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AVOIDING CONFLICTS
3643 10 2019-12-21
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69th Drone Detachment
lvl.2

United States
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As people become accustomed to drones (and until they do), the potential exists for non-pilots to question your right to fly a drone, or to film shots with them in it. Some will become downight angry, and may threaten you or your drone with harm. Following are a few tips to avoid or defuse those conflicts.
1) If you fly in busy areas, your chances of conflict increase: Avoid flying my drone around heavily-populated areas. Most of what I film is 'out in nature', anyhow. I must fly in areas that are more populated, Plan your flight areas and times accordingly. Morning is a good time, since people are generally in a better mood (and the angry types are still sleeping, in many cases). There are also less people about in earlier morning. Stay away from 'sketchy areas', where the chances of conflict are increased.

2) Education is the cure for ignorance: Being prepared to educate people in a friendly way can go a long way toward defusing potential conflicts. Explain the limitations of drone photography (and why it can't intrusively film them like they imagine). Explain what a drone photographer wants to film (impressive scenes for recreational purposes, structures if for commercial purposes, but NOT people in general, and certainly not THEM).

3) Know and be able to explain drone ordinances and laws in your area: if pressed, be able to calmly state the applicable laws - and to SHOW them as well. Having  B4UFly app open on your phone, with the 'Good to Fly' screen visible can help. Explain the app is made (and supported by) the FAA, the ultimate authority on who can fly where in the US.  Explain the FAA requires a 'standoff distance' from people, protecting them in regards to safety and the ability to film in a intrusive 'close-up' way. Have a copy of state laws regarding filming in public open on your phone. Be prepared to give links so they can check themselves.

4) Be able to explain reasonable expectation in public: In general, anyone in public has no reasonable expectation of privacy, and can be filmed by any and all who care to. Remind them that countless cameras film them at all times of the day, and yours is no different.

5) Give some perscpective: let them know that storage space is at a premium, and flight time is limited...thus, you have more important things to film than them. Explaining that they are not the subject of your filming (or in any danger by it) can help calm worries and defuse potential conflicts.

6) A smile goes a long way: Smiling and appearing non-threatening can help (sometimes very slowly) defuse a situation. As in all interactions, if you give respect, you are more likely to get respect.

7) Know your rights and stand up for them: don't allow youself to be bullied, and if all the techniques above have been tried (and failed), be polite yet firm. It is your right to fly your drone and to film (within the lawqs and ordinances, of course). If they threaten to call the police, encourage them to, as the police can explain the same things covered here in a more persuasive way. You can even offer politely...suggest they call the police if they need confirmation of what you've told them about the law(s). DO it in a sense of it being helpful...an official to help clear up the misunderstanding, NOT as a threat (I'll get the POlice on you!).

8) Have a friend and observer on your flight crew: The FAA requires a visual observer as a member of the flight team. Their purpose as far as the FAA is concerned is to look out for potential hazards, interface with passersby while the PIC (Pilot in Charge) is engaged in flying, etc. However, they are also able to act as a witness of any interactions. Ensure they are equipped with a phone or video recording device, in order to verify deails of the interaction in an objective way. Also, angry peop0le are more likely to mess with lone fliers than a pair of people (or a group of fliers). Bullies typically pick on the weak or lone, not on those who have witnesses. The mere presence of a second person can help avoid conflicts or escalations of interactions.

9) Fly safely and respectfully: be aware some people are sensitive about their privacy, many have safety concerns, and vrtually all are just getting used to drones, Be gentle with them; fly in a courteous manner, and in one that will not be likely to result in confrontations.

10) Just have fun! You have a right to enjoy your drone, provided you fly it legally and responsibly. So don't wqorry too much about naysayers and just...fly...with a smile on your face.
2019-12-21
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DJI Stephen
Super Moderator

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Hello and good day 69th Drone Detachment. Thank you for reaching out and for sharing these informative information with us. Great explanation and Happy Holidays. .
2019-12-24
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djiuser_qMpa5gPMwZiw
lvl.1

United States
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Hi, these are good tips. I had my first frosty  "encounter" with a me
2020-1-2
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Hurley1718
Captain
Flight distance : 549295 ft
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United States
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Thanks for the tips. All very good points and always good to keep in mind.
2020-2-11
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Snoopybris
Second Officer
Flight distance : 457343 ft
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Australia
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Great work, thank you
2020-2-13
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m80116
Captain
Flight distance : 3264131 ft
Italy
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Thank you very much for your input, these are gold rules
2020-3-1
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DrewAdkins18
lvl.3
Flight distance : 310148 ft
United States
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Thank you for the detailed explanation. I fly in a densely populated area and can pickup as many as 50 WiFi points at one location, so I get frequent conflicts. I've even had a lady tell me that the drone signal was sending signals to her brain or something, (she was a bit off lol)
2020-3-3
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FlorinBuffet
New
Switzerland
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I think with this tips you can avoid many discussions and problems.
2020-3-4
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Cloward DJI Mavic Pro
lvl.1

United States
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This is really great information! Thanks for providing the tips. Hopefully, I don't have to worry about it though!
2020-3-10
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FrewDerris
lvl.2
Flight distance : 45568 ft
Canada
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Super well written and very helpful! As a new flyer, being approached by a concerned citizen is a worry of mine, this post has made me feel as ease about flying beyond my property! Thank you
2020-3-19
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0Stephan
lvl.3
Flight distance : 244491 ft
United States
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Thanks for the great tip!
2020-11-7
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