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Experiences with the general public
628 22 2018-3-6
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Face-AcheNZ
First Officer
Flight distance : 96631 ft
New Zealand
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Not sure about overseas, but here in New Zealand drones are getting a bit of bad press. There's a lot of 'clickbait' journalism in the media - from drones spying on sunbathers, a lady getting out of the shower to find a drone hovering at her window, to a guy who was flying his drone around an area where there was a scrub fire, which caused 7 helicopters that were fighting the fire with monsoon buckets being stood down whilst they located the drone and ensured it wasn't a danger to the choppers.

But despite this bad press, all my interractions with the public (since getting my Mavic Air last Thursday) have been great. There was an older couple with ice creams coming to sit on the park bench near to where i was flying. I apologised for the annoying buzz, said that i was about to pack up and head off, so i'd be out of their hair shortly. They said "Oh please don't go! we've come over especially to have a look!" - i flew until all 3 of my batteries were depleted, them asking lots of questions, me answering them and telling them all about it. Was really nice.

Tonight i popped down to my local park to get a bit of fly-time in before it got dark. There were a couple of teenagers hanging around, chatting, drinking beers. I asked if they'd mind if i flew my drone - no problem at all. One of them said "My cousin got a drone not long ago, it was really expensive, like $200!!!". I started setting up the MA, to be met with "Oh my cousins is much bigger than that!". But as soon as i started flying, the joking stopped - Sport mode had me whizzing all over the park, took it to the highest legally allowed limit of 120 meters, showed them the video feed on my iPhone - they were blown away, just astounded by how cool the tech is, how stable it is.

Have had a few other quite nice interractions with people, most folks are just surprised that i had the courtesy to ask if they minded that i flew my drone around them. It seems a little manners really do go a long way!  

Anyway, has anyone else had any interractions with members of the public?  Good or bad?  Let's hear some stories!
2018-3-6
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kfloke
Captain
Flight distance : 149961 ft
Singapore
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Yeah... acceptance level on my house area not bad. I always try at the football field outside my house. Got 1 old ladies always greet me and her remark "Flying your small aeroplane again?" LOL... At least she never complaint or anything. Most of the people will come and interact with me.

There is another time I trying to shoot my niece playing around at the football field. There is a father and son taking a walk, the father ask me is this Mavic Pro and my answer to him, nope, is the new one Mavic Air.. Then he stand aside together with her son to watch the drone flying. Is quite excited to see people interact with you rather than complaint.

2018-3-6
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1981040 ft
Netherlands
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Yes, it very much depends on you as a pilot.
I have had some eyes staring at me and as soon as I explained what I was doing it was ok.
2018-3-6
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Suren
Captain
Flight distance : 7837247 ft
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South Africa
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I fly in south africa and so far no issues or questions about flying just curious people trying to get into my video clip
2018-3-6
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Wachtberger
Captain
Flight distance : 261509 ft
Germany
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I can fully confirm your experiences wherever I fly. I never had encounters with my MA so far but many with my Spark, all positive. I always do like you explain what I am doing, let them have a look and answer questions. No problems at all although we have the same negative press here as well.
2018-3-6
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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I must have sold about ten DJI drones chatting to randoms - how much are they then? How far away can you fly it? How fast does it go? As long as they are nice about it (most are) then I'll entertain it - to an extent. ;-)
2018-3-6
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Mullheliflier
Captain
Flight distance : 5808442 ft
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United Kingdom
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I chat to people and tell them what I am doing. I show them the wide angle view and tell them how close they would have to be to identify them. I tell them why drones get a bad press which is down to those few who don’t know about the Drone Code or chose to ignore it. I then show them the view of the beautiful area I live in.
2018-3-6
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ny300z
First Officer
Flight distance : 2603478 ft
United States
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A CW Posted at 2018-3-6 12:24
I must have sold about ten DJI drones chatting to randoms - how much are they then? How far away can you fly it? How fast does it go? As long as they are nice about it (most are) then I'll entertain it - to an extent. ;-)

+1 to that....i should get a cut of the profits! those same people tend to overstay their welcome and continue talking to me while I am trying to film
2018-3-6
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Face-AcheNZ
First Officer
Flight distance : 96631 ft
New Zealand
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A CW Posted at 2018-3-6 12:24
I must have sold about ten DJI drones chatting to randoms - how much are they then? How far away can you fly it? How fast does it go? As long as they are nice about it (most are) then I'll entertain it - to an extent. ;-)

"To an extent" - up to the point where they ask "Can i have a go?" - errr, no sorry, you can't!  
2018-3-6
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Face-AcheNZ Posted at 2018-3-6 13:06
"To an extent" - up to the point where they ask "Can i have a go?" - errr, no sorry, you can't!

Yep - I NEVER let anyone 'have a go' and end the conversation after 2 minutes - my flying time is precious to me!
2018-3-6
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Wyke
Second Officer
Flight distance : 33166 ft
United Kingdom
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I just try and give monosyllabic responses if pressed.
2018-3-6
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13838848 ft
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United Kingdom
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Wyke Posted at 2018-3-6 13:22
I just try and give monosyllabic responses if pressed.

You got it LOL and it's very effective! Far. Fast. Bye
2018-3-6
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Kevin Halle
Captain
Flight distance : 1297612 ft
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United States
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Most of the interactions I've had are for the most part positive but I do have that one person in my neighborhood that swears the only reason people fly drones are to spy on his wife in his backyard!!
2018-3-6
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ChaosKnign
Second Officer
Flight distance : 402877 ft
United States
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I live in Southern California, and so far, interactions have been all positive.

Families stopped, kids wanting to see the screen, parents asking whether they should get one, etc.

Of course, I hadn't been doing anything stupid, disruptive or sketchy. I'm pretty sure that the reactions I've gotten come from being as responsible as possible when flying the drone, knowing what might rub others the wrong way.

The old adage holds true; treat others how you would like to be treated.
2018-3-6
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cristianc
Second Officer
Flight distance : 1008143 ft
Australia
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I actually had a bad experience in Seychelles, one person told me off for flying my drone and it is a "private beach" (it wasn't).  I was actually flying very far away to get a cool shot of the beach and he got all fussy about it. In general I haven't had any bad experiences.
2018-3-6
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Theppgcowboy
lvl.4
United States
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Flew at a snow covered lake today. I man went out of his way to tell me enjoyed watching it.
2018-3-6
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sky6105
First Officer
Flight distance : 345653 ft
United States
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Most of the time people are just curious but there is always that one person that you have to convince nothing is wrong.
2018-3-6
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rolling56
Captain
Flight distance : 138310 ft
United States
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If i fly my Mavic's (i have 2) around my home on a weekend....... i had one person/neighbor yell to me "Don't you fly over my house " several times. I wasn't flying over his house but he keep looking at me then going in his house and back out to look at me some more. I never yelled anything back to him i just kept flying till my battery ran down and quit.

Now if i fly on a weekday then no one says anything because they are all at work mostly. I'm not breaking any rules as i am 107 cert. You guys/gals WILL run into one of "them" at some point i bet lol
2018-3-6
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W.Cordes
lvl.4
Flight distance : 138793 ft
United States
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On a recent outing took off, older gent stop and asked many questions by the time he left had to land and change battery (glad mavic hovers so well)
2018-3-6
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djiuser_O33W3T8QeP1f
lvl.4
Flight distance : 89154 ft
United Kingdom
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Two weeks ago I was out walking in the countryside, I saw a guy set up a drone and start to fly it. I went up to him, he was happy to chat so we talked about aircraft, drones etc. I fly fairly large (450- and 500 size) RC helicopters so I was interested in his aircraft and what he was saying. When he found out I flew RC helis he handed me the controller, said it was mode 2 and to have fun with his Mavic Pro which I did - it was already in sport mode. When I got the low battery warning I handed the controller back.

Well, he did a good sales job... I've now had a Mavic Air for a few days and am loving it. It's nice to fly a UAV that isn't constantly trying to destroy it self! Also I've been taking photographs and making videos for well over 20 years so the MA ticks multiple boxes for me.
2018-3-9
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Face-AcheNZ
First Officer
Flight distance : 96631 ft
New Zealand
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^ Thats epic! Well done man

Your comment about “not trying to destroy itself” made me laugh. I was into RC cars as a kid, and always liked the idea of getting into RC aircraft. But back then, I was paranoid about my investment falling out of the sky when I messed up. When your pocket money is $2 a week, trashing a $300 toy is gonna a loooooonnng time to recover from. I’m still paranoid about that, but the failsafes and redundancies with the tech these days makes me less so. More disposable income also helps, lol!
2018-3-9
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B1houdini
Captain
Flight distance : 790909 ft
United States
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When flying I think it has to do with what peoples perception are of Drones. Most only hear the bad stuff,
Flying in airport traffic, hitting a helicopter, Starting a fire. The fire happen here just a few days ago . I posted it here on the forum a few days ago.
Flying in a nation forest or around a large fire. Happened  again here last year when a fellow flew his drone near the fire and they had to stop air water drops.

I think if you explain and show what you are doing and doing it safely. The majority will think kindly of us drone pilots.

Just my opinion.
2018-3-9
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Acenspades
lvl.4
United States
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I've flown here in greatest city in the west coast, Los Angeles and had no problem.  No one has come up to me to ask about it or to voice their displeasure.Then again the Air does have a very limited flight range, in teh city, so it's not like i'm going very far.
2018-3-9
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