A man this week shot down a small drone flying over his property. He was arrested but a recent legal paper suggests his action may have been justified under privacy and self-defense laws.
Any time we do a talk at a community group, the question of if someone can shoot it down is in the first two questions. I think we can all agree that bullets going up — that must come down somewhere — are bad. There’s got to be a better way.
Flying a DJI Phantom 2 at Bardarbunga volcano in Iceland. About 10 days ago, I had the great fortune of spending a day close to the Holuhraun eruption at the Bardarbunga volcanic system in Iceland. The eruption sits right up top of the largest glacier in Iceland, and has been spewing out lava in large quantities for well over a month. I went on a press pass with Ragnar Th Sigurðsson, once of Iceland’s best photographers, and we brought Phantoms and a small camera crew so we would capture the process in getting wide-angle aerial footage really close to the exploding magma lake.
Yeah, go ahead and try this with a manned aircraft.
August 22, 2014 at 4:58pm
WASHINGTON (AP) — Model aircraft hobbyists, research universities and commercial drone interests filed lawsuits Friday challenging a government directive …
The big parts of the interpretive rule were the FAA asserting it’s authority to ban commercial operations (without regulation) and banning First Person View flying. Not sure these will be the last suits over the FAA’s interpretive rules. Interestingly, from our standpoint, is that a consortium of universities is challenging the rule as imposing on science research and education.
Federal rules ground scientists using remotely piloted aircraft at private universities.
And, cough, journalism schools.
Where drone journalism gets interesting: Closed airspace over controversial places
The FAA has issued a temporary flight restriction (TFR) around Ferguson, Mo. blocking all but law enforcement aircraft from flying in the area. This happens in major news events, especially disasters, where the airspace gets really busy with rescue and law enforcement aircraft trying to do The Public Good and regulators want to keep gawkers out. In this case, ArsTechnica’s Cyrus Farivar reported on Twitter that St. Louis County authorities said it was gunfire aimed at their police helicopter that shut the airspace down, and that they have not seen any drones over the unrest.
But this notion of shutting down the airspace is based on the manned aircraft age, one where only a finite number of people can get in the air. The coming age of small flying robots with cameras on them will put all kinds of pressure on these restrictions and open up questions about what journalists should do if they’re being kept from the skies in a place like Ferguson, Mo.
August 5, 2014 at 6:47am
Drone Lab star Ben Kreimer quoted extensively in this HuffPo piece.
As policy-makers consider whether to regulate drones, I hope they first will examine whether existing laws already address the privacy concerns. As I explained in a February article for The Privacy Advisor, common-law torts such as intrusion upon seclusion, public disclosure of private facts, trespass and nuisance already may deter drone operators from violating individuals’ privacy.
This is important, but it does not mean the FAA is going to stop what they are doing until there are regulations.
Greg McNeal with a good look at how laws already on the books deal with drone pilots doing dumb things.
To my knowledge, today is the first we’ve known publicly of the FAA issuing subpoenas. - MW