Should You Be Allowed to Prevent Drones from Flying Over Your Property?

Good debate in the Wall Street Journal. This isn't an obvious one; there are good arguments on both sides.

Posted on May 25, 2016 at 5:58 AM • 60 Comments

Comments

ThomasMay 25, 2016 6:09 AM

Mis-quoting something I read on this very blog: "don't make a law you can't enforce".

Before deciding that you're allowed to keep your personal skies drone-free we should probably consider how to enforce this.

Clive RobinsonMay 25, 2016 7:36 AM

Once upon a time you owned the airspace above your property and the ground below it.

Over the years various governments have whittled away at those rights so they could profit by them. Supposedly "for the greater good" of society. In practice however to sell it off to "the favoured few" who directly or indirectly enrich the politico's.

In the UK we are currently seeing "the right to light" being abused and local government on behalf of large corporations that are trying to put others property into a lightless concreate canyon by their high rise developments, that actually have little or no social purpose.

I Think people have a right to both safety and privacy in their own homes and the freedom to do --within reason-- what they like in that privacy.

It is fairly clear that the only real purpose of drones is to spy on people, and in a very unsafe manner.

Thus there should be less rights to overfly a property with a drone than there would be for commercial aircraft.

Further there is no reason for drones to overfly private property, they can fly over public roads that connect virtualy all properties.

So it should not be an issue...

However the continuing attack on property rights by corporates, means that there are going to be plenty of corporate lobbyists sweet talking into legislators ears whilst wining, dining and greasing their open palms.

But there is of corse the safety issue, some drones are going to be up in the fifty Kg weight bracket and moving at upto sixty knots, with large unprotected rotor blades. You have to ask what is going to happen when such a drone gets physical contact with stationary objects like power / telephone cables, street lights, television antennas, or even startled pigeons etc.

paulMay 25, 2016 8:29 AM

I know it's too late, but the word "drone" is a disaster. It covers everything from those regular-aircraft-sized weapons platforms to tiny, barely self-stabilized toys. Not really useful, because the rules that (should) apply have to be based on flight level, purpose, equipment and so forth.

The rules that allow regular-aircraft overflight are essentially based on the notion that the aircraft in question isn't interacting with you. As soon as it does interact with people on the ground (low-level training flights, airport approach/departure paths, cropdusting etc) then special rules apply.

MailmanMay 25, 2016 9:12 AM

The arguments for being able to prevent drones above your property are much more compelling than those against.

The security and privacy risks are real and once these materialize, you can't reverse them. Once private lives are exposed or even lost, you cannot get them back.

The innovation argument on the other hand doesn't hold water. Innovation is the big buzz word of the moment, every company aims to "innovate", and they do so within the confines of the law. The Wright brothers could ask for permission to the land owner, even pay him a couple of bucks, to fly their crazy machine. Their right to innovate would not have been impeded at all by the ad coelum provision.

MrCMay 25, 2016 9:26 AM

Froomkin has the better of the argument. (1) Existing law is clear. (2) Rather than involuntarily reduce homeowners' rights without compensation for the benefit of corporations that would like to use drones, the law should require corporations to purchase overflight rights from those homeowners willing to sell them. (3) Opening up that now-private airspace for public drone flights would mean an immediate expansion of what the cops can do warrantlessly under Florida v. Riley (the helicopter-marijuana case), taking a huge bite out of everyone's 4th Amendment rights.

BobMay 25, 2016 9:32 AM

@Thomas

"don't make a law you can't enforce"

It's pretty readily enforced with birdshot.

Eric MaynesMay 25, 2016 9:46 AM

Earlier this week, an air pilot flying an Airbus 320 full of passengers had to dodge three large drones as he tried to land in Bilbao, Spain:

http://ccaa.elpais.com/ccaa/2016/05/23/paisvasco/1464029278_248382.html

Spanish law says drones are not allowed within an 8 km radius of any airport, you need to have a license to fly them and they cannot exceed an altitude of 120 m. These drones were right over the airport, they were flying at an altitude of 900 m. (which places them way beyond consumer-grade gear) and could not be traced back to any user. So I guess the morale of the story is indeed "don't make a law you can't enforce."

Snarki, child of LokiMay 25, 2016 9:48 AM

Time to send up the Barrage Balloons! Perhaps some trained falcons also, too.

D. F. LintonMay 25, 2016 9:50 AM

There is clearly some minimum altitude that any property owner should be able to enforce. If a drone cruises over at window height, the FAA may claim it is in the national airspace but no one would consider it anything but trespass. 500 feet is consistent with current aircraft usage. Maybe future homes will have to install lots of IR dazzle LEDs.

Gord WaitMay 25, 2016 10:22 AM

"Because Innovation!" Is not an argument.

When some Hollywood star has 100 paparazzi drones hovering over their swimming pool, you can bet laws will change quickly. Let's make sure the laws benefit more than the 0.1 %.

As for delivery services, there is a reason most goods from China arrive by boat. Raw physics shows the energy cost of flying is much higher than surface transportation.

Do you really want the skies around you buzzing hundreds of these things? You think Harley owners at your family picnic aren't annoying enough?

HiTechHiTouchMay 25, 2016 10:50 AM

I read the editorial, and I disagree with Bruce's comment about "good arguments on each side".

The anti arguments were all generic, non-specific, futuristic "innovation is good".

The pro arguments were personal, specific, and directly relevant to daily life, with analogies to previous social confrontations.

Kyle WilsonMay 25, 2016 11:19 AM

I expect that technologies may overtake some of this (or have opt-ins). One of the things I expect to see when self-driving delivery vehicles become practical (and I expect that sooner rather than later) is van to door drones. If you don't need a driver in the delivery vehicle but still need to get the merchandise to the front stoop, a relatively small, short range quad or hexa-copter might be just what you need. The van drives to a location near one or more delivery targets, attaches the relevant packages to the drones and they make the last 20-50 feet hop to the delivery. Added bonus that the drones can recharge from the motor vehicle between hops and that they don't need long range navigation capabilities. Could mean that everyone ordering from Amazon winds up giving overflight rights if they want delivery to their door.

Tony H.May 25, 2016 11:53 AM

All the arguments pro and con in both the article and here seem geared to the "American dream" landscape of suburbia. They don't work so well in the real world of a big city, where a bedroom window can be 10 feet from the property line, and thus easily viewable from a drone camera staying strictly over public property. And in big cities there are business and residential buildings well over 500 feet high already, with more to come. Does an apartment dweller on the 50th floor in New York or Toronto have an obviously lower expectation of privacy than a suburbanite? How about the rooftop pool in their building vs the ground level pool on a half acre lot in the burbs?

Again, while the birdshot solution is attractive for a rural or even suburban area, virtually all cities prohibit -- with some obvious exceptions -- discharge of a firearm within their boundaries. And even it's legal to shoot straight up at an intruding drone, it's surely not to shoot sideways at it so it crashes on public or someone else's private property.

There's also an argument akin to the "regulate data collection" vs "regulate data use" one for the Internet. If you allow low altitude drones to cross private property as of right, then the only thing you can do later is (try to) regulate the use of whatever they collect. And we know how well that's working on the net...

SteveMay 25, 2016 11:56 AM

I reserve the right to shoot down the International Space Station the next time its orbit passes over my property.

And keep your geosynchronous satellites off my lawn!

Rodrick MowerMay 25, 2016 12:08 PM

No sir, it's not a flying spy-cam aimed at your daughter's bedroom, it's what we like to call an unmanned aerial vehicle making lawful use of of the airspace above your property for for the broader good of humanity and the pursuit of technological innovation.

albertMay 25, 2016 12:16 PM

I again refer you to:

...
CRS Reports & Analysis
Legal Sidebar
Delivery Drones: Coming to the Sky Near You?
https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/delivery.pdf
It's only 2 pages. Read it! (may 13)
...

Notwithstanding the NYT fluff piece, this is what's -actually happening- inCongruous.

Yes, the FAA can write regulations for civil aircraft, but they will only be able to -enforce- regulations on drones operated by -commercial entities-. Regulation of hobby drones will an exercise in futility. LE -will not- want this added to their list of responsibilities. Far easier to eliminate hobby drones completely.

. .. . .. --- ....

BobMay 25, 2016 12:40 PM

@Tony H.

I'd have no problem disposing of it if someone were to take one out so it landed on my property. Hell, might even have to buy the shooter a 6-pack.

Jesse ThompsonMay 25, 2016 1:12 PM

For those saying "Don't make a law you can't enforce", we're not talking about expectation of "illegal to fly in this area" translating to Law Enforcement having a duty to track down the drone's owners any more than they already have a duty to track down a bike thief. (haha! Like they're ever going to find a bike thief!)

What we are talking about is unshackling the homeowner's legal capacity to disable, destroy and/or claim drones they can prove were trespassing their property.

Initially I would have argued incentives to give the drone back in return for forcing the original owners to come forward and also first accept the legal culpability to get it, but then I realized every belligerent property owner would simply make sure they overkill/destroyed it to maximally spite original owners which would not be a helpful cat herding law at all. It would be broken windows to the economy.

I'd rather see a property owner incentivized to try to do minimal damage to it expecting to resell it or use it to their own purposes so that in case the drone turns out not to have been trespassing, the value of the asset is not completely destroyed and thus greases the wheels of any potential court case. EG, I'd rather an otherwise judgement proof property owner at least have something (the mostly functional drone) they could be forced to surrender to owners in the event they win the case.

Jesse ThompsonMay 25, 2016 1:14 PM

@Bob
> I'd have no problem disposing of it if someone were to take one out so it landed on my property.

And if "your property" were, in this case, your head? Your dog? Your windshield? O_O

jaysonMay 25, 2016 1:31 PM

Having a debate over what people can or cannot do on their own property is already a problem.

This seems to me that it would be clear trespass or nuisance under current laws.

JeremyMay 25, 2016 2:00 PM

I think it's pretty obvious that a drone "overflying" your property at a height of 6 inches has to be treated the same as ground trespass, and that a drone "overflying" your property at the height of the moon has to be treated as not being on your property at all.

The question is therefore NOT "should drones be able to fly over your property?", it's "how close should drones be allowed to fly?", and possibly "what additional restrictions should we impose as they get closer?".

Froomkin seems to be defending 500 feet altitude for no specific reason other than it's the status quo. Calo doesn't seem to be defending any particular line at all, just saying we should decide collectively (isn't that what we already did, by forming a government and passing the 500 ft law? Is anyone seriously arguing that congress should be forbidden from changing that particular law using the normal legislative process?).

I am completely unimpressed by both sides.

Mr. EdMay 25, 2016 2:36 PM

Even Brookstone's is selling six-inch drones with video. I think Jeannie's already out of her bottle for good.

Dan3264May 25, 2016 3:07 PM

@Clive Robinson,
Spying on people isn't the only use of drones. I personally want to get(or make) a drone that fetches me candy on demand(I note that I typically deviate from the norm, so what I want might not be a good example). I am sure that there are other reasons for flying a drone on the property of the drone's operator. Spying on people is one of the only reasons for flying a drone on someone else's property. I agree with everything else you said in your comment.

rMay 25, 2016 3:35 PM

@dan,

Instead of fetching candy responding to an AED or insulin emergency or first response in the case of the cops/ambulance if on the way to an armed situation. Certainly public entities need exemptions to any roles erected but hobbyist roles/rules needed to be studied.

There could be a great deal of money made for noise complaints and civil zoning or parking violations also.

Private or press investigative abilities needed to be defined too with respect to private property.

KeithBMay 25, 2016 4:55 PM

Steve said:
"And keep your geosynchronous satellites off my lawn!"

Unless you live on the equator, you don't have to worry.

Dan3264May 25, 2016 7:20 PM

@r,
What I want is a indoor drone capable of fetching small objects from inside the house. There should be regulations for operating on someone else's property(and possibly regulations for operating drones on your property), but what I want would not apply to most(or all) of the regulations that will be made. The regulations for drone use should be complete, unambiguous, and include the necessary exemptions for law-enforcement/public safety(though that seems to only be various incarnations of eavesdropping, which I am firmly against). As @Thomas said, it would be very helpful if the laws were enforceable.

Dirk PraetMay 25, 2016 7:50 PM

@ Jeremy

Froomkin seems to be defending 500 feet altitude for no specific reason other than it's the status quo. Calo doesn't seem to be defending any particular line at all, just saying we should decide collectively ... Is anyone seriously arguing that congress should be forbidden from changing that particular law using the normal legislative process?

I think you're spot-on. As technology evolves, so should the law. It doesn't make sense to hang on to a 500 feet limit set forth by a law that predates drones (cfr. 1979's Smith v. Maryland in the mass surveillance debate). What is needed is regulation not just based on lobbyist pressure but on a public debate balancing legitimate privacy and security concerns on one hand and equally legitimate drone use for certain practical purposes on the other.

Prominently missing in the NYT article however is the current state of affairs regarding FAA drone regulation, which would undoubtedly have contributed to a slightly more informed debate.

SteveMay 25, 2016 8:07 PM

@KeithB: Unless you live on the equator, you don't have to worry.

Yeah, I know, but "low earth orbiting satellite" just didn't seem as funny.

rMay 25, 2016 9:39 PM

@Dan,

Internal airspace to the location should be by permission only. People have paintings and stuff... Outside the house the issues of cameras and mics obviously becomes very sensitive... Not to mention electronic eavesdropping so I would definitely make two things happen...
1) drones need to broadcast identity/owner/registrant.
2) the should be forced to retain location data for a certain amount of time.

Now, if you want to violate someone's privacy I think that helps solve the issue and they can identify trespassers for civil court.

I'm all for freedom but all this automation insanity needs some accountability.

rMay 25, 2016 9:41 PM

Broadcast identity may get trickier in drone congested areas, I still don't think permits really help.

JonMay 26, 2016 2:14 AM

Isn't there already a huge body of regulation and law over radio-controlled aircraft? A quadcopter is just another RC airplane.

Helloooo....

J.

SteveoMay 26, 2016 4:32 AM

I would err on the side of privacy in this debate, I haven't heard a decent reason allowing drones on private residential property.

MarenMay 26, 2016 9:36 AM

When I saw a drone flying over my property on a few days last year (certainly well below 500'), I was kind of irked. They could at least have walked up to my door, asked permission, explained the reason, and ideally offered me photos of my roof garden while they were at it.

In a country concerned about jobs, eliminating delivery drivers (albeit while providing jobs for software engineers and gadget-builders who might well be located in sweatshops somewhere) seems silly, as well as wasteful of energy. And the liability issues for running into the odd power line or bird are not to be sneezed at. If a tree down can cause a power outage for hundreds of people for a week (as it did in our hilly neighborhood of Pittsburgh a year or two ago), who covers the costs of a power outage caused by an errant aerial vehicle?

Clive RobinsonMay 26, 2016 10:40 AM

@ ALL,

Can people stop making comments about the use of projectile weapons to bring drones down.

FOr more than a couple of reasons,

Firstly, discharging a weapon into the air is a seriously punishable offence in many jurisdictions. Secondly sugesting others do so is in many jurisdictions incitement to commit a felony, or even conspiracy. In the US the psycho cops are likely to shoot and blaim you for them having to kill you. If you do survive, you could be looking at a plee bargin of life or longer depending on what the prosecutor wants to put on their CV, and unless you are rich enough to buy the state, you will probably not be able to get a lawyer that will tell you to do anything other than take the plee on offer.

But you also have to consider "what goes up usually comes down". Now whilst you might think a bit of bird shot won't do any harm, people have had eye injuries / blinded by a single BB shot, or falling bird shot hitting them. In some places people get very litigious over harm to their children etc. But also consider, what happens to the drone, as I indicated above some way upwards of 50Kg (~110lb) and can move at over 60Knts (~70Mph) which if it's also getting gravity acceleration as well is going to hurt a lot if not rip a limb or head off, or smash the place up a lot, I'll let others do the 0.5MV^2 calculations.

jaysonMay 26, 2016 11:26 AM

@Clive

Firstly, discharging a weapon into the air is a seriously punishable offence in many jurisdictions. Secondly sugesting others do so is in many jurisdictions incitement to commit a felony, or even conspiracy. In the US the psycho cops are likely to shoot and blaim you for them having to kill you. If you do survive...

I don't disagree, but would note that of the options one has to take down a drone a firearm discharge would likely be a misdemeanor and use of a jammer would be a felony. Possibly a butterfly net? Other than that, I don't think a harsh look has been criminalized yet.

rMay 26, 2016 11:32 AM

@jayson,

Before you shoot a drone, which I avoided endorsing per Clive's reasoning one needs to know who's it is. I would hate to remove an innocuous private drone responsibly operated by a licensed company or owner from any airspace when it could be investigating a crime or surveying drains/drainage/land.

I reiterate that considering the size and capabilities of these things mere lights and markings are not enough: they need transponders and logs.

Scott RomanowskiMay 26, 2016 12:15 PM

@Clive wrote
"But also consider, what happens to the drone, as I indicated above some way upwards of 50Kg (~110lb) and can move at over 60Knts (~70Mph) which if it's also getting gravity acceleration as well is going to hurt a lot if not rip a limb or head off, or smash the place up a lot"

Isn't that an argument that the drone operator is endangering others? How is any different than a person using a crane to suspend a 50kg weight over me or my house? Make that a crane that drops its load if it loses power.

Come to think of it, that might be a good common-sense analogy supporting the "drones need the property owners' permission" side. Imagine your neighbor gets a crane, suspends a 50kg camera from the end, and starts moving it around your property. It's only in your "airspace", not on your land, so it's the same as a drone. No one would let their neighbor do that. In the crane case you know who's responsible. If it damages something or starts peeking in a window, you know who to sue and the police know who to arrest. With a drone, you have no idea who's doing it.

I also think you're also going to have a lot of people sending up their drone to watch the interloper drone. It might be the only way to follow it back to its owner.

--- Scott

rMay 26, 2016 1:26 PM

@callmelate,

Until you realize that the small ones can be used to reappropriate the larger ones. Who knows you might be able to work your way up to a reaper with the proper tools and skillset.

Clive RobinsonMay 26, 2016 7:31 PM

@ Scott,

Isn't that an argument that the drone operator is endangering others?

It was not ment to be so. I was arguing from the perspective that the land owner had caused the drone to malfunction by trying to disable it with a weapon.

However if the drone malfunctioned instead then yes your argument is valid.

The reason I'm being cautious is that an injured "third party" --say the neighbour of the shooter-- would probably "adjoin" the other party in the action irrespective of which party the case was primarily brought against. But "jointly and severabley liable" civil claims (torts) are notoriously different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Scott RomanowskiMay 27, 2016 8:50 AM

@Clive
IANAL, but couldn't the "permission required" case be argued from the crane perspective? If people don't need your permission to use the airspace right above your property, then your neighbor could use a crane to move a large weight over your property without permission. As long as it moved soon so it wasn't a nuisance, he could suspend his car over your house under the "free airspace" argument, couldn't he?

Now a large drone poses a similar risk in case of malfunction YET there is often no way to find the owner.

The questions are really
"Do I need your permission to use X to put a camera 20' in the air over your property?"
and
"Do I need your permission to use X to put a large weight 20' in the air over your property?"

Does it matter what X is? The correct answer IMHO is "You need permission!"

If your neighbor with a crane can't legally do it, or requires permission, or must have insurance, or must at least be identifiable so you can use the legal system against him, shouldn't a drone operator be held to at least the same standards? Drone operators should require permission before they fly over your property. I'd want a copy of their ID and proof of insurance, at the very least.

As for planes 500' above my property, if they suddenly fall apart the debris probably won't land on my property. My neighbor four houses downrange on the other hand may have a problem. Plus the responsible party is identifiable and insured.

--- Scott

rMay 27, 2016 9:58 AM

@scott,

The discrepancy between a weight suspended by crane and a drone may be a question of motive???(?) A crane suspending a weight is not 'passing through' and curtilage laws I would think definitely apply whereas a drone can idle, land, hover and navigate... even stray due to cross winds or fat fingers.

Drones are electronic, your feet are not and no trespassing signs and fences are a prerequisite for technical privacy when manual things are considered.

How does plain view play into this?
Normal magnification?
Above a fence line?
Down from above?

I would hate to see curtilage laws be invalidated by the requirement of an owner to erect an electronic fence.

500' may not be enough, what's to stop robbers from casing neighborhoods? Or someone taking pictures of your daughter in the pool or whatnot?

I think alot of existing rules apply to the maligned uses of drones, but the real problem comes from their ability to be automated gatherers of photos. Stealthy violators of privacy.


I think recreational drone usage should be limited to permission to operate and commercial uses should be tightly controlled and licensed.

As per Bruce's question, here we should be able to prevent drones from entering the locations above and around our properties but I also believe that some commercially insured and licensed operators and public entities should be exempt from such regulation too.

I think Bruce meant electronic counter measures and force though...

Might even be nice to require permit pulling by small drone operators also.

Mister Charlie's LZ GreetersMay 27, 2016 11:44 AM

Any bad thing that you want to eliminate has certain preconditions for its very existence. Many of those preconditional requirements are SHARED by other things that you DON'T want to eliminate. (Technically, you can "stop" cancer with a 12-gauge shotgun.) The trick is to find the preconditions that are NOT shared, and eliminate THEM.

1. Drones FLY through AIR. They don't fly worth a damn through concrete walls, tree limbs, wires, or ANYTHING else that is NOT air. But ACTIVE measures require PROJECTING something (buckshot, HERF, nets, eagles, whatever) from YOUR area INTO the DRONE'S area -- and consequently can wind up hurting someone or something OTHER THAN the drone, e.g., your neighbor's children.

2. Neither you, your loved ones, your neighbors OR their children can fly.

(channels Kevin Spacey voice)

You have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. But don't worry. You will.

Cranky ObserverMay 27, 2016 7:10 PM

"When I saw a drone flying over my property on a few days last year (certainly well below 500'), I was kind of irked. They could at least have walked up to my door, asked permission, explained the reason, and ideally offered me photos of my roof garden while they were at it."

A house has a pool with a solid 12 foot fence at ground level. A drone-with-camera flies over a group of teenager family members skinny-dipping in said pool. Is the owner of the drone now in possession of child pornography, required to turn himself in to the police and serve 10 years + lifetime on the sexual predator list?

vas pupMay 28, 2016 11:27 AM

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36370231
That is how military fight drones - see link above for recent option.

Per discussion, Law does not protect you or your property, it just specify punitive measures AFTER event. That is why the best path is to develop technical protection of you and your property against any violation including drones, i.e. working proactive. Like Aikido - exhaust violators efforts by preventive methods using their force against them. Develop something like in the link above - multiple kites, balloons, nets, etc. which you could launch above your property and intercept ANY flying object above within 500 height limit. Like it worked in World War II against fighters and bombers. Conclusion: start your own business for PASSIVE tools fighting intruders within limits of your property.

Law just need to prevent stupid civil lawsuits for trespassing drone damage against owner.

Diamond NailMay 29, 2016 12:25 AM

@Jeremy - +1, you neiled it. So often the answer is to dismiss the either-or and realize there is a spectrum. It's sad however how often the either-or arguments end up dictating bad policies.

rMay 29, 2016 12:45 PM

@vas pup,

Blinding a drone may be useful, temporarily if possible but targeting them is going to require a significant investment.

Kites in and of themselves could lead to problems from drift or entanglement.

Just my thoughts

rMay 29, 2016 1:07 PM

@hm,

I saw that too, thought it was wonderful if not really cost effective.

It's like a dog defending his home, may not work very well in an urban environment though.

Personally, I am waiting for the animal rights activists to start hemming and hawing over that one.

Clive RobinsonMay 29, 2016 3:09 PM

@ r,

Personally, I am waiting for the animal rights activists to start hemming and hawing over that one.

They already have. It takes very little thought to see how easily any bird of prey could easily come to significant harm just touching the prop blades many drones use.

I can not remember all the details but as far as I remember, it started with an "off hand" enquiry in a meeting about the potential hazards of drones over airports. Apparently they were compared to "bird strike" risks from the likes of pigeons, that many airports use trained birds of prey to deal with. Somebody asked that as the birds of prey were there for birds could they also be trained to deal with drones and the story escalated from there.

There is however another option...

Somebody has been investigating the use of drones to scare birds at airports, thus replacing scarce rare and valuable birds of prey with something "more cost effective". It turns out that ues they can but... They represent a FOD risk if they fail in use, which could result in the closure of a runway etc whilst the FO is removed. Which is something most large airports have specialised teams for anyway. Somebody has apparently been experimenting and has found that many commercial drones are quite vulnerable to the equivalent of "wing tipping" that was used to bring down V1 rocket planes during the latter stages of WWII in Europe. In essence you fly another drone over the drone you wish to down. The spoiled air down draft under the upper drone causes the lower drone to become unstable in flight and cause it's stabalising software to fail bringing it down in an uncontrollable crash. Thus it's been suggested that this might be a way to turn a very dangerous in air hazard into a less dangerous and fairly easily dealt with FO on the ground risk that there are trained teams for anyway.

WooMay 31, 2016 9:44 AM

"discharging a weapon into the air is a seriously punishable offence in many jurisdictions" - huh? I thought in the USA you can shoot basically anything as you like, with whatever you can get your hands on, as long as you take care not to kill more people than strictly necessary..
How else can you get away with shooting your visiting neighbor ("I thought he would attack me!"), but get punished for shooting down a drone?

Clive RobinsonMay 31, 2016 11:25 AM

@ Woo,

The world is a darn sight larger than a handfull of southern US states where "good old boys" think it's OK to shoot road signs from their jalopies.

Try discharging a gun into the air in NYC or New Orleans to name but two places in the US where the local LE's will give you rather more than a hard time.

Joe KingApril 11, 2017 6:28 PM

I see in the future guardian drones, that whenever a drone comes onto your property the guardian drone flies up to it and has some way of bringing it down, maybe a net or something. It will automatically provide pictures with latitude/longitude to prove the trespassing drone was on your property. Let the drone wars begin! LOL! The guardian drone could also fly the borders of your property taking pictures of any kind of trespassing.

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