Drones? Really?

Discussion in 'Campground Etiquette' started by Mosbyranger, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. Mosbyranger

    Mosbyranger Onward, thru the fog...

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    Well, spent a hot and miserable week at Crawford State Park, high Colorado sage desert with no shade. But that's not what ground my gears. Twice during the week we had idiots flying DRONES over the campground. One, piloted by a kid came within 3 feet of the trailer. I was fishing at the time and my wife was in the trailer reading. This drone had a go pro camera hung off of it, she gave it a one finger salute. I would have attempted to down it. The second instance I kept hearing a high pitched whine. My wife informs me that it is another drone. Sure enough, about 300 feet up, there it is flashing red and green lights. This one, piloted well, hovers over a nearby site and descends vertically to its pilot. Well, as more than one camper had complained to the campground hosts and Crawford is a heavily patrolled park, the Ranger was watching and followed the drone to its owner, arriving at touchdown. The drone was not seen again and the Ranger told me it was considered an "off road vehicle" and thus not allowed. I swear, I do not know what goes on in some people's minds to think that flying over someone's site is not intrusive or rude. It sure could be a conflict starter in a more remote or less well patrolled campground. I go camping to avoid, for a time, modern stressors. Our surveillance society is one of them and I don't like being watched. This is a toy best left at home. End of rant.
     
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  2. sierrapup

    sierrapup Active Member

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    you're gonna see more and more of them...[CC]
     
  3. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    They are prohibited in Virginia State Parks.
     
  4. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    I got one with a sling shot last year. Ended up broken and stuck in a tree, made my entire weekend.

    Adam
     
  5. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    As the owner and pilot of one these I can understand your issues, it's the irresponsible flying that drives us all crazy. Responsible flyers would never come near the camper and should not be flying in a populated area. That being said, mine is for aerial photography and it's one of my hobbies and something I do to unwind from the stress. So when on a vacation I do enjoy flying and getting some pictures of the area. Though as a responsible pilot, I also make sure drones are allowed where I am, or clear it with the land-owners, authorities, whomever.

    Example, I know I can fly it over the Great Smokey's next week but cannot (and would not) take it into Biltmore. I already checked and I know where and where I cannot fly in Algonquin.

    So, I guess my point is there are bad eggs out there being irresponsible with their drones, but that doesn't mean there aren't an equal number of responsible pilots out there that are never even seen and it is someone's idea of fun, just not yours.
     
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  6. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen drones yet--they may have seen me. The argument against them is that they are intrusive to other peoples enjoyment of shared space. I suppose it's a judgement call on their use like how loud music drifts to you're site or how people smoking and partying atmosphere intrudes on your desire for peace and quiet. What's different is the stalker/voyeur side to drones. The technology of HD cameras visually intrude into your space with drones. The drone is an extension of your eyesight. For the same reason you wouldn't stare into someone's backyard or campsite you shouldn't flyover populated areas. It's creepy. I like the slingshot idea and would use it in my back yard, not a campground because it's too populated.

    Secondly, is there licensing for drone flying? I doubt it. The drone owner better have liability insurance. A drone is a flying projectile. If that thing hits me because of bad piloting, they'll get sued. Hit my camper, car, kid, house, same thing. Most drone pilots, I think, just buy them and fly them. Mostly irresponsibly.

    My two cents.
     
  7. Adirondack PUP

    Adirondack PUP Active Member

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    For some drones a FAA license is mandated. Not sure the parameters for licensing but might have to do with flight altitude and range of the drone.
     
  8. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    I don't see a big problem with a drone flying high (300 feet) over a big open field camping area. As long as it isn't loud and isn't flying all day. What kind of privacy is being invaded. How much privacy do you have in an open field during the day?
     
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  9. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    The only reason I see one gets from flying the drone is to view the grounds below them with a camera...

    Like being said this is just the beginning of more and more to come...

    I think maybe someone should start selling a RF Sytem to jam the camera when it flies over your private property... The idea being if the flyer can't view what his camera is seeing then perhaps he will want to fly the drone somewhere else...

    I have not done any research at all on how all of this setup is working. I think it is illegal to fly by wire and the controller has to have the drone in his view at all times when being flown... I do know the camera transmits its video downstreaming to the controller where it can viewed live and stored on a computer system,

    There was an initial thing about having the drones to be registered with the FAA but that was recently rescinded...

    My neighbor flies one around the neighborhood here. It goes down the public streets only and not over the private lots but if I can see the drone I'm sure it can see me... I have seen my neighbor using his camera setup on a portable tripod that can be located anywhere it is decided to be setup on the ground viewing his special things for record like when they was getting their back yard deck built etc. The camera is totally remote controlled sitting on the tripod downstream its video output going somewhere to be viewed and stored...

    I'm not so much irritated by the drone itself flying around, its the totally remote controlled camera features that bothers me big time... We all have our daily outside routines that anyone in the vicinity can witness us doing... Sitting in chairs under the tree, walking the dogs, mowing the yard, etc... Just blows me away to think all of this is being recorded by someone for whatever reasons and there is seemingly nothing one can legally do about unless they do something illegal like shoot the darn thing out of the sky...

    I'm thinking Electronic Jamming of your property boundaries may be the answer. This is what the governments do to protect their sovereignty rights... Taking the law in your own hands to shoot them down is not the answer...

    Of course Electronic Jamming will most likely effect other things like WIFi, Cell Phone reception, OTA HDTV signals, and who knows what else that we all use in our daily lives. Its not all that easy to deal with... Seems like our new cars may start depending on external RF signals to operate now as well haha...

    Just my thoughts on the matter here...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    FYI: It is illegal to purposely jam a legally operated radio signal.
     
  11. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    Flying up in the air I don't have a problem with. Spying in my camper windows would result in a conversation. The noise is pretty obnoxious but if it wasn't flying constantly I'd be fine with it. The videos that you get from them are pretty neat. If I had a neighbor at the house doing it everyday I would probably grow tired of it. I remember back in the day as a kid one of my neighbors had a rc gas plane and would do tricks. It was pretty loud. I would watch that every night and not get tired of it but looking back I think my dad was a bit annoyed with it.
     
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  12. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    I'm an RC buff, race RC offroad vehicles, fly RC planes, drones, helis...for me it's all a way to relax...and a hobby. Aerial photography is both landscape shots and ground shots...that being said:

    The camera on my drone (Mavic DJI Pro) doesn't have enough zoom from 300' to see people on the ground in much detail, and taking video, doesn't have any zoom.

    Yes, there is FAA licensing, but that's a joke (and if it's been rescinded, that's also news to me), basically it's for a certain size/weight of drone and all I had to do was register an account, read a list of rules, pay $5 and print out my "license". My FAA number is also printed on a label that has to be on my drone, as is my name and cell phone number in case it gets lost, but that's my common sense decision.

    Yes, both the rules and common sense say to keep the drone in view, but I can see it from pretty far away and not be able to tell its angle of attack so the camera feed is all I have to tell what direction it's headed in, jamming that (which as pointed out, is illegal) would create a bigger safety concern.

    I have done test flights from my back yard, but let my neighbors know what I was doing and any range flying was done over the empty fields behind our houses. I can say that the kids love it, as soon as it goes up the kids come flocking to see it in action.

    From a noise perspective, it's no different than allowing generators, music, etc.

    FYI: shooting down a drone would be considered destruction of private property and the person responsible would be liable, technically property owners don't own the airspace over their property and at a campground, the campers don't own the land...
     
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  13. MD Saga

    MD Saga Pop-up journeymen

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    The UAS owner registration requirement has been rescinded. There is no requirement for a hobbyist to obtain an FAA UAS Pilot Certificate. They are only required by commercial operators flying under the Part 107 rules.

    As someone mentioned, if you attempt to jam the radio signals, then you are violating FCC regulations.

    There is talk of giving authority to the States and/or local governments to regulate UAS operations below 400 feet. As of today, the FAA owns all the airspace.
     
  14. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    As with many things, drones have good points and bad points. Irresponsible operators add to the problem. Drones are now being used for SAR in some places (IIRC, Grand Canyon is one) and other situations where eyes in the sky are improving safety. That is a good use.
    I've seen some great still photos of places from drones, most video I've seen make me queasy. Again, judicious use by a responsible operator works.
    I would not be happy to be buzzed by a drone while camping. Operating them in many of the parks we go to is illegal. In other campgrounds, they'd be permitted, but using them should be limited.
    In NM last week, the airplanes and helicopters fighting an active wild fire had to be grounded for an hour and a half because someone sent up a drone. That is definitely irresponsible use. It endangered the fire crews, and delayed fire fighting (there were a couple of subdivisions evacuated during the fire).
     
  15. Adam H

    Adam H Active Member

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    If it's in range of a SLING SHOT, it's too close and you are violating my personal space. If someone wishes to discuss liability after I bring it down, I will welcome that discussion or ???? So many people live life by what is legal and have forgotten what is right.
     
  16. tzmartin

    tzmartin Well-Known Member

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    I did a little reading and it seems like the regulations are taking a while to catch up with the technology. While FAA considers attacking a drone illegal, it also states that drones are considered aircraft. Probably to make it completely clear that you cannot shoot down Predator military craft or other airplanes for that matter. Of course they are not "aircraft" in the traditional way of thinking. They push the definition of aircraft to new legal territory. So, while perfectly legal--at this time--to hover and film to your heart's content where you want (except airports), I don't believe it's ethical to invade your neighbor's privacy with one.

    Of interest are the youtube videos of drone fliers filming prisons, police stations, and other government buildings. While legal to do so, they push the common sense reasoning for doing so. They all get questioned and basically turn the encounter into a constitutional argument. Again, WTH be a jerk citizen by provoking cops? Can't wait for good legislation to come down regulating use.

    So I suppose if I had this annoyance in my small world, I would treat you the same way i'd treat a person standing in front of my house with a camera in his hand. Confront you and ask you to move along. Do unto others as you would have done unto you applies here. If I had an annoying neighbor who loved to fly his drone over my young daughter hanging out in my back yard, then I would have to confront him and ask him to stop. Perhaps Peeping Tom laws work here? Maybe i'd buy a drone and follow his ass every moment of the day. Ridiculous that we have to have this discussion but it's been interesting!
     
  17. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    You are probably referring to me... To clarify more I probably should not have used the word JAMMING... I am talking about emitting some sort of blanket RF signal around the local home zone that affects the ability of the airborne cameras to display a discernible video... Makes the area of filming flare out or distort or something like that... Maybe just turns on when it hears the distinct sound of the approaching drone...

    This is futuristic things I am talking about approved for public use etc... Got to be some sort of things developed to protect everyone's privacy rights...

    In our world of GPS maybe it's just as easy to create NO FLY ZONES for the drones unless they have permission to do so...
     
  18. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

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    How would you feel if the park rangers were using drones to enforce the camp ground rules.
     
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  19. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    Nearly all RC equipment these days is using spread spectrum 2.4 Ghz, frequency hopping technology. At least with the Mavics, the video feed is piggy backing on this signal.

    This puts them on the same range as standard Wi-Fi networks, Bluetooth connections, microwave ovens, car alarms, baby monitors, wireless phones, and ZigBee devices, so to interfere with a drone would result in interference in all that tech in your own home, and possibly neighbors' as well.

    Again, any disruption of the drone's control system could cause an unsafe situation (though most have safety protocols for loss of signal), so if a drone crashes into your house (or someone else's house) because of the interference you caused...hello liability. It's not like a drone pilot can see the interfering signal and avoid it.
     
  20. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    That is the definition of Interference, and :
    47 C.F.R. 15.5 contains a general provision that devices may not cause interference and must accept interference from other sources. It also prohibits the operation of devices once the operator is notified by the FCC that the device is causing interference.
     

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