A weaponized quadcopter, shooting down drones, legislation that would permit disabling drones, and nine ways to not be an idiot.
Max Trescott joins the conversation. Max is a GA pilot, a certified flight instructor, aviation author, a glass cockpit expert, and a budding drone pilot.
An 18-year old Connecticut student mounted a handgun on a drone and made a video of the gun firing. Law enforcement isn’t yet sure how to treat the incident, which apparently took place on family property, saying that no Connecticut state laws were violated.
The FAA may not have any regulations that prohibit conducting this activity on private property away from others. It may come down to state law governing the handling and discharge of firearms.
The Connecticut state Senate recently passed a bill banning weaponized drones, but the legislative session ended without action by the House of Representatives. The bill may now get priority when the next legislative session starts in February.
A man visiting his parents in California was flying his hexacopter when a neighbor’s son shot the UAV out of the sky. According to Ars Technica, he thought it was a CIA surveillance vehicle. The owner of the UAV wanted compensation for the damage, and a small claims court judge ruled in the owner’s favor. But the operator has now produced a record of the UAV’s flight pattern. The drone didn’t cross the property line and wasn’t hovering as claimed.
The FAA considers drones to be aircraft, and shooting down an aircraft has stiff penalties.
Police in Kentucky responded to a report of a firearm discharge, and to find a man who shot down a neighbor’s drone which he says was hovering over his property and invading his privacy. The man was jailed and charged with wanton endangerment and criminal mischief for shooting down the drone. Both parties are considering legal action against the other. The shooter faces a September court hearing for the criminal charges brought against him.
In response to recent incidents where small drones hampered firefighting efforts, state lawmakers introduced a bill in the California Senate that would give emergency workers the ability to disable drones without fear of charges.
The author presents nine guidelines for safe UAV operation explained in simple terms that explain the logic behind each:
- Do not fly anywhere around fires or closed airspaces
- Do not fly near the President or his house
- Do not fly past where you cannot see your UAV
- Do not fly over 400 feet
- Do not fly near an airport
- Do not fly near nuclear facilities, power stations & other important places
- Do not fly over people or their property without their permission
- Do not fly if you are drunk or high
- Do not fly in bad weather
Videos of the Week
A tour of the many drone activities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015. The new Aviation Gateway Park featured an 80-by-80-by-30-foot drone cage for all attendees to experience flying a drone or take part in an obstacle course.
Fastnet Rock is a small islet in the Atlantic Ocean and the most southerly point of Ireland. It lies 13 kilometres from the Irish mainland. Due to its location, Fastnet was known as “Ireland’s Teardrop,” because it was the last part of Ireland that 19th century Irish emigrants saw as they sailed to North America. Via listener Tom.