of the reasons, Bob, that pretty much everybody in that line work won't go anywhere near a larger-scale RC helicopter. Just as they've always been for the enthusiasts who just fly them for fun (like the guy who killed himself - a reckless stunt flier doing "3D" flying inches from his own face with a copter that basically has blades like two samurai swords rotating at thousands of RPMs), those are dangerous. I would never fly one as a camera ship, period.

    Even good old Mythbusters recently got in on this topic showing that the small plastic blades on the sort of small quadcopters that millions of people are now flying are actually quite flexible and, really, incapable of causing such injuries. Bigger machines, as some pros use? More dangerous, especially if they're using carbon fiber rotors.

    One of the great features of larger machines, like an octocopter, is that you can have one or two motors fail in flight, and still get in a nice, safe, controlled landing. Helicopter designs simply can't do that. They're used regularly in Japan for crop spraying, but not for camera work - just too risky, especially now that there are such great designs in multirotors. The flight controllers I'm using will nicely return the machines to my launching point if, for example, I lose transmitter link.

    I wouldn't want to catch any of these machines in the face, but then I go to no small amount of trouble to make sure that's not going to happen to me or anyone else when I'm operating. If we're in close quarters, I use the smallest, lightest machine with the flimsy props. As needed, I can put prop guards on that unit. On my biggest rig, the props are folders, and can pivot on the motor hubs.
     
  57. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Quite coincidentally, drone photography was brought up to me yesterday. I do real estate photography and an agent said that for large suburban properties, drones are now being used to give a better aerial view than Google provides. I don't work in that market, strictly urban where the most a drone would show is a roof, but interesting. I'm not sure there's much concern for privacy or danger unless the people living in the home don't know it's happening.
     
  58. You might be surprised, Jeff. With something like a GoPro's very wide angle lens, you could get out in front of a lot of urban buildings and show off things like its place on the street, how a rooftop garden is situated, etc. - and not run into the boring angle that Google provides. Those Google images are also very often well out of date (and then there's the copyright issue!).

    The trick in an urban setting is usually to get out very early in the AM when you might be able to catch an empty (and thus safer) street. That can be pretty hard in a large, thriving metro area.

    But no question that the real estate market is embracing these new perspectives. It's becoming conspicuous by its absence with certain kinds of listings.
     
  59. Banana is not a fruit, it is a berry. Also strawberry is not a berry it is a fruit.
    Anyway the awfull tasting yellow one may be on the verge of extinction from a mold infection that has reached the west coast.
     
  60. I remember when the mango tried to claim the title of the world's most popular fruit. The tomato people said "not so fast" the tomato is really a fruit and therefore it is number one!
     
  61. I am an 8000 hour airline transport pilot. I worked in an executive capacity at the FAA some years ago. I have not read
    all of this thread. Drones are here whether one likes them or not. They are being used in commerce without license
    because the FAA has not, I don't think at this time begun mass licensing for commercial use. There have been some
    close calls near airports between aircraft and drones. IMO there is no stopping the commercial use of these things. I
    was at a recent airshow.where the ones I looked at did not have much mass but the cameras they carry do have some
    mass and probably one of the them could shut down a jet engine. My hope is that the FAA licenses them in a sensible
    manner and operators form a user organization if they have not already done so to advise the FAA and participate the
    development of regulations. The horse is long out of the barn so shutting the barn door will not help.
     
  62. Drones and remote cameras may be part of the reason why some events are starting to require a one million dollar liability insurance policy for photographers.
     
  63. What events? Insurance for visitors or pros?
     
  64. Venues requiring visiting vendors/service providers to carry liability insurance is nothing new. Many wedding reception facilities, for example, have required photographers to name them on their policies as part of the gig - for many, many years. As we've seen with drones spending literally millions of hours in the air, the number of claims for actual injuries has been, in practical terms, zero. A lot of photographers would argue that the number of wedding guests injured by falling light stands or tripping on a tripod is also vanishingly small - but those requirements are just part of doing business and always have been.
     
  65. ""you are not speaking from an informed position on this.""
    Matt, what do you know about informed position of others ? You can only hope and guess, I think.

    Indeed as I wrote, Governments and local authorities are fighting and struggling to come up with correct answers to drones and drone use, especially by photographers or video transmissions (farmers, police, journalists etc).

    I leave it totally to you to have your sharp cut opinions on the subject when it comes to what goes on in your back yard, but just for information here are some appetizers from Europe: France, Sweden and England.

    Here reference to the French recent discussions on drone regulation especially after drone cameras flew over Paris, where any over-flight is strictly controlled and mostly forbidden:
    http://drones.blog.lemonde.fr/2015/05/28/la-reglementation-des-drones-de-loisirs-attendra/
    Here is a similar discussion from Sweden:
    https://www.datatilsynet.no/Teknologi/Dronar--kva-er-lov/
    Here is the English situation:
    http://shop.droneflight.co.uk/pages/summary-of-uk-legal-requirements
     
  66. You're making my point FOR me, Anders. Those countries and jurisdictions aren't fighting to do anything. They've already long since DONE what they were going to do. The laws are in place, the limitations are already there. Whatever freedoms photographers may have had have already been restricted in each place in its own way. There is no fighting, there is simply each place's limitations, now already defined.
     
  67. Alan, I'm referring to a local car show which I've photographed as a freelance photographer for about ten years. Since this event, and others it seems, now have their own photography staff and supply free photos to media outlets, I figured whats the point anymore and I skipped it.
     
  68. No Matt in all these discussions, and you can add most of other European countries, drone laws and regulations are being discussed, changed and re-formulated in order optimally to control products and forms of usage, which challenge peoples right of security and privacy. All too complex a process for being discussed in a thread like this.
    Anyway. I I believe to have understood what you wanted to convey as message, whether you are right or wrong.
     
  69. An article in this morning's Washington Post describes an FAA report detailing hundreds of close calls between drones and aircraft. No city has seen more illicit drones than New York. Just since this March, pilots flying into or out of LaGuardia and Kennedy airports have reported encounters with drones 33 times, according to the article.
    The article states that Senator Charles Schumer of New York has pledged to introduce legislation requiring manufacturers to install technology on all drones to prevent them from flying above 500 feet, near airports or in sensitive airspace. Such technology, known as geo-fencing, relies on satellite navigation to pinpoint a drone’s location. DJI, the world’s leading seller of consumer drones, began programming such technology last year into all models sold in the United States. Such restrictions should not impede photography in legitimate locations, although, even with geo-fencing, there is still plenty of room for misuse.
     
  70. I finally got to reading this entire thread because to subject interests me. I think Matt is very well versed on the
    subject and as an operator he will do the right thing. The rapid growth of drone use kind of took my former
    organization short. I have been reading up on FAAs efforts to license commercial operations. An altitude governor
    is a step in the right direction. The FAA is now granting waivers for commercial operations below 200 feet away from
    congested areas and airports but as I read not many of them have been issued. Much of my 41 year aviation career
    was spent in investigatiing aircraft accidents and working in accident prevention. Commercial photographers need
    the freedom to operate drones. If you look at other operations like ultralight aircraft you see that they do have
    significant freedom to operate even though there accident rate is higher than private aircraft. There will be drone
    accidents as commercial drone operators need the freedom to operate as do ultralights It is the job of the regulators
    to respect that freedom while trying to make the operation as safe as possible. You cannot regulate good sense.
    People will get hurt and die over time just as they do in ultralights and all other aircraft. The job is to integrate
    drones into the system with as much safety as possible with standards for flight, training and operator certification.
    Non-commercial use of drones is regulated as to areas and altitudes of operations but non-commercial operators are
    not required to be licensed. As I said it is upon us and we have to figure out how to live with it.
     
  71. I don't think people hate drones because the way in which the use of drones is to be regulated is still a work in progress. People hate drones in large part for the same reason why it is a good idea, necessary, to draw up some rules to regulate the use of drones.<br>It's those users of these things who obviously can't regulate themselves and need rules spelled out to them to know that there are boundaries to what people will accept of them and their drones, and punishment for those who even then don't know that they at best are annoying people when they cross those boundaries anyway. Somehow, some people think that because they can and other people can't stop them, it is allowed and proper to do what they want.<br>Regulation is necessary. But that is a product of the actual use of drones just as people hating drones is. Indecent behaviour of some of those who use drones is why people hate drones. Not the lack of rules that spell out the obvious and prohibit indecent behaviour.
     
  72. I've been flying and making photographs with my multi-rotors since Sept of 2012. Most people I encounter while flying are very curious but I could not say "most people hate" drones at all.
    Even made a web site offering services:
    www.AerilPhoto123.com
    ..and yes, I've heard from the FAA about it.
    Also, the media loves stories that makes drones and their operators look bad. It's far less common for news stories about drones to be "positive". Bad news sells better than good news.
    Here's a link to some of my drone aerial photography:
    I fly a Sony NEX 6 camera.
    BTW drones are not silent and they can't listen as the OP seems to believe.
    00dS9E-558149684.jpg
     
  73. I think it too early to look at drone safety as compared to other forms of aviation activity. Accident data will be
    difficult to collect for drones. Data is currently collected for ultralights, private aircraft, and commercial aircraft. I don't
    think there is a structure for reporting drone accidents currently so it is hard to determine their impact on society.
    The FAA has the responsibility for aviation safety. That means overseeing entire US aviation operation with the
    prime responsibility of safety followed by improving system efficiency. Their task with drones is to integrate drone
    operations into the system while protecting all aircraft already operating in the system, the public at large riding in
    airplanes and those living below aviation activities including drones. Hence the current rules about staying away
    from airports, staying below 400 or 200 feet, and staying away from airports. Similar rules have a applied for many
    years for model airplane flight. Note that model airplane operations have had very little safety impact upon the entire
    system. See and be seen is a rule that has applied in aviation since the Wright brothers. It is still vital in today's
    operations. It applies to drone operations by requirng operators to keep their drone in sight and away trom other
    aircraft. The only time see and be seen does not apply is when out of cockpit visibility is impeded in actual weather
    and/or flying above certain altitudes. It means that all pilots have to look out the window in visual conditions.
    Airlines today use collision warning systems to aid in spotting conflicting aircraft. The risk of mid-air collision is still
    present as evidenced by continuing mid-air collisions. This is the milieu that drones have entered recently by large
    numbers. The only thing the FAA regulates is safety in airborne operations and of the airworthiness of the drones
    themselves. Privacy issues are not in FAA jurisdiction. It is my opinion that drones do present some hazard but
    they actually fall more in the category of model airplanes as they should be operated away from most aviation
    activities. There is risk property damage and and midair collision particularly if they are operated out of defined
    parameters or if they are operated by uninformed, untrained or unskilled operators. That is why I believe the FAA
    has placed a 55 pound weight restriction on recreational and most current approved commercial operations.
    Drones are here to stay and they are being accommodated in the system. We need considerably more data and
    experience with drones to determine their actual impact upon the system. There have been a couple of incidents
    reported of drones operating within major airport boundaries without approval. Whether this was done in ignorance
    or deliberate there has to be vigorous enforcement and some required training on the rules.
     
  74. I appreciate Dick's sensible, informed comments in this area. Especially the distinctions made between safety and privacy. These are two completely different issues - one of which is within the FAA's turf, and the other of which is already dealt with by other means at every jurisdictional level. There are already privacy-related statutes in place that govern what you can do with images taken from traditional aircraft, or with long lenses while sitting 20 feet up in a tree next to someone's house.

    Those issues are completely separate from making sure there are consequences for someone who puts a flying RC model aircraft or anything similar into the path of another aircraft. Hurting someone on the ground through negligence isn't any different than backing into them with your car when you show up to fly. Reckless endangerment is a well-understood and very in-place legal concept that is available to every law enforcement officer and prosecutor. And of course there will always be lawyers willing to tackle such injuries or property damage in civil court - there's no need to differentiate, in that sense, between somebody crashing into your garden with a 10-pound camera robot and someone doing so with a 300-pound ATV (or a 90-pound Labrador Retriever for that matter).
     
  75. >>> Reckless endangerment is a well-understood and very in-place legal concept that is available to every law enforcement officer and prosecutor.
    Yet that hasn't been enough, just as an example, to thwart people dangerously pointing lasers at aircraft. For the last four years the numbers have approached 4K/year reported laser-aircraft incidents, some degrading pilot vision. The problem is there is not much *deterrence* or public awareness with broad reckless endangerment laws. Those are after the fact punitive solutions that do little to deter. To address that issue with laser pointer and aircraft/pilot safety, specific laws at both the state and federal level (including civil sanctions in addition to criminal penalties) were created and and along with well-publicized prosecutions resulting in harsh penalties will hopefully reduce the number of incidents. Similarly, well-publicised specific laws and prosecutions dealing with drones interfering with aircraft and public safety/firefighting operations on the ground could be more effective as well.
    There are also potential technological operator location-based solutions that could be employed should laws not be enough.
     
  76. Brad: the people shining lasers at aircraft are already breaking well known federal laws, and the cases are discussed in the mainstream media with some regularity. And ... well-publicized prosecutions?

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/25/us/california-laser-sentence/

    http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-busted-pointing-laser-beam-laguardia-planes-cops-article-1.2143788

    http://www.theblaze.com/blog/2015/03/19/bronx-man-used-a-laser-pointer-to-blind-commercial-airline-pilots-then-turned-it-on-the-pilots-of-the-police-chopper-that-came-to-arrest-him/

    http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/11/california-man-walloped-with-14-year-sentence-for-shining-laser-at-helicopter

    http://patch.com/california/sanmateo/woman-pleads-no-contest-targeting-aircraft-laser

    So, you've got jail terms ranging from a few months to 14 years for doing this. The people who do it know they're doing something stupid and harmful - they are attempting to interfere with the operation of the aircraft.

    Compare that to idiots who are attempting to take photos or videos with small multi-rotor machines: I suppose it's possible that one more crazies may have been trying to interfere with an aircraft, but so far we haven't seen a single example of that sort of behavior. Mostly, just obvious cluelessness on the part of a handful of operators out of the millions that don't do such things.

    Rounding WAY up, and assuming that every pilot-reported case of a drone being anywhere within their sight is legit AND is a case of malicious interference (of which we have not a single known example so far), that would put those operators at less than five one-hundredths of one percent of the people flying such machines. And that's assuming that no two events are from the same operator, and that none were false positives, etc.

    Some reckless operators have indeed been prosecuted and or fined, and we've had one case (still rattling around administrative courts) where a reckless operator (who didn't hurt anyone, he was just being more cavalier than he should have been) has been initially fined $10,000 by the FAA. And of note, the flight for which he was fined DID NOT include the use of a "drone" in the sense that people are using that word here. He was flying a traditional fixed-wing model airplane.

    Point being: yet more laws to make laser-pointing or being reckless in the air won't change people who are malicious or who are too dumb to understand. Just like more laws against drunk driving don't, at this point, appreciably change the behavior of the worst offenders before the fact of their recklessness.


    That's exactly why more redundant regulations saying, again, you're not allowed to point lasers at airplanes won't actually make any difference. And they especially won't make any difference to someone doing so with malice. They simply don't care.
     
  77. >>> Brad: the people shining lasers at aircraft are already breaking well known federal laws, and the cases are discussed in the mainstream media with some regularity. And ... well-publicized prosecutions?
    Yes, that's the point I was making. The laws regarding laser-pointers and aircraft are relatively recent. Before they were in place I suspect many were saying, but but but wait, there are already reckless endangerment laws, why do we need yet more laws. Just like some were probably saying, but wait, we already have a law called assault, why do we need: assault on a police officer, assault on a minor, aggravated assault, hate-motivated assaults towards certain groups, etc.
    >>> Point being: yet more laws to make laser-pointing or being reckless in the air won't change people who are malicious or who are too dumb to understand.
    I disagree. I'm more worried about the clueless/stupid and extremely selfish, like drone operators wanting to take spectacular wildfire photographs, interfering with firefighters and air tanker operations dealing with the massive California fires protecting lives and property, rather than those acting out of malice.
     
  78. The laws regarding laser-pointers and aircraft are relatively recent.​
    Right. They're really not necessary. LONG before lasers were an issue, we had federal laws against interfering with the operation of an aircraft. Perfectly acceptable as a mechanism for prosecution - shining blinding lights into the eyes of pilots is deliberate interference with the operation of the aircraft.
    Just like some were probably saying, but wait, we already have a law called assault, why do we need: assault on a police officer, assault on a minor, aggravated assault, hate-motivated assaults towards certain groups, etc.​
    That's true. We don't need most of those distinctions. Assaulting a police officer may be a legitimate special case because it may happen in the context of attempting to - rather than assaulting another person for sake of that assault in and of itself - disrupt that officer's ability to do something like maintain peace during a riot, or some other aspect of his or her public duty. In that sense, shining a laser at a commercial aircraft might be thought of as different than deliberately targeting a law enforcement aircraft because of the additional motivation to interfere with law enforcement itself, not just the aircraft being used to that end.
    I'm more worried about the clueless/stupid and extremely selfish, like drone operators wanting to take spectacular wildfire photographs, interfering with firefighters and air tanker operations dealing with the massive California fires protecting lives and property, rather than those acting out of malice.​
    But you're not making any sort of case as to why laws that already make interfering with aircraft operations or with firefighting (both are already illegal) aren't adequate. Specifically, why is an existing law that allows a prosecutor to charge someone who interferes with firefighting not adequate when it comes to charging someone who is interfering with firefighting?

    It doesn't matter if the person who is interfering with a firefighter is using a camera on the ground, vs a camera in the air.
     
  79. Gentlepersons:
    My answer is "Privacy."
    A. T. Burke
     
  80. Mr. Burke:

    Can you be more specific? Would you say that the very same concern would apply to completely ubiquitous cameras in everyone's hands, everywhere you go? To bird photographers with 1000' lenses? How many people do you know who hate drones because they've ever had their privacy in some way actually compromised by a flying robot? And I'm not talking about the many traffic planes, the mapping planes and satellites used by navigation providers like Google, and so on. This fear about privacy is a pretty profound thing, but it's interesting how many (well, few, to the point of approaching zero in practical terms) people have actually complained about real examples of this issue, considering that millions of them are in use.

    Or are you talking about government surveillance? As mentioned by a mod above, that's outside the scope of this forum.
     
  81. Mr. Laur....
    Yes, I can be more specific and probably should have been. Yes, I really have my problems with inappropriate government surveillance, but that is not a subject for the board, nor was I referring to that.
    What I was referring to with my comment was the privacy issue where a drone is able to look in someone's window and see an area or human action, only by that method. In other words, if you're on the 20th floor of a building across the street from another 20-story building whose stories are reasonably even with yours, you might not have the expectation of privacy, even though you're 20 stories up. If you're 20 stories up, surrounded by three-story buildings, you could expect privacy a few feet back from the window. Somebody running a drone up and taking pictures through that window, in my opinion, would be violating personal privacy. In a residential area of one-story houses, a family might feel free to go skinny-dipping in their pool behind a ten-foot tall block wall. For a drone to hover above the pool, feeding back pictures which are going on You Tube or Facebook, I feel is an invasion of personal privacy.
    Thank you for your comment. As talk of governmental peeping is verboten on the board, I had not thought to differentiate between governmental and personal peeping.
    A. T. Burke
     
  82. Mr. Laur....
    Oops, I closed out the above message without addressing a second part.
    " How many people do you know who hate drones because they've ever had their privacy in some way actually compromised by a flying robot?"
    Between fifty and several hundred as a matter of fact. I have a condo in a condo project which is on the grounds of what used to be the 150 acre plus Paradise Lakes Nudist Club. The club had financial problems and the properties were sold. The actual club is now just a few acres, which happened to be adjacent to the condo project I live in most of the year. Some sleazebag real estate clown decided to fly his drone around the neighborhood "in case he ever got a listing in there, he could show the pictures." Of course, the drone ended up over the actual club of five swimming pools and was freely taking pictures of everybody in there. Many of my neighbors have a membership to the club facilities. Many other people I know who are generally within the old Paradise project also were in the club area. There are no real estate units that could come for sale on the actual club grounds. I believe he was invading those people's privacy. Anyone who approached the door of the club for admittance would have seen a large sign noting that photography was prohibited. It is my understanding he had been on the club grounds before, so certainly knew the rules and the wishes of the people on the club grounds. His excuse for having the drone in the area is suspect at the very least, and in my mind, when over the club itself was a clear privacy violation of many people whom I know both casually and quite well.
    A. T. Burke
    P.S. Had I been in the condo at the time, I would NOT have shot it down. But…only because I would not know where the bullet would come down.
     
  83. So, A.T., surely - knowing exactly who the person was - you had the police talk to him, just as you would have if he'd picked up far better quality images by putting a camera on a 20' pole and holding it up over the fence? Or put up a ladder? It's no different, legally. The issue is the person's behavior, not the tool.
     
  84. Mr. Laur...
    No, I did not know who the picture taker/drone pilot/slimy real estate person was. I also did not hear about it until after the fact as I was not on premise.
    Yes, if someone put up a ladder and looked in my window, I'd resent it as much as a drone.
    Yes, if somebody used one of those long poles to hold a camera up to my window, I'd resent it as much as a drone.
    Additionally, although society would not accept my actions, I would not feel morally wrong by reaching out the window and pushing the ladder over. I'm just not a nice guy. Or maybe I just don't roll over when somebody's trying to take advantage of me. I know that attitude is terribly non-PC.
    A. T. Burke
     
  85. There's always going to be jerks who spy on others with long lenses, shoot up girl's skirts when going up the stairs, and I suppose there's going to be people who use drones to spy as well. There are probably privacy laws against these anyway so they would be violating the law. If they get caught, they will be prosecuted. If they don;t get caught, well, you have to chalk it up to things that just happen. It won;t be the end of the world and I don;t see stopping drones for this reason anymore than not selling long lenses to bird photographers or ladders because some jerk may use these to spy into your window.
     
  86. Expectation of privacy. Like you said if there is a twenty story building next to you then you would not expect that. But if
    the building is built after you move in then you loose the expectation that you had when it was a three story building
    there. Expectation changes as the world changes. In the same fashion you loose the expectation of privacy as
    technology that is available to Joe Blow changes.
     
  87. And people can of course resist things that could lower their expectation of privacy. On good grounds. And with success.<br>The fact that some people use hard to counter ways of peeping where they are expected not to peep doesn't make it right to peep. Just as little as the expectation to get mugged makes that acceptable.<br>And it doesn't matter much how many people are affected personally. The possibility of being run over by a car justifies the fear for being run over by a car. Do you have to be ran over yourself first, Matt, to have a justified concern? Knowing that a drone can be used to invade private space is enough to want to have something done about that. And we know that because it happens, even if only to a very small minority.
     
  88. droneammo.com
     
  89. I hate the idea of drones becoming commonplace, buzzing over my house, in my air space, delivering packages or lunches or photographing my back porch. I'm seriously considering starting a ballot initiative in my state to make use of reasonable force to bring down drones over private property legal.
     
  90. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrage_balloon
     
  91. Andy: The FAA has already made it clear that any force used to take down an aircraft of any kind is a federal felony. So, very unlikely that any local statute is going to trump that very reasonable position. Secondly: you need to bone up on the concept of "my airspace," which has also been handled in federal court more than once, and doesn't really apply in most cases unless we're talking about someone operating at or below tree-top levels essentially right over your yard.

    As mentioned in earlier comments: you're not going to see Amazon or anyone else delivering packages in this way to anyone's suburban address. Just not going to happen. Of course they're looking into it - there's a huge market for such services in other contexts (emergency medicine deliveries to hospitals or other facilities, deliveries to commercial or industrial addresses where roof-top-chute or warehouse style destinations could be prepped for that as a routine method. Rural settings, with pre-arrangements made for safe zones, etc. But no ... some humming little multi-rotor isn't going to replace the large, loud diesel truck that's currently pulling up to your driveway to deliver a thumb drive or a spatula from Amazon.
     
  92. Matt, there is certainly a zone of gray area between my ground and the altitude at which I have no rights against general aviation. The most accepted theory is that the property owner's ability to prevent unwanted flying objects ends at 500 feet. Under that it's a state law issue. My statute would only cover low flying drones, but realistically it's very unlikely that a civilian would be able to down a drone at 500 feet while using only reasonable force (which would be defined in the statute as specifically not including any force that in itself would be unlawful when used at that location - so a rural landowner might be allowed to take out a drone with a shotgun, while a city dweller would need some kind of net-thrower or whatever city-appropriate anti-drone measures are being developed).
    The point would be to make the destruction of the drone, in itself, not an unlawful act. A landowner could opt out by granting a general license to the drone-using public, but it would be on the drone owners to not trespass on the property of anybody who doesn't do that. Some entrepreneur would make an app for it.
     
  93. The most accepted theory is that the property owner's ability to prevent unwanted flying objects ends at 500 feet.​
    Actually, that number is off by a little over 400 feet. From a how-it's-turned-out-in-court perspective, it's more like 81 feet. Regardless, the FAA says it has statutory authority over ALL air space, from the ground up, period. So when they say you can't shoot down the local traffic helicopter OR someone's toy helicopter, they mean it - and they have the legal authority and precedent to back them up. That's before other authorities might chime in (as they did recently in Kentucky) on details like discharging a firearm in an illegal way, etc. A local statute that says you can treat someone else's aircraft like a clay pigeon just because it's below a given altitude would never trump the FAA's regularly stated position that you can't knock any aircraft down, ever.

    Destruction of the drone would be just as illegal as destruction of somebody's windshield when you shoot at their car for trespassing on your driveway. That has nothing to do with your ability to ask the police to be involved if someone is indeed trespassing ... but someone passing over your property with an aircraft isn't trespassing. If they're doing so in a dangerous way, we've already got reckless endangerment (or, depending on the circumstances, harassment) and other laws ready to go for recourse in such situations.
     
  94. <p>Andy - Hope we don't see your picture on the web... http://photographyisnotacrime.com/2015/07/kentucky-man-arrested-for-shooting-drone-out-of-the-sky/
     
  95. Matt, there's no consistency on that. 500 feet is the minimum level for commercial aviation when not near an airport, so it's the most common number used for FAA jurisdiction. The FAA is introducing new rules for drones below that, that make them legal to operate, but legal to operate and legal to operate while trespassing are two different things. This isn't a matter of FAA regs at all, it's just trespass to land, which is a state law matter.
    Beyond the FAA regs (which will tell you whether it's legal to use the drone at all) it's just a matter of real and personal property rights, and that's all state law that can be modified by statute (state statute, not local ordinance). Where it's unlawful to damage a car that's trespassing, it's unlawful because of state law, which can be changed by the lawmaking mechanisms of the state.
    As I said, this has nothing to do with firearms law, it would merely make the destruction of the drone, in itself, lawful. The method of destruction would of course have to be a lawful one in context. Obviously we don't have to make shooting a shotgun in a city legal in order to enable reasonable drone destruction. The market will provide the methods. And probably very little actual drone destruction would be needed. A few get taken down over private property and people will learn to keep their drones off private property.
     
  96. If I am participating in a legal activity in my back yard and it happens to down a drone in space overt yard OH WELL.
     
  97. Matt, there's no consistency on that. 500 feet is the minimum level for commercial aviation when not near an airport, so it's the most common number used for FAA jurisdiction.​
    Andy: you're making the common mistake of confusing the FAA's typical active control (as in, air traffic control) over a given airspace with their jurisdiction over it. They are responsible for airspace from the first 1mm above the ground. This is reinforced in many different contexts - throughout the agency's FAQs to their published rules/regs, to findings in administrative and federal courts. That's why even when you're 100 miles from the nearest airport, and you mess with a crop duster that's flying well under 500', you better believe the FAA will have something to say about it, and has legal, federal teeth. The FAA is no less in charge of the air at 10 inches than it is as 10,000 feet.
    As I said, this has nothing to do with firearms law, it would merely make the destruction of the drone, in itself, lawful.​
    Nope. Federal law already says that interference with an aircraft of any kind is illegal. We're talking federal felony, big fines, possibly jail time, etc. No state law can make legal that which is federally illegal. Your state can't say it's all right for you to take over airwaves regulated by the FCC, or come up with local laws that dismiss the power of the EPA, or the FDA, or the FTC, or, or, or. You bring down an aircraft in flight, you are breaking a very, very plain-language federal law. Whether or not an aircraft that happens to have a camera onboard as it traverses your property is trespassing is another matter. Is a person flying at 1000' with a high res camera and a 1000+mm stabilized lens in a fancy $50k gimbal (who really IS able to see very fine detail like the pattern on your shirt while you're gardening) NOT, as far as you're concerned, trespassing ... but someone with a GoPro in the air at 150', where your entire body is recorded as maybe 10 pixels ... he's trespassing? State laws that seek to get into that mess are going to have to start splitting hairs about the technical capabilities of cameras and lenses, not what sort of machine is carrying the camera at what altitude. And any such tech-spec law is going to be out of date in about 30 minutes, given the way the technology evolves.
    The FAA is introducing new rules for drones below that, that make them legal to operate,​
    No, it's already legal to operate RC aircraft below 400', and always has been. You're not allowed to do so recklessly, or in a way that interferes with airports or other aircraft, etc. The FAA's proposed new rules refer only to commercial operations, as congress has explicitly ruled out any new regs aimed at recreational use by enthusiasts. All RC operators have always been subject to existing laws about air safety, just as you would be if you were operating a hot air balloon or playing with model rocketry. Nothing new there. The new rules are meant to take an area that currently is only defined by FAA guidance (the commercial use of RC aircraft) and making it officially regulated in a way that makes operations not legal as you're suggesting (because it already is), but newly illegal with only some narrowly defined exceptions. Right now, it's not illegal, it's simply something the agency has said they'd really rather you not do. That's why there hasn't been a single FAA fine for any commercial operator - with or without a waiver/permit - simply for operating commercially. All fines have been related to recklessness. The FAA recently had to send out a letter to all of its enforcement agents to remind them that they have to stop sending threatening letters to realtors who post drone-based aerials on real estate listings ... because they do not yet have the authority to get involved in that.
    This isn't a matter of FAA regs at all, it's just trespass to land, which is a state law matter.​
    Except that state law generally can't trump federal law. Many court battles have been fought over whether or not flying over private property is actually trespass or not, and the case that (more or less) settled the matter is the one that came up with 81 feet as the reasonable distance for "control" of the airspace over private property.
    A few get taken down over private property and people will learn to keep their drones off private property.​
    A few already have, and the people who've done it have been arrested for a variety of reasons, ranging from destruction of property to misuse of firearms to reckless endangerment. Just like people operating drones recklessly have also faced charges, under laws that already exist. Your urge to be the guy who knocks aircraft out of the sky is a bit of a head scratcher. It's about like putting out tire spikes on the road in front of your house because you hate it when photographers with long lenses and polarizing filters drive by on their way to do make some wildlife shots - they might be able to look through in your windows in a way that the unaided eye could not! Surely there's a way to make destruction of those cars, or at least those lenses, legal, right?
     
  98. It's really simple. Destroying a drone that does not belong to you is not legal. There's no more to it than that.
     
  99. It's really simple. Destroying a drone that does not belong to you is not legal. There's no more to it than that.​
    Yes. But Andy is suggesting that he'd like to pursue some sort of local law to make it legal. Can't happen. He'd have to get the federal laws changed, which is NOT going to happen. The feds may be about to make it absurdly more difficult for some realtor to fly a 3-pound, $150 toy up to 30 feet for some quick snapshots of a landscaping job ... but they're never going to make it easier for Andy to destroy somebody else's equipment in the air. Even the hint that there are circumstances in which that would be acceptable would produce all sorts of consequences among people who are far less thoughtful than Andy is on the subject.
     
  100. Matt, clearly we disagree. More likely than not this will get tested soon, but I'm very confident that something along the
    lines of what I'm thinking of - a legal way to exclude drones from private property - is possible. It is of course true that a
    property owner has a right to exclude others from property and that this includes some amount of air space. This is a
    separate issue from the legality of operating a drone in a general sense. The FAA regulates aircraft but that doesn't mean
    states don't also regulate aircraft and individuals don't regulate them on private property. The right to fly over a property at
    transit altitude is an exception to the traditional rule that extended a property owner's rights upward infinitely. It does not
    apply at low altitude. For example, there is no general right to fly a helicopter low over a celebrity's back yard to
    photograph them. You also don't have a right to throw rocks over my house or suspend a chair over my lawn. The fact
    that a small aircraft is used instead of a helicopter, rock or a crane with a chair attached does not make the trespass
    lawful. Those are all state law matters and these drone problems are also going to need state law solutions.

    It may be that allowing destruction of drones on private property never becomes practical enough to actually allow, so a
    better alternative that would serve the same function might be making flying a drone over private property below some
    reasonable level explicitly a civil trespass with statutory damages. If that level were, say, 400 feet, there would still be the
    opportunity to go past a private property by flying between 400 and 500, while also preventing unreasonable intrusions.
     
  101. >>> What this entire area needs is more education. Somewhat more for the users (especially the newbies), and a LOT more for the general public who seem to get most of their information from incredibly bad sensationalist journalism.
    I think that should be reversed. Much too easy to reflexively blame the public and the media as so often happens in other situations. From the 650 plus encounters reported to the FAA this year through August 9 and projected to reach 1,000 by the end of the year, there is a serious problem with respect to operator education. Here's another recent story.
    Just a few days ago there was a near collision with a life-flight medical helicopter in Florida. Similar life-flight encounters have occurred in California (within a few yards) and Ohio. And the interference with wildfire firefighter and air tanker interference mentioned above.
    Clearly "somewhat more" education for drone operators is not enough. Fortunately, lawmakers as well as the FAA do listen to the concerns of the public and commercial pilots, and will act accordingly with expanded regulations and laws. The Air Line Pilots Association is weighing in on for-pay commercial use of drones including certifying operators and equipment to the same levels as general aviation and commercial aircraft. That's a good start, but much more is needed to address irresponsible hobbyist usage.
     
  102. Of course it's an operator problem. Just like kiddy porn is not a camera problem. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss the shotgun approach (JK, sort of). Sure it has it's difficulties. But consider what the other solutions require. These puppies are selling by the thousands. From simple relatively cheap consumer/hobbyist models to big, expensive professional models.
    How do you intend/expect to identify the operator of a drone that is "trespassing?" It flies in, does it's thing, flies away. Register them and apply common sense drone controls and background checks on the owners? Require waiting periods? Drone operators will learn to be responsible just like the papparazzi are in following celebrities? Seriously?
    OTOH, shotgunning them. as satisfying as it might be, isn't going to be that easy. They'll fly higher and faster and do a little jinking and get away anyways.
     
  103. Do you really want your neighbor to be shooting at drones buzzing their property so close to your house and kids? I suppose he could claim he thought it was a UFO with little green men. But no one's going to accept that it's OK to put other people in his dangerous sights because some drone was trespassing. That's more reckless than the original infraction.
     
  104. Blood brings about change in aviation. It always has. One of these days a drone is going to get tangled up in a jet
    engine compressor and shut down an engine. We know that a small number of geese did this and shut down both
    engines on an airplane that wound up in the Hudson River. A fat goose weighs about 11 pounds or so pounds, I
    think. A single goose will usually will not cause an accident unless it causes a fire or a compressor to shed blades.
    Four of five geese are a different story. Until there is a collision that draws blood there won't be much accelerated
    action. This is not a unique scenario. Aviation licensing standards came about as aircraft became more complex
    and air traffic grew and people died in accidents. This partially regulated UAV operation is growing. I was looking at
    drones in Best Buy the other day. They are small and light for the most part. They weigh less than a fat goose
    although today they are allowed to weigh 55 pounds. I will guarantee that just about 55 pounds of anything will
    damage any airplane large or small moving at approach speeds. There are specific questions that need to be
    answered. They include what is the real accident rate between UAVs and other aircraft. There have been no known
    accidents as of yet although the near miss data shows increasing exposure. Manufacturers are beginning to install
    safeguards like airport data bases that can lead to a drone landing if one gets too near an airport, altitude limiters,
    and a rudimentary collision avoidance system. Airlines have collision avoidance systems installed that warn and
    dictate avoidance maneuvers. Something similar using simple sensors could be installed on UAVs. I wonder if a
    twenty pound UAV would set off an airline collision avoidance system. There should be testing for knowledge of
    UAV rules for all drone operators, IMO. Use of mini drones under four pounds should probably be exempt as their
    potential for causing damage is low but we should remember that birds don't weigh much either. We are in a growth
    period where many questions cannot yet be answered. We need to wait and see until we get a blood driven set of
    priorities. However this begs the question about what we do about the drone operations now and as they expand as
    the development of permanent regulations seems slow. There are interim regs now that allow waivers for
    commercial use and licensing. There are a significant number of unlicensed commercial operations already
    underway. As for shooting at drones that cure is worse than the problem it tries to solve. As I remember from my
    hunting days the kill range of a shotgun is only about 45 yards and trying to hit a moving drone with a rifle is difficult
    and would scatter spent bullets. What I fear is that the time will come when we are overcome by events as
    unstoppable UAV usage grows. But then again, if drones are strictly operated in defined areas by careful operators
    the problem may not be that large. However, that may not be reality as unauthorized use is already a problem. Today we have technology undreamed of a few short years ago. Drone manufacturers are adopting it. It may ameliorate a significant portion of the now perceived risk.
     
  105. >>> Blood brings about change in aviation.
    I hope it doesn't come come to that with the abundance of data that has been collected, and the continuing extraordinary growth seen in the drone industry,
    I wonder if it would be too far-fetched to consider active transponders in drones over a certain weight/size, say five pounds. That would at least help in identification allowing traffic controllers to communicate with aircraft pilots about nearby unauthorized drone activity. I suspect there are cases where pilots might not even be aware of nearby too-close drones, and also not seen by traffic controller radar due to their size.
    Hopefully it doesn't take engine shutdowns or damaged windshields to cause lawmakers/regulators to act. That does make me wonder why the FAA so far, has not disclosed details of drone-aircraft encounters, as reported in the Washington Post story.
     
  106. The issue is always going to be an "operator" issue. Operators are going to have to learn what is and isn't acceptable behavior. Laws and regulations and common sense will only go so far. Part of the problem is that this does run from the sub $1K hobbiest models down to cheap toys and up through serious purpose made remote controlled UAVs. One size federal regulation won't work well.
    And I think we all really know how well "people" do in a regulated environment. The prisons are full of people who can't or won't adjust to social norms.
     
  107. Helicopters from an Army Air Field near my community used to fly MEDEVAC patients to a trauma center and fly over the housing area. This brought a lot of complaints and required a constant PR effort by the Army to quiet the anger. Getting back to photography, I can see the value of drones for a lot of those powerful aerials. I can think of the famous shot of the Atlanta train yards filled with bodies in Gone With the Wind. It took a powerful mighty crane to get up that high. LIkely a powerful mighty crew and some negotiation with the county as well. The aerial opening shot of West Side Story. As well as the aforementioned mountain vista opening the film Soud of Music. Some TV productions like Poldark show the West Coast of Britain in its sweeping panorama. If drones eliminate the need for a chopper in videography I do not hate the technology. Even as I do not hate the eye in the sky sattelites that snoop on weapons installations ( and maybe my backyard sun baths too :)). I guess the noise pollution and the accident possibilities in commercial aviation must be brought to heel. This is a subject for negotiation and licensing,not hate or finger pointing. This is the point of limits on height, noise level, and location of aircraft. And these are not cranes but aircraft. Come to think of it there are municipal laws and licensing relating to crane safety, right?
     

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