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Unpleasant interaction with homeowner; what's your opinion?
531 14 2018-5-27
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KurtVD
Second Officer
Flight distance : 365299 ft
Switzerland
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Hello everyone,

I was out flying in the countryside, and when I was packing my stuff into my car, when out of nothing, a guy on a motorbike (with a 5 year old on the backseat), came out of nothing, stopped near me and started cursing and grabbed my drone (I was just about to put in my car). I let it go quickly, since I didn't want to damage it, but one prop was still damaged. The guy was very irate, but once I had a look on his numberplate, and probably also because I was extremely calm and tried to reason with him, he tossed my drone into the high grass (where it landed softly, and it was quite obvious he didn't want to damage it any more) and drove away. There wasn't much time to "discuss", but he thought that I had been spying on him or his house. It is true that I was flying over his house, and even stationary for a little while, at about 140 feet, until I had realized that I was over a house - at first, I had thought that it was a construction site, and it was almost 6 pm, so nobody would be working at this time. I'm using an iPhone 7, and on this screen size, you just don't see a lot of details until you get a little closer to something. Initially, I was much higher than 150 feet, so I stopped there and went down to check it out...and you know the rest.

This has happened two days ago, and I will probably bring this matter to the police tomorrow. I understand that he was upset and everything, however it is not acceptable to react like this. Also, I've checked the drone laws in Switzerland, and it is not illegal to fly over private property. I have the flight record and I can prove that at no point during the entire flight, I was below 40 meters (130 feet), except at take off and landing, of course.

The irony here is, that I specifically drove to this area, in the countryside, to be able to fly my drone without disturbing anyone. I live in the city, and there are very few places where I can fly it, and only at certain times (certainly not on a warm Friday afternoon), when there aren't too many people around. However, I also picked up a few bad habits, and I realized that we really need to pay attention to where we fly our little drones. I can understand that someone in his backyard can feel disturbed by the mere presence of a drone in the sky, but it's a lot worse if they think that we have some kind of super-zoom and can see everything in great detail. (But that doesn't excuse violent behaviour)
2018-5-27
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DMX_MT
Captain
Malta
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Hello Kurt, I think Switzerland is one of the Most Drone Friends Countries there is !

I read the Rules are You are right ! You have no problems using the Spark or any other Drone which is under 30Kg in Weight.

You can almost fly it everywhere, but I see that you need a 3rd Party Insurance for every drone and you cannot fly at Night right ?


If you stopped on his Property, this guy will think you where filming him. For me it won't be a Problem as I don't use my Backyard as a Graveyard, or do Sinister Things.

People today are so afraid of being spyied ! You have to be so 'Politically Correct' when you speak. All we here is about infringing our privacy ! Everyone is so Terrified not to offend someone.

I think you are 100% right with your case, but if it was me I won't report to the Police, as even if you have the right, you where on his property. Cut the story short and Thank God you still have your Drone. If he opens a case against you, you will get into more trouble in my opinion, as he has the Right to tell you to BackOff, even if though he acted violently towards you which is Illegal, but again you dont have Video Footage or Recording of him being aggressive. On the other hand he could have footage from his Mobile that you where on his Property. Taking revenge is not a good thing by reporting him, sometimes you need to admit the mistake, back off, and don't do the mistake again.

2018-5-27
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KurtVD
Second Officer
Flight distance : 365299 ft
Switzerland
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-5-27 06:21
Hello Kurt, I think Switzerland is one of the Most Drone Friends Countries there is !

I read the Rules are You are right ! You have no problems using the Spark or any other Drone which is under 30Kg in Weight.

Thank you for your opinion. Can I just ask you what you mean by "He could have footage from his mobile that [I was] on his property"? I (personally, myself) was never on his property, I was parked on the side of a  C-road, if you will, out in the woods. He happens to own a house in this area, but I was parked about two hundred meters (bird eye's view) away from his house. There are a few out there, but not many. He must have spotted where the drone landed, after that it was easy to locate me: I was the only parked car in the middle of a few fields. The problem with Switzerland is, it's hard to find a place to fly your drone without disturbing anyone, it's quite crowded. Plus there are a lot of forests, the range is horrible over trees.

I could still change my mind, and I will take into consideration anyone's opinion here, but something else happened this week that kind of confirms me (in that I should go to the police). I was flying in a forest, the drone was really close to where I was sitting, and it was almost stationary for several minutes, at about the height of the highest trees. Now there is a road that goes through this forest, and quite close to me was a bus stop, with a few teenagers waiting for their bus. I hadn't even noticed them, until one of them came to me and asked me if I was the pilot. He then said that "the girls" thought I was recording them, so I showed him what I could actually see on my screen. He understood what I was doing (certainly not spying on them), and that was it.

There really is no need to get into a frenzy like that, especially if you have the chance to talk to the pilot.
2018-5-27
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DMX_MT
Captain
Malta
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KurtVD Posted at 2018-5-27 07:20
Thank you for your opinion. Can I just ask you what you mean by "He could have footage from his mobile that  on his property"? I (personally, myself) was never on his property, I was parked on the side of a  C-road, if you will, out in the woods. He happens to own a house in this area, but I was parked about two hundred meters (bird eye's view) away from his house. There are a few out there, but not many. He must have spotted where the drone landed, after that it was easy to locate me: I was the only parked car in the middle of a few fields. The problem with Switzerland is, it's hard to find a place to fly your drone without disturbing anyone, it's quite crowded. Plus there are a lot of forests, the range is horrible over trees.

I could still change my mind, and I will take into consideration anyone's opinion here, but something else happened this week that kind of confirms me (in that I should go to the police). I was flying in a forest, the drone was really close to where I was sitting, and it was almost stationary for several minutes, at about the height of the highest trees. Now there is a road that goes through this forest, and quite close to me was a bus stop, with a few teenagers waiting for their bus. I hadn't even noticed them, until one of them came to me and asked me if I was the pilot. He then said that "the girls" thought I was recording them, so I showed him what I could actually see on my screen. He understood what I was doing (certainly not spying on them), and that was it.


I agree with all you said and thats how things should be solved, by descent people.

I told you that he might have recorded the Drone with his mobile as when the drone is in the air it can cover a big area. Maybe he was worried you are filming his home.

His attitude and aggressiveness are to be Condemned, but as I told you I will do a full stop there, and won't return in his area. I am sure that there are lots of other areas where you can fly your drone Buddy.

Keep it simple, just avoid that area where this Guy lives.

2018-5-27
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KurtVD
Second Officer
Flight distance : 365299 ft
Switzerland
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DMX_MT Posted at 2018-5-27 07:26
I agree with all you said and thats how things should be solved, by descent people.

I told you that he might have recorded the Drone with his mobile as when the drone is in the air it can cover a big area. Maybe he was worried you are filming his home.

Ok, I understand.

It's a place where I've only been once or twice before, and it's actually a little boring, that's probably the reason I was trying to find out what was below the drone. So I wouldn't have returned very soon anyway, and I won't return out of spite, I'm not that kind of person, on the contrary.
I was just trying to say that it's almost impossible to find a place where there are no houses and no people whatsoever.
2018-5-27
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JDavidTX
lvl.4
Flight distance : 604495 ft
United States
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It’s hard to reason with someone who is in that state of mind at the moment.  Some people are terrified of drones and the spying capabilities.  Even owing a drone if someone parked over my house I’d be asking why?  I’d just explain what I was filming and where I was flying and if you had nothing to hide ask him if he’d like to see it.  People get scared of what they don’t know about or what they don’t understand.  That’s if they clam down and become reasonable.  If they’re still raging to the point of ripping your head off just get out of there!  But why a man would bring a child on a bike to a drone fight tells me he wasn’t clearly thinking straight.  I’d say you did the right thing and just left.  Personally I wouldn’t involve the police unless there was real physical damage.  Let Karma sort this one out for you!
2018-5-27
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DMX_MT
Captain
Malta
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KurtVD Posted at 2018-5-27 07:40
Ok, I understand.

It's a place where I've only been once or twice before, and it's actually a little boring, that's probably the reason I was trying to find out what was below the drone. So I wouldn't have returned very soon anyway, and I won't return out of spite, I'm not that kind of person, on the contrary.


You just found someone who has some Issues or needs Anger Management Lessons.



If you fly on top on my roof top I will Wave to You ! As I have Nothing to Hide.

From many videos I have seen, most people are just curious and not irritated with Drones.

2018-5-27
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JDavidTX
lvl.4
Flight distance : 604495 ft
United States
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That's been my case, 100's of questions.  How fast is it? How far can you fly?  How high will it go? How..........?  Haven't had the angry guy yet but I know that one day it will happen, it'd Texas.  LOL  

And I find people react a lot better to the Spark than they do a Phantom.  Something about flying a Phantom and people think you're one of those creepy, stalker, perverts or something.   I fly my friends Phantom 3 from time to time.  It draws a lot more attention than the Spark does.
2018-5-27
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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The guy thought he was being spied on because the drone stopped over his house, hovered for a while, then dropped down to get a better look.  So, he was right.  People don't like that and to a point they can't do anything about it.  The Paparazzi have proved that we are all helpless to people with cameras, but we don't like it.  I think you handled it well and hopefully explained that you weren't sure what was below the drone and left as soon as you realized what was there.  Was it a dark evening?

I haven't mistakenly hovered over anyone's house yet.  I was recently using the Spark to chase a small alligator around on a lake's bank that was part of several people's back yards.  I wonder if they thought I was spying on them.  
2018-5-27
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KurtVD
Second Officer
Flight distance : 365299 ft
Switzerland
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Gunship9 Posted at 2018-5-27 12:00
The guy thought he was being spied on because the drone stopped over his house, hovered for a while, then dropped down to get a better look.  So, he was right.  People don't like that and to a point they can't do anything about it.  The Paparazzi have proved that we are all helpless to people with cameras, but we don't like it.  I think you handled it well and hopefully explained that you weren't sure what was below the drone and left as soon as you realized what was there.  Was it a dark evening?

I haven't mistakenly hovered over anyone's house yet.  I was recently using the Spark to chase a small alligator around on a lake's bank that was part of several people's back yards.  I wonder if they thought I was spying on them.

No, it was late afternoon, but still sunny and very bright (sunset is after 9pm). Also, it's illegal to fly a drone in the dark, at least in Switzerland (I just learned that, I looked up the drone laws after this interaction). It makes sense though, since it's hard to have a clear line of sight in the dark...

I doubt that he had seen the drone approaching, hovering, descending and so on, it was much higher at first. He must have noticed it when it was closer to its lowest point (40 meters/130 feet), but then, what in reality was like a minute or so, must have felt like an eternity to him, I completely understand that. And yes, even though he behaved like an a-hole, I still tried to explain that I wasn't spying on him.

RE: Paparazzi: I don't watch TV, and I don't read magazines, so I haven't heard about Paparazzi in ages (probably since Diana's death), but one would think that drones have greatly enhanced the Paparazzi's capabilities. Has there been no media uproar about celebs being harassed at home by drones?
2018-5-27
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Gunship9
Captain
United States
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KurtVD Posted at 2018-5-27 12:16
No, it was late afternoon, but still sunny and very bright (sunset is after 9pm). Also, it's illegal to fly a drone in the dark, at least in Switzerland (I just learned that, I looked up the drone laws after this interaction). It makes sense though, since it's hard to have a clear line of sight in the dark...

I doubt that he had seen the drone approaching, hovering, descending and so on, it was much higher at first. He must have noticed it when it was closer to its lowest point (40 meters/130 feet), but then, what in reality was like a minute or so, must have felt like an eternity to him, I completely understand that. And yes, even though he behaved like an a-hole, I still tried to explain that I wasn't spying on him.

My point about paparazzi was that we don't have to be doing something illegal or wrong to feel people with cameras pointed at us are annoying/wrong.

Since we kicked the British out of America, we have a strong dislike for being subject to unreasonable searches by the political elites or anyone.

Point a camera at me and you will quickly get views of a middle aged man in a thong.  The thong worn backwards.  "Feast your eyes!"
2018-5-27
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JDavidTX
lvl.4
Flight distance : 604495 ft
United States
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I like the videos of the guys blowing them out of the air with shot guns.  Welcome to the South!  HaHa

Thats honestly one of my biggest fears about being out here in the country is that someone will blow it out of the sky here in Texas.
2018-5-27
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DMX_MT
Captain
Malta
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JDavidTX Posted at 2018-5-27 13:31
I like the videos of the guys blowing them out of the air with shot guns.  Welcome to the South!  HaHa

Thats honestly one of my biggest fears about being out here in the country is that someone will blow it out of the sky here in Texas.

Hey Justin !

Here in Malta too, I hear about a guy getting his drone shot as some Hunters where doing some Illegal Hunting and thought he was one of the English BirdLife Protectors who come to Malta to stalk these Hunters.

But the Pilot was Maltese, he was lost then and didn't know what to do ! As he didn't have a Permit !

Hihihiihihihiihih !

2018-5-27
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JDavidTX
lvl.4
Flight distance : 604495 ft
United States
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I call that Karma!  HaHa
2018-5-27
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DJI Stephen
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Good day. Thank you for the information and for sharing the story. Stay safe.
2018-5-28
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