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The Negative Reputation...Please Be Careful

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Flipsonic, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Flipsonic

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    This is my first time dealing with an unfortunate situation like this. Now I have experienced first hand how much some people despise drones. I realize not everyone feel this way but its sad how many people have negative impression about this technology. They seem to think its sole purpose is to invade their privacy. I will put this behind me once and for all but just had to share my experience to let drone pilots know to please be cognizant of people close to your drone or yourself.

    I was at Dillon Beach (north of San Francisco) yesterday spending a lovely Sunday afternoon with my family. This beach is not in any NFZ and is the reason why I chose this location to visit. This area is immediately north of Point Reyes National Sea Shore which is a protected area in a NFZ. I'm well aware of this and had no intention to cross that boundary. When we got to the beach there was a couple and a man close to where we parked. There is no one else there but us. After I took my P3P out of the case and set it on the ground, they immediately took notice and the man asked me how long it can hover. Of course I answered all his questions and he was impressed. The couple let me know they saw whales and pointed where they saw it. After I completed my pre checks, I launched and uploaded my Litchi mission. Another flawless mission and I was happy. As it was on its way back, a family arrived and immediately took notice of the RC in my hands. They knew I was controlling something and asked if they could watch my iPAD. They were in awe of what they were seeing. 300' in the air with the waves crashing on the beach. Once they saw it coming back and hovering above they were so amazed.

    Now the situation is about to get ugly. A car with 4 adults parked close by as I continued to take pictures and vids of my family on the beach. The 4 adults and a dog got out of the car and they proceeded to walk on the beach. I didn't pay any more attention to them as I was busy piloting. My wife and sister in law were sitting on a log and I wanted to get them in the shot and do a fly backwards and up maneuver. As I was setting up the shot about 15' from the ground, I noticed the old lady from the newly arrived group walking towards the drone. Then out of no where she threw a bottle up narrowly missing it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. Of course my instinct is to take it up higher where she can't do any harm to it. So that's what I did. Then she proceeded to throw the bottle at it again, lost her balance, and fell on the sand. As she was getting up, she was screaming and said" You #@$!%^, people come to the beach to have peace and quiet and you bring your toy here to invade our privacy!" I explained to her I was taking pics only of my family. Then she said, "No! I saw you taking a picture of me!" At this point I knew she was nuts and all I can do is explain to her I was not taking her pic. I even explained the area is not in any NFZ. But of course at that point she couldn't care less much less understand what a NFZ is. I even offered to land it just to keep her at peace. By this time, she started walking towards me and I was prepared for anything. Then my wife and sister in law started arguing with her while all of a sudden she just proceeded to get in her car. I kept the bird at 30' as I am not taking any chance with her running out of the car and causing damage if I landed it. The other 3 men walked back to their car and asked what happened. I was ready for anything especially to protect my family. At the same time, I was trying to figure out where to land in case it gets really ugly. But we just explained what happened and they got in their car and left. I remember my brother asked if he had his phone/camera pointed at the beach with her in the background, would she throw something at him? It was not until later that I put 2 and 2 together. She must've thought we were not all together and I was randomly taking picture of people on the beach. When I hovered and pointed the camera at my wife, that's when she's had it and saw a chance to get even. She saw my wife yelling at her and that's when she probably knew we were all together and she made a mistake. That's why she just got in her car and stayed there. Oh well, at least it ended with no casualties. I would say it was a very interesting day.

    So again, please be careful what kind of people are around you. There are people out there who will stop at nothing so their voice is heard. Ok, water under the bridge.
     
    #1 Flipsonic, Aug 22, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016
  2. jeganx

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    Glad nothing serious happened...
     
  3. captainmilehigh

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    Most people, like your first visitors, are just curious and want to learn about your drone. The ones I've dealt with are amazed at the technology involved as yours did, and leave with a positive attitude.......usually wanting one of their own. Then, you get the ones that become defensive and want to cause trouble claiming their privacy has been invaded. Can't make everybody happy. But @Flipsonic, you handled it well and made new friends that have a positive attitude toward the hobby. They are still probably talking about how cool it was. And that's a good thing. Well done.


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  4. Monte55

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    One thing I have learned about people. There are many that are stupid, agressive, or just plain crazy. If they really had any real worth and purpose in their life, they would not be hounding you at the beach. Like there is something so special about them that we need to record it for humanity.
     
  5. Jnnyr

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    Can't fix crazy or stupid.

    This is why I only fly in wilderness and never ever near people. I am already under the impression it would not be well received.
     
  6. RadRich

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    Go to Bodega. No one will harass you there, only admirers :)
     
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  7. Flipsonic

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    Yes, that's where we should have gone in the first place. Will go there next time. Thanks for the tip.
     
  8. gklugie

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    This is the way most San Franciscans act! Don't be shocked. It should come as no surprise to any that the class, intelligence, and decorum common in most places in America is woefully devoid in San Francisco.
     
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  9. FASTFJR

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    Some people really do Suck!
     
  10. regdawg

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    This is the big reason I'm hesitant to fly at places sometimes. I dont want to cause any situations with idiots.

    Sent from my SM-P600 using Tapatalk
     
  11. longdog

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    Makes me appreciate living on the east coast. Jeez; you Californians. ;)



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  12. tcope

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    Yup... when someone is doing something you don't like your first reaction should be to throw crap. Not walk over to the person and have a conversation. Some people simply don't understand how to communicate any longer.
     
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  13. Lucky 777

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    I'm sure she went back to her trailer and opened a new bottle.


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  14. regdawg

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    This hobby would be so much nicer if people would just be more curious instead of defensive.

    I'm wondering if the negativity of the hobby just made people get out of it. I admit, its crossed my mind but its cool to do. Its almost like relaxation.

    Sent from my SM-N920P using Tapatalk
     
  15. Mark The Droner

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    IMO, best thing to do is ignore people like that. There is absolutely nothing you can say that they won't retort, so why bother?
     
  16. Jayfdee

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    I regularly fly down on the beach where I live in the UK, I always try and avoid places where there are people,but as soon as I launch people often appear and start asking questions, the usual, how far how high etc.
    Usually I fly missions, so it is safe to talk to them and show them the screen, they are always impressed, I have never had a complaint.Often people say it is the first time they have seen one.
    If a horse rider appears,I stay well clear and land and wait until they have gone, or discuss what route they are planning, and avoid.
    So far I think we in the UK are having few problems compared with what I read on here about some places in US.
    I think the OP did exactly what was correct,guess you just got unlucky, no point arguing, just land as safely as possible and leave.
     
  17. Flipsonic

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    I don't want to give the impression that everyone in the US (or specifically California) is like this old lady. Most people have been curious and receptive. I've only been at this for 3 months and this is the first time I've encountered as I said " an unfortunate situation". My issue with this is, even though I did my research and prepared for a fun day, someone or something can still spoil it. I hate to say it but that's the nature of this hobby. When she got to the beach, she saw me already flying. At that time, if she was really there for some peace and tranquility, why not just go to the next beach or just stay far away. Or she could've just walked over and tell me nicely that she is not comfortable with it flying around. I would've moved far away from her. I realize she made a mistake in assuming we were not together and reacted irrationally. People make mistakes and I was happy no one got hurt or my "toy" did not get damaged. Because if it did, the result would've been drastically different. Bottom line, from now on, I'll be prepared for anything.
     
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  18. regdawg

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    Well at least it didn't get to the point where this lady called the cops and they got involved. There was a poster on here awhile back where the pilot was actually put in handcuffs I believe. He was let go though but he received a citation and had to do the court thing. From what I remember correctly he was just flying in an open field or maybe it was along the coast, can't recall, and maybe someone called the cops I believe. Anyhow it was a situation that he'd never thought he'd ever get into and I believe this caused him to just leave the hobby.

    Maybe an unusual situation but could happen I guess. Unfortunately this was in CA to I think.
     
  19. D'sAdvanced

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    The OP hit the nail on the head when he realized that the old lady didn't know his wife and sister-in-law were with him.
    The way things were occurring to the old lady was, exactly as she stated them and she was thinking the other 2 ladies were going to join her, not knowing they are all together. Having said this, the OP had the ability to realize this. Unfortunately, many people don't have the ability to think that reality is occurring differently to different people, and that's when we call each other names, etc. the old lady didn't have the ability to realize that reality may be different to the operator, which it was because the 2 ladies he was filming were family members.
    Good learning experience
     
  20. Robert Smith jr

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    Hi, that is amazing. I would have threatened calling the cops as clearly she was harassing you, not the other way around. It is unlawful to take a drone down. I would have tried to get a picture of her trying to knock it down. What a jerk!


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