Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Authorities shutting me down

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by JustForFun, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Each of the last two times I've flown the p2v+ at a location other than my own home I've been approached by either the police or local authorities and asked to land my "aircraft" and not fly it.

    Loc#1 - Art fair in Wisconsin - Only got about 7 min of flight time, and the police chief asked me (rather nicely) not to fly around the art fair. There were probably 1k ppl there, it was about 3 lanes of road wide and early-ish in the morning. Really didnt expect to be stopped.

    Loc#2 - Wisconsin water park (unnamed for now) - told me just yesterday I couldn't fly anywhere around their waterpark attractions. Basically, based on PREVIOUS "clients" complaining about the drone. All I'd experienced were children checking into the hotel with their families jumping around and waving. Also got a number of higher altitude shots.

    Anyways... sucks that I'm having issues flying it around.

    What do you guys normally say when you're approached?
     
  2. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    @ Loc#2, I actually dealth with 3 different security guards. The first one was totally cool and had no issues once he asked me a few simple questions and he figured I wasn't a complete fool. Second guy completely lost his sh** at me in less than 3 min, resulting in him walking away telling me he was calling the local PD to solve the issue. He wanted me to ground it, I asked about their policy on drones (none existed), asked for policy on cameras (none existed), then he kind of accused me of taking pics of small children. That's when I kind of got upset at him... :roll:

    Then finally, the security shift supervisor showed up and talked to me. He was more interested in where I bought it and what it was all about than grounding it, but he too set restrictions on where I could fly it as far as he was concerned.

    I'm going to fly again tonight during the fireworks display. Hopefully they'll have other things to worry about than me. :mrgreen:
     
  3. Miika

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    221
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Helsinki, Finland
    I personally avoid flying in crowded places, specially above. Or should I say I dont fly when some place is crowded. When I have flown in central location in our capital city... I've gone there early, before streets are crowded. There are a lot of good reasons why its wise to avoid highly crowded locations.

    At the moment depending on the country/city your living in, pilots can say that there are no rules... so I can fly where ever I want (excluding airports etc. and some dumbsters fly even in airports). Keeping our rights to no rules and flying in places where we gain attention from law enforcement etc... will contribute to the fact that there will be rules. And before those rules are set, some will keep on contributing to how tight those rules will be.

    My personal opinion is that pilot should keep calm and carry on. If Police thinks its not wise, then thats the best judgement of whats wise and whats not. At this point reverting "to no rules or regulations" will contribute to those upcoming rules and regulations.
     
  4. dragonash

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Messages:
    906
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I do not think it is very smart to fly over crowded areas. Especially things like fairs or amusement parks.

    TBH, its flying around areas like that, that kill it for the rest of us.
     
  5. Mal_PV2_Ireland

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,589
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    Really? Water park? Kids in swimwear, you can understand their concern, certainly not saying you had those intentions at all and please dont get me wrong but that would cause a lot of concern. Another responsible rule would be to stay away from crowds of people, there are a good few videos of multirotors crashing into crowds of people. Self regulate and stay away from people. If other flyers like us think its a bad idea to fly around crowds, imagine the concern from the general public. There may be lack of regulations where you live but a certain degree of responsible flying does fall on our shoulders.
     
  6. WmWmson

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2014
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm some what new to the RC hobby. I've had quadcopters for about 9 or 10 months. I have a phantom, phantom vision 2 plus, a small cheap one from WL toys, and a micro I fly inside. I know we all like to get great video or pictures of crowds and there is the show off factor, but with all the bad press do we really want to push our luck. I go to a empty soccer field or other open space to fly and love the video and photos I get. Most of the really good videos and pictures I see are of open space. Just my thoughts. Lets have fun but not get a bad name for the hobby. You can have a thousand flight without a problem but the only one the press will cover is the one that go's wrong and make us all look bad.
     
  7. ProfessorStein

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I know it's not what you want to hear, but quite honestly, I say "yes sir. I'm sorry, I didn't realize it would cause any issues."

    I would absolutely NEVER ask "what is your policy on drones"... because you know that, if they hear that enough, there will for **** sure BE a policy the next time you try to fly there. And then even the authorities who have no problem with you flying (like that cool security guard you met first) will have no choice but to shut you down.

    And, I would use common sense. Like someone else mentioned, flying your drone around a waterpark probably wasn't the best idea. Parents have problems with folks just TAKING PICTURES in places like that... where innocent children might be taken advantage of. Heck, I sometimes think twice ablut flying at the local school even when schools out and the playfield is empty... just because someone passing by might think I'm up to no good.

    As much as I would love if the private drone pilot community could rise as a group that can police itself and not necessitate official policies, I kind of know the day is coming when neighborhoods, cities and states start implementing restrictions. Hopefully the more polite we are when confronting concerns of others, the longer we can stave off that day.
     
  8. Mal_PV2_Ireland

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2014
    Messages:
    2,589
    Likes Received:
    1,230
    Location:
    Dublin Ireland
    +1
     
  9. JWarren

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2014
    Messages:
    773
    Likes Received:
    119
    You shouldn't be flying above people to begin with.
     
  10. Charger22

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2014
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    0
    Think what you are doing will just keep ruining the hobby for the rest of us. A fair and amusement park are not what I would be flying over.

    I also don't fly a drone I fly model aircraft.


    Sent from my C771 using Tapatalk 2
     
  11. JoeyD

    Joined:
    May 1, 2014
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think you are just a troll.
     
  12. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I guess even hobbyists automatically assume the worst was what was going on here.

    I had zero complaints against me from patrons. Security just asked me to take it down, which I did.

    At altitude, it's not like you're seeing pictures of people, you're seeing ants on the ground and the larger landscapes around them.

    This isn't just some tiny water park, it's a several hundred acre facility with plenty of open space including a golf course.

    I guess it's too much to think that I might have been acting responsibly around people and property to start with.
     
  13. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Sad that some fellow hobbyists immediately resort to attacks assuming I was using poor judgment...
     
  14. BigTulsa

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Did you have permission from the park? Do you see why hobbyists are criticizing you?

    If you were acting responsibly then, IMO, you wouldn't be flying them over people at all. Guess that's just my old RC creeping in, but you do see why you're getting the business, right? If that thing should lose power and fall from a great height, it has the potential to hurt people. Unless you have some form of insurance, you could be SOL. And even then, you may STILL be SOL.
     
  15. BigTulsa

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    Wow, if you don't see that flying over people was poor judgement, then I don't know what else to say. It may have been unintended and without malice, but IMO, it WAS poor judgement. Plain and simple.
     
  16. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand it. Clearly I'm in the wrong here. I'll just never fly near people again...

    Part of the appeal of a drone vs an "old school RC" is the camera. If you're never flying near people, you stand zero chance of capturing the awesome reactions people have to these things. I've met very few people while flying who didn't absolutely love the thing and ask where to buy one. DJI should be cutting me finders fee checks by now...

    Anyways, I bought my drone for many reasons, but I've of those reasons is to see the reaction it brings. Purple really love it and I love the resulting nerdy tech conversations that ensue... Perhaps I don't belong flying these things at all.

    What would the board's members say about piloting a drone around/near cities and their attractions?
     
  17. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    So you have never flown over people at all before?
     
  18. BigTulsa

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    There's a trade-off though as it regards to the reactions to people. To get that close to them requires you putting your vehicle in a position (and a vehicle that admittedly can have a mind of its own in some cases) where a flyaway or power failure can cause injury. Is it worth litigation and the big hassle after a crash to get these reactions?

    For me, I get the reactions of me just flying them. People in the park see me with my MC and are looking around and spot the Vision and have one of two reactions. "Spy drone" or "Where can I get one?". I don't have to fly them near people to enjoy their reactions.

    As far as flying them around and near cites and their attractions that would plainly depend on if there are people that could potentially be injured during the process. You could start asking for waivers, but then you'd have to operate as a company and the FAA would be all over you then. Plus, you'd likely want to get explicit permission from the city/municipality that you are wanting to fly/film. Not to mention making sure you stay within the constraints of common sense. FAA in the past has allowed 'RC' type aircraft a ceiling of ~400 feet AGL. I say about because in the past, it was difficult for RC flyers to accurately tell how high they were.

    Watch out filming and posting on YT/Vimeo or wherever. Several people have been busted for doing that, especially if it's easily discernible that some statute or law was violated.
     
  19. BigTulsa

    Joined:
    May 29, 2014
    Messages:
    207
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Tulsa, OK
    No. And surely not a group of people in a park.
     
  20. JustForFun

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2014
    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    So when you drive to these parks to fly your drone, in your car (with several non-redundant critical systems), how do you possibly account for all the possibilities in such close proximity to other people? It too can experience failures leaving it uncontrollable... And far far more dangerous than a 4lb drone falling from the sky.

    Obviously just a crack at the realities and risks we all deal with on a daily basis... Really just not sure why this one is any different.