Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

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

Frightening experience

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Originaustralia, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Originaustralia

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Just wanted to share this. Almost made me want to put my drone on eBay. So I took my new drone for its second flight. Scenario. I went to a large open sports field. On outskirts of my suburb surrounded by bushland. The ground is 3 football fields in size. In Australia like other countries there are rules (I am a stickler for obeying rules). Not another person in sight. So I happily fly my drone all within the legal limits and the battery ran out. Landed and was busy changing to a fresh battery when I heard a helicopter. Thought that's interesting. Turns out to be a police helicopter. I think it will fly by but to my horror descends and circles me about 3 times at minimum altitude. My heart was pounding and I got a sick feeling I cannot explain. I just ignored them but looked at them a few times. Eventually they just flew off but wow was that not nice. Packed my stuff and drove home.
     
  2. sinxa

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2016
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    38
    May be they just want to show off and say "my copter is bigger than yours"

    Sent from my SCL23 using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
  3. Sagebrush

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2016
    Messages:
    552
    Likes Received:
    156
    Go talk to them.

    SB
     
    Ken Hanks likes this.
  4. lynxpilot

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2016
    Messages:
    30
    Likes Received:
    11
    ?

    Is your political environment that bad?
     
    Biggle likes this.
  5. jayhkr

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Kansas City, Ks
    I agree. I would go and chat with them and educate them if need be. Show them what you see as to maybe put them at ease. Don't give up.
     
    SkycamJoe likes this.
  6. With The Birds

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2016
    Messages:
    2,617
    Likes Received:
    750
    Location:
    Australia
    If i was flyimg the helicoptor id do that to for fun (assuming i was obeying the rules). Just write it up in the log as checking out a person behaving suspiciously).....
     
    Easy-V likes this.
  7. Gearbox

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2016
    Messages:
    95
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    North Florida
    They were showing off , as said above , you & your baby copter .lol
     
    Easy-V likes this.
  8. Easy-V

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2016
    Messages:
    33
    Likes Received:
    5
    If you weren't doing anything wrong, why were you scared? Are you afraid of helicopters? Police? Guilty conscience?
     
    SkycamJoe likes this.
  9. CThruU

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    38
    Location:
    West Virginia
    Smile and wave. If you're following the rules, there's no reason to be frightened. That's like all the people in the US who slow down to 15mph under the speed limit when they drive past a cop.

    Just smile and wave. Thumbs up if that is an acceptable gesture.
     
    theTastyCat and Great_Lakes like this.
  10. IronReel

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2016
    Messages:
    86
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    SW Florida
    I would have raced them
     
  11. RJ_Make

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    92
    Location:
    Maryland
    I can personally attest that just having a helicopter get to ~50' or so above you unexpectedly is quite unnerving. When it happened to me I almost wet myself. :eek:
     
  12. 42FrankZ

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2016
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    89
    Location:
    Baltimore MD
    Not the same thing but we had a fly over by a F16 just a few hundred feet off the water... man those things are loud (and look like a heck of a good time).
     
    RJ_Make likes this.
  13. Pharm

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2016
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    273
    One night I was throwing a green glow-in-the-dark ball for my dog. I was using one of those hand launchers to throw it high and far. I heard a "military-sounding" chopper coming over. I continued. A few seconds later it circled my yard then left. I wondered if, with their high tech gear, that they saw a green glowing thing coming up toward them and thought it was a missile or something. I went inside and got one of my SAMs in case they came back and wanted to rumble (kidding, just kidding, NSA!). I really DO wonder what it looked like to them. (I could imagine their conversation: "What the hell? Let's swing around for a look. Oh, never mind. Just some old codger throwing a glowball for his dog. Let's get back to base and grab a beer. )
     
    jskdog likes this.
  14. Originaustralia

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    That's an excellent question which my wife asked me as well. I am going with the extreme overkill of sending a helicopter crew to check me out. A police car would have sufficed. At least then I could have had a conversation with them unlike when they just hovered in the same spot and stared at me.
     
  15. regdawg

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Messages:
    478
    Likes Received:
    62
    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    I would have felt the same way though. I would have thought the worst when it was probably nothing serious than them just checking to make sure you weren't doing anything against the rules.
     
    Originaustralia likes this.
  16. Unmannedsky

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2016
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    11
    Meh. Not sure how it is where you are but I had CBP roll by and do the same thing this summer. I loitered away from them until they moved on. I didn't get deported. I think you have to take into account the curiosity factor.
     
  17. SouthernPhantom

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2015
    Messages:
    315
    Likes Received:
    122
    I live in an urban area in the Southeastern U.S., and frequently fly in local parks. The few times I've encountered the police, I've introduced myself and told them I'd be flying my P3P. There's never been a problem. In fact, several times they've asked intelligent questions, and even wanted to watch. Now that more people have them, it's become a moot point.

    I agree with the suggestions above. As long as you've been flying safely and legally, call the local precinct (is that the correct word there?), and say hi! Offer to show them how it works!
     
  18. WilliamM

    Joined:
    May 30, 2016
    Messages:
    795
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Lancaster, Pa.
    Not 100% fair IMO. I'm not a anti cop person by any means, but sometimes cops can be real A-holes. I almost got arrested once just for passing a parked cop car that was on the shoulder of the parkway I was driving down. I had to stay in the right lane because the left lane had a few cars passing me at the time and I couldn't move over to the left lane. I did slow down below the speed limit and moved to the the left as best I could as I went past. But that wasn't good enough for him and he pulled me over, he was the biggest jerk in the world. I had to do the "yes sir, no sir" routine just to appease him before he let me go.
     
    Endeavor likes this.
  19. Quadcopter102

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2015
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    70
    Location:
    Central Coast - NSW - Australia
    Although you thought it was a clear and safe to fly area - its possible there was a person(s) near enough to see you and your aerial activities and called the police.
    Although I doubt they would scramble a chopper just for what you were doing - cheaper to send a car, granted here in Aussie - they are usually only employed in hiding in bushes with speed cameras - so not available!

    You say a sports field - council owned with public access or private/club owned?
    In NSW most ovals and sports fields ( that I have been to ) seem to carry a ban on flying model aircraft. A phantom is seen as an "Aircraft" - as I found out when I approached a steward in an empty, not being used football ground - albeit it was fenced with open gates.

    I Hope this does not seem to be OT - but last night on TV, the BBC First channel repeats a popular UK TV programme " Casualty" - which is an hospital AEU scenario.
    In their 30th Anniversary programme - the sub plot is about an helicopter crash while going in to land with a seriously injured patient...a kid whose divorced father left a gift for his son - which was a "drone" we see the kid with the radio - cutaway to it going up....and hitting the tail rotor - which disintegrates....the chopper then crashes into the hospital courtyard, and the rotors explode...deaths and limbs chopped off.

    That was the story line - but it was dreamed up from public perception - as presented by various authorities - about the threats and dangers of the rapidly expanding use of "Drones" and the lack of controls and legislation.

    The dad buying a gift without thought to how it should be used etc,. The kid without seeming to even want it - then going out without any knowledge or experience or an experienced person to advise, and the dangers - and possible repercussions - of such use.

    "We" who fly Phantoms, Inspires and other top end multi rotor equipment may consider ourselves to be better disciplined and knowledgeable - than those who get a RTF off eBay or one of the many and increasing number of stores in China HK and other countries. Facts are that many authorities - and I include Australia CASA and their counterparts in all countries - who just see reports of incidents involving "drones" and make no comparison with regards who or what is being flown or their experience.
    That seems evident by the arrival of the Police heli - unless the crew were looking for a quiet spot to park up for a coffee and pee break:eek:
     
    Originaustralia likes this.
  20. GeoffJ

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2016
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    21
    Hard to imagine they would divert a helicopter to investigate a drone flying in a park which the council had banned from flying. Also, if a neighbour reported you, it would probably go through to the local cops eventually, and I doubt they'd even know a chopper was in the vicinity, and even if they did I'm not sure they'd think of getting them involved. They'd probably see it as low priority compared to most issues they deal with in suburbia.
    Most likely they just spotted it, and were curious. Maybe they wanted to scare you, but I would think those guys are pretty professional and wouldn't be skylarking in a multi million dollar chopper.
    Whichever way, I'd say you have nothing to worry about.
    I started off flying in a Melbourne park, and had no issues until a little old lady told me to "get a life".
    That did upset me a bit, and gave me an insight into the fact that the default feeling by most people about drones, is negative.
     
    Originaustralia likes this.