The Orion

‘No Go’ zones for drones

Ryan Tubbs

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Illustration by Adriana Macias Photo credit: Adriana Macias

The seemingly effortless remote-controlled aircraft, which usually has a GoPro attached to it, are taking flight all across the world and some people are just now down.

This bigger and badder, as well as more expensive, version of the remote-controlled cars and helicopters we played with as kids seem like a blast to use, but you may want to watch where you fly it if you want it to land back on solid ground in one piece.

While most users fly their drones in scenic public places such as the beach, mountains or parks, some residents have been outraged at their fellow community members for invading private places.

Reports across the country have been popping up about the misuse of drones to invade others’ privacy.

I recently watched a video of a drone being flown over a backyard where a girl was laying out in her bathing suit. Next thing you know, the father, and assumably the house owner, shoots down the drone with his shotgun.

The homeowner claimed the drone was on his private property, as any typical homeowner would.

Here’s the big catch: as ruled by state legislature, while homeowners’ backyards are deemed as private property, a homeowner does not own the airspace above their house, making it public airspace and free for drones to fly and creep in.

So in the end, it is merely the drone user’s morals and how well a homeowner can shoot a gun that depends if a drone hovers above one’s house and peeks in.

Of course not everyone makes use of their drone in such ways. Most of the videos I see utilizing the drone’s capability to produce a bird’s eye view are over beaches and cliffs along the coast filming stunning video.

In one case, the use of a drone actually prevented a potentialy deadly situation. One man was flying his drone over the beach and was singling in on surfers as they caught waves.

About 30 seconds into doing so, the man spotted a shark in the water 15 feet from one of the surfers. He continued to track the shark as it got even closer to the surfers without them even noticing and thankfully alerted lifeguards in time to get everyone out of the water.

Not only did the man possibly save a life, he was able to do so without worrying about having his drone shot down due to beaches generally being public space.

While I imagine it is pretty cool to see over your own neighborhood, the potential craving to venture onward into other’s territory doesn’t seem to be worth the risk.

Ryan Tubbs can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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‘No Go’ zones for drones