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Attack of the 'Drone Police' UK

1uk3y

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Jan 4, 2019
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#1
I wasn't sure what anyone else has encountered but in the 7 days for which I have owned and flown my Spark I have encountered several members of the public actually approach me and ask; 'are you flying one of those bloody drones?', 'don't point that thing at me', do you have permission to fly that here?', 'who are you and why are you flying that'..

It has actually shocked me a bit and made me feel a bit apprehensive about flying it :(

Can I also just say, I haven't flown it anywhere other than very rural environments, wide open spaces, quite desolate etc.. for example, beaches, clifftops, mountains, valleys, open fields etc.. the incident today was bizarre, I saw the guy literally a few hundred meters away with a woman and he made a point of walking over to me to say his piece.. I'm a very conscientious, polite individual with much consideration for people and my immediate environment, I am also very careful where I choose to fly and will make a point of keeping away from people but they seem to just appear..

I must also say I have had MORE people wander over to ask about the drone because they are interested in buying or using one!!
 

Rammers1975

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#3
I live in the Uk as well and when people have approached me I reel off the legislation to them from the CAA ( FAA for our American pilots) and they soon get bored . Also tell them you are a cinematographer it makes them think that you are just not concerned about people like the anti drone lobby and use quad copter if they say drone it confuses some ... don’t let it put you off these are the sort of people who will complain if they can with no life !!!
 

Rammers1975

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#4
Also correct me if i am wrong someone but in the Uk we have a 50m rule to fly so if you are 50m away and they then shorten the distance towards you that is not your fault ???
 
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Spark 317

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#5
...and flown my Spark I have encountered several members of the public actually approach me and ask; 'are you flying one of those bloody drones?', 'don't point that thing at me', do you have permission to fly that here?', 'who are you and why are you flying that'..
Be polite and inform those around you not to speak with you because you are the Pilot In Command.

They are interfering with an active flight and they may be held responsible if something would to happen because you were distracted during the flight.

January 7, 2019 81219 AM EST.png
 

Miket

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#6
Be polite and inform those around you not to speak with you because you are the Pilot In Command.

They are interfering with an active flight and they may be held responsible if something would to happen because you were distracted during the flight.

View attachment 8245
I think we are lucky with our sparks. They are so small they easily pass for 'toy' quads and explaining to people that all the new regulations apply to all the 'bigger' quads that weigh over 250 gms, is accepted. Never tell a lie, just show the size of the spark and people accept the 'toy' description and feel better about it being in the air. Lets face it, the capabilites of the spark are unbelievable considering its size. I would not be interested in flying anything larger.
 

1uk3y

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#7
I live in the Uk as well and when people have approached me I reel off the legislation to them from the CAA ( FAA for our American pilots) and they soon get bored . Also tell them you are a cinematographer it makes them think that you are just not concerned about people like the anti drone lobby and use quad copter if they say drone it confuses some ... don’t let it put you off these are the sort of people who will complain if they can with no life !!!
I just found it quite bizarre that people would actually make a point of approaching me and interrupting me during a flight to lecture me about it.. It hasn’t helped that there has been a lot of negative press In the UK media very recently about irresponsible people flying drones around airports and climbing bridges subsequently closing motorways etc..
it just makes me nervous to go out and fly, yesterday I found myself being very very aware of where I was flying, who was around and walking about 100 meters off the beaten track to keep out of peoples way just to fly. then some bloke wandered over!
I wouldn’t walk past somebody fishing and check whether they are hurting the fish or throwing them back in the lake or wander past someone Giving their dog a run about and tell them to put it on a leash or question their handling of the dog!!

Thanks for the ideas about your responses though, I did say to one guy, “I’m doing landscape photography”!!
 
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Northwood Mediaworks

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Jan 15, 2018
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#10
Be polite and inform those around you not to speak with you because you are the Pilot In Command.

They are interfering with an active flight and they may be held responsible if something would to happen because you were distracted during the flight.

View attachment 8245
Hey this is really cool, so I think this is a custom order though, you have to tell them what its gonna say right?
 

IanSR

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#13
I've taken to telling them that and using the other 'you are interfering with a flight and if you cause a crash the law will hold you responsible, not me' line, that usually sends them awalking but for those pig headed ones I usually ask if they have a phone, if they reply yes then I tell them to google 'reasonable expectation of privacy and photography', they usually read a little and then walk off in a huff, once or twice I've flashed my BMFA membership card and that's been enough.

Luckily where I live and fly there are only one or two arseholes like this, it's usually fat middle aged people that are the most vocal which is funny cos when I take my hat off they se I'm a grey haired fat middle aged man and not a spotty teenager.
 
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Dec 9, 2018
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#14
I am thinking of investing in an action cam go pro or other make to wear whilst flying to record these interactions most people don’t like a mobile phone shoved in their face . This would show that you are not the aggressor and would show you warning them that interfering with a live flight is dangerous .

Anyone else try this method and does it work ??
Ta
 

1uk3y

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#16
I am thinking of investing in an action cam go pro or other make to wear whilst flying to record these interactions most people don’t like a mobile phone shoved in their face . This would show that you are not the aggressor and would show you warning them that interfering with a live flight is dangerous .

Anyone else try this method and does it work ??
Ta
I was actually considering the exact same thing! Then, if anyone confronts me I'll shout "shhhh I'm vlogging!"
 

IanSR

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#17
You can pickup cheap keyfobs cams on eBay for a fiver, I have one that could be used for that, they're not much use otherwise but would be enough to pickup Joe idiot mouthing of.
 
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#18
What has crossed my mind regarding these “Drone police “, is that if they ask you do you have permission to film with it, ask them if they have permission to film/photograph other people with their mobile phones!
I believe, in the UK, that there is no privacy law against taking photos in public areas, unless stated by notice board where misappropriation could accur, I.e. nudist beaches. Or at functions whereby copyright infringement might occur.
 

IanSR

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#19
U.K. Law revolves around whether there is "a reasonable expectation of privacy" where the subject is being photographed, it's complicated but in short in public there is no right to privacy, in private privacy depends on whether there is a unobstructed view from public property etc.

Your example of a nudist beach would depend whether it was open to public access or not, another example is if you paraded in front of your bedroom window naked and someone snapped a photo you couldn't complain if you were within unaided view of a public place, so if someone could see you from the road without a pair of bins or zoom lense, it's your own fault.

But five minutes on YouTube will tell you most people haven't a clue.
 
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