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Posted: 9/20/2018 4:02:00 PM EDT
So I just went on a call where a gentleman voiced his concerns over his neighbor flying a drone over his construction equipment, which is surrounded by an 8 ft tall privacy fence.

Now to my knowledge there are no rules regulating drones flying under 500 ft AGL save for commerical use. My question is this...what can we as a individual do in regards to privacy? What if the drone was watching a wife sun bathe and or hovering outside of your house by the window or glass door? Obviously if we shoot it, capture it, etc we can be charged for destroying someone's property but what is protecting us?
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 4:35:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2018 4:36:48 PM EDT by SideCarGT]
In for info

Out and in on OP's other thread
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 4:55:57 PM EDT
You have no expectation of privacy outside the home/dwelling (ie....yard or "open fields")
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 5:09:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2018 5:15:21 PM EDT by slabertooch]
Originally Posted By toxicbubbles:
So I just went on a call where a gentleman voiced his concerns over his neighbor flying a drone over his construction equipment, which is surrounded by an 8 ft tall privacy fence.

Now to my knowledge there are no rules regulating drones flying under 500 ft AGL save for commerical use. My question is this...what can we as a individual do in regards to privacy? What if the drone was watching a wife sun bathe and or hovering outside of your house by the window or glass door? Obviously if we shoot it, capture it, etc we can be charged for destroying someone's property but what is protecting us?
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Part 107 pilot here, its all going to hinge on who is flying, and under what authority they are flying under.

A drone operator flying under a Section 336 Authorization (Special Rule for Model Aircraft) is required to follow a community-based set of safety guidelines, which precludes flying over unprotected people, moving vehicles, and occupied structures. Example of Community Guidelines

A RPIC (Remote Pilot in Charge), flying under a Part 107 Authorization, is prohibited from operating a sUAS over any persons not directly participating in the operation, not under a covered structure, and not inside a covered stationary vehicle. FAA This restriction can be waived by the FAA, but is very unlikely in your scenario.

Your best bet is to file a complaint with the local Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), but chances are they won't take any direct enforcement actions. FAA FSDO

Also check your airspace, good chance the individual is flying illegally in restricted airspace, regardless of which authorization is being used. However the FAA has regulatory and enforcement authority in all cases.

*edit* From a privacy standpoint, unless your state has laws in place, there is no expectation of privacy from drones; you don't own the airspace above your property.
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 5:17:44 PM EDT
That's some solid pointers. I'll be off to read up on that in a bit. I know the question I am about to ask is dumb, but its gonna be asked to me one day soon I'm sure....you say no one owns the airspace over your property. Ok, but where does that air space begin? I mean to me airspace is airspace, whether 1 foot off of the ground, 10 ft to clear your typical 8 ft "privacy" fence, or 300 ft. What would you tell your R/P? I hate shrugging my shoulders and saying sucks for you although sometimes that's all i can do.
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 5:29:47 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By toxicbubbles:
That's some solid pointers. I'll be off to read up on that in a bit. I know the question I am about to ask is dumb, but its gonna be asked to me one day soon I'm sure....you say no one owns the airspace over your property. Ok, but where does that air space begin? I mean to me airspace is airspace, whether 1 foot off of the ground, 10 ft to clear your typical 8 ft "privacy" fence, or 300 ft. What would you tell your R/P? I hate shrugging my shoulders and saying sucks for you although sometimes that's all i can do.
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FAA controls everything from the surface, up.

There is a lot of uncertainty these days, common use of drones is way ahead of the laws and regulations. I can't count the number of times I have seen videos online, or witnessed drones in my AO (during structure fires) that were clearly operating illegally.

Right now the FAA really doesn't do much to enforce it, so even with the current regulations (Part 107) it is still pretty much a wild west for SUAS.

For example, our district purchased a drone to use for investigations, scene support, and S&R. The district can't even launch the drone legally from 90% of our service area because of airspace restrictions (Class D airspace in proximity to a manned airport), unless we (or I, i am the only Part 107 pilot in the district) apply for an airspace waiver.

But at a recent structure fire, there was a photography company flying a drone over the scene, in violation of several Part 107 regulations.
Link Posted: 9/20/2018 10:55:32 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By toxicbubbles:
That's some solid pointers. I'll be off to read up on that in a bit. I know the question I am about to ask is dumb, but its gonna be asked to me one day soon I'm sure....you say no one owns the airspace over your property. Ok, but where does that air space begin? I mean to me airspace is airspace, whether 1 foot off of the ground, 10 ft to clear your typical 8 ft "privacy" fence, or 300 ft. What would you tell your R/P? I hate shrugging my shoulders and saying sucks for you although sometimes that's all i can do.
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It's going to take some court challenges and decisions before the issue of drones is resolved. There are so many unknowns right now as far as drones that it's hard to give useful advise. There just isn't any real court decisions on drones yet. They are coming for sure...but not here yet. So, almost everything involving drones falls into no mans land at the moment. It's frustrating.

Personally, I wouldn't make any arrests on drone issues. I would investigate and write up what I have and submit to our DA. For example, a guy is mad because his neighbor is flying his drone over his property while his wife is sunbathing inside their privacy fence. I can think of several possible criminal charges that MIGHT apply. So, I would write up what I had and submit to the DA. Now, let's say the same property owner gets a shotgun and blasts the drone over his property. I'd write up a case listing the property owner as suspect in property damage and the drone operator for whatever peace disturbance/invasion of privacy charge I thought would fit. Let's say the drone operator crashes or lands his drone on his neighbor's property. Neighbor then seizes the drone and refuses to give it back. I'd seize it and write up a case for trespassing on the drone operator. I'd put the drone into evidence until a decision is made by the DA.

So far in my jurisdiction this hasn't been an issue. But, it's coming.
Link Posted: 9/21/2018 8:20:42 PM EDT
Looks like MS is working on legislation on drones. Currently, SB2022 may do something. Haven’t read it so not sure what’s all in it.
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