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Drone shot down in Channel Islands (UK law)
5339 29 2016-6-14
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ajperks
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I thought I would share personal experience and ask you to read in the context of this situation.
Channel Islands follow UK law regarding drones.

My flight to take a still photo for a friend on the outskirts of a small town took me over the roof of a neighbouring house. My BAD!
The house owner shot at it with a powerful shotgun and severed connections inside one arm, blew away one blade on the adjacent rotor and holed the remaining blades. No part of the underside of the Phantom 3 Pro was free of damage/penetration. The camera was hanging off and the wires in the legs were broken/torn out.
None the less, the plunging drone was sufficiently controllable, without return telemetry, to bring it down safely to an undignified though acceptable landing.  It was not possible to shut the rotors down, without reaching under it and switching off the battery. That also was holed.
All praise to DJI for making a system that maintained vestigial control.
I have no tips how to steer and land a drone with adjacent rotor failure  (one stopped, one half a blade on the other) It all happened so fast and such a hairy ride to fly to a safe piece of land, 70 metres away, I don't know how I did it.
The outcome from the legal point of view is two fold, according to the police. I was in breach of the law as was the person who shot the drone. In that sense, there were no winners.
However, the resolution was if neither party pressed charges, the Criminal Law would bow out.
That leaves a cut & dried civil claim for damages against the shooter for the damage to the drone. No damage could be claimed by the shooter for trespass. None was done. Even in the UK, if you wander onto someone's property and do no damage and leave immediately with no hassle, there is no legal recourse.

As every intelligent human will know, if a person shoots and damages a flying drone, it will most likely fall from the sky. The responsibility for damage or loss of life  will become that of the shooter. There may well be penalties for the drone operator.

The morel of this story is, don't be stupid and shoot down a drone.
2016-6-14
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nigel_savidge
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Did it manage to land on it's feet without causing any further damage?   I guess it needs to land pretty quickly after loosing a propeller to manage that...


Also, what law did you break?

I guess you were "flying your drone over a congested area", but that doesn't seem very relevant to what happened and shouldn't prevent the police charging him with what must be a far more serious offence.
2016-6-14
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michaelfinney_h
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nigel_savidge Posted at 2016-6-14 17:39
Did it manage to land on it's feet without causing any further damage?   I guess it needs to land pr ...

I'm not a solicitor But, if you were higher than the CAA recommended height when you were flying over the house you were perfectly legal. To me it sounds like you were, otherwise the shotgun blast would have completely destroyed your quadcopter. As far as I'm aware under UK law you are not allowed to discharge a shotgun in an urban area. It also looks to me that the guy could be liable for a criminal damage charge. My suggestion s that you consult your local Citizens Advice local section who will arrange for a "free" discussion with a qualified solicitor. Quadcopters are too expensive to just be shot out of the air by nut cases.
2016-6-14
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Cessna172
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Those insane Brits and their crazy passion for guns!

2016-6-14
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P3_Nutz
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-6-14 19:25
Those insane Brits and their crazy passion for guns!

It's the channel islands so he was probably French.
2016-6-14
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helidan
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michaelfinney_h Posted at 2016-6-14 18:01
I'm not a solicitor But, if you were higher than the CAA recommended height when you were flying o ...

If you follow the CAA wording to the letter then ANY altitude could've been illegal.  They say no flying OVER or within 150M of a congested area.  The house in question could well have been within a congested area (as defined by the CAA).

But regardless, shooting at drones is just plain dumb.  
2016-6-14
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ajperks
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Yes, on its feet, but in grass like plant, so it fell over and thrashed.
8 hrs, 64km 41 flights and no crashes, or close calls of technical issues. Fantastic piece of kit.
I was at 16 metres. Airport regs cover whole island, so can't  fly anywhere with their permission, every flight. I relied on drone software and never flew within the airport map circle. There is probably a political issue behind the scenes, because no one has complied with the airport regs.
2016-6-14
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Cessna172
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P3_Nutz Posted at 2016-6-15 03:46
It's the channel islands so he was probably French.

I see what you did there   :-}

But the shooter HAD to be a Brit.  The French are all afraid of g.g.gg.gg.gggg uns
Ok, just googled it...Channel Islands are off the coast of California?    Never erd of em
2016-6-14
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pi-inthesky
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Its illegal to shoot down an aircraft no matter how high or low it is and as far as the CAA UK is concerned a UAV  is classed as an aircraft,Your altitude does not give him any rights to take such action.Reporting you was legally his only option which would have required him to prove you were operating illegally.
2016-6-14
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Old Geezer
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As michaelfinney_h says above - first step is local Citizens Advice Bureau, then a solicitor if the CAB can't pursue on your behalf - you'll need the police report number for both.

Do not try to repair the drone until it has been competently photographed with the photography witnessed.

If it looks like you're going to get nowhere with the legal route, then the local (and national tabloid) newspapers may be able to cause a pressure wave to get the shooter to replace the drone with a new one.

(Those wealthy Channel Island tax avoiders don't like publicity).
2016-6-14
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sorka95032
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Wait, the guy pulled out a shotgun and fired it into the air in a populated area and he wasn't arrested and thrown into jail??????????? Seriously?? If the police in the town I live in in the US refused to arrest the guy, it could only mean they were buddies and my next stop would the DA.

The only excuse he has to fire a shotgun in the air is for this:

2016-6-14
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Geebax
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sorka95032 Posted at 2016-6-15 14:20
Wait, the guy pulled out a shotgun and fired it into the air in a populated area and he wasn't arres ...

The laws in other countries bear no resemblance to those in the US. You cannot compare them. Even in the Channel Islands, the law is not identical to that in the rest of the UK.
2016-6-14
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Phantomski
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Ha! So it's not just the US?! Filming someone without consent, certainly would be a civil offence if they pressed charges, flying over.. certainly not a crime, certainly a point of contention. Shooting at the drone? Certainly criminal...  I understand that laws may differ, but perhaps u can find a lawyer that will look into your case for free? This could be an interesting case to set precedence on some things.... But then again, once you touch a lawyer.. anyhow, I think, if someone shot my drone, I'd consider taking legal action...
People need to get a grip, and realize nobody gives a S*T about watching them, we rarely fly and film straight down, if we happen to fly or even hover over someone's house, location, vicinity, we just happened to be looking at something in the distance, that just required that point of view... gosh! People are such morons sometimes! But, by gosh, they will defend what's theirs, even if they are not certain what the heck it is....
I've heard "If I only had a shotgun" while flying over some natural areas... where it's also illegal to discharge a weapon.. unless of course in self defence, which naturally would have been warranted in the case of a drone 100+ ft above.... (can u tell this topic aggravates me?!)
Good luck!
2016-6-14
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Barney Rubbel
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sorka95032 Posted at 2016-6-15 12:20
Wait, the guy pulled out a shotgun and fired it into the air in a populated area and he wasn't arres ...

Don't think a shotguns gonna help much there man. Get out the big stuff. That probably won't work either but it sure would be a hoot!

Barney
2016-6-14
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sorka95032
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Geebax Posted at 2016-6-14 21:33
The laws in other countries bear no resemblance to those in the US. You cannot compare them. Even  ...

Um, it was a rhetorical question. It was me being dumbfounded that a developed country could have laws that allow you to fire projectiles into the sky that come down and go through brain tissue....in case you were n't picking up on that.
2016-6-14
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Phantomski
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sorka95032 Posted at 2016-6-14 23:03
Um, it was a rhetorical question. It was me being dumbfounded that a developed country could have  ...

I think Mythbusters have proven that you actually cannot get killed or seriously injured with shotgun load falling back down, you surely could get hurt with a falling drone...  But I still think it's against the law to shoot it up in a populated area.. heck.. I think it's wrong to shoot a drone over your "secluded private property" as well... but that;s just me.. and the whole issue of privacy and drones, it's certainly not a simple topic....
2016-6-14
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sorka95032
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Phantomski Posted at 2016-6-14 22:38
I think Mythbusters have proven that you actually cannot get killed or seriously injured with shot ...

You're talking about the episode "Bullets Fired Up". If you actually watched the episode, then you're remembering it wrong. First they didn't use a shot gun and secondly the myth, which was at first busted in the beginning of the episode, was later confirmed when they realized it depended on the angle at which you fire up.

In fact, it's the only myth in the entire series that has all three busted, plausible, and confirmed statuses.
2016-6-14
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Nigel_
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Old Geezer Posted at 2016-6-15 04:37
As michaelfinney_h says above - first step is local Citizens Advice Bureau, then a solicitor if the  ...

The first step is to obtain compensation for the damage, as said in the original post if the shooter doesn't want to pay up then it is a simple civil court matter, in the UK it would be a simple and easy trip to the small claims court, no need for any advice.  

Since the Channel Islands are not in the UK I have no idea what the what the gun laws are, but that is a matter for the police, not the OP.

I do think that flying over someone's house at 16meters is something that most people would not find acceptable, that is maybe only 2 meters above the roofline, what happened to the 50 meters away from buildings rule - if flying at 50 meters + the height of the house at a reasonable speed then I doubt anyone would consider shooting it down, then it would be just another passing aircraft.
2016-6-14
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edu0939
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-6-14 19:25
Those insane Brits and their crazy passion for guns!

Guns sound like an American passion to me
2016-6-15
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rodger
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These situations are unfortunate and sadly will continue. The FAA here in the States announced yesterday that UAS sightings and complaints are dropping rapidly. They attribute it to Education and Registration.
2016-6-15
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Phantomski
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sorka95032 Posted at 2016-6-15 01:23
You're talking about the episode "Bullets Fired Up". If you actually watched the episode, then you ...

ha! clearly i have not remembered it right ;) Now I will have to watch it again!
2016-6-15
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ajperks
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The rest of the drone shooting is as follows.
My insurance has compensated me for the drone. No problem because of crime number. i.e. a criminal act was committed.
The insurance Co is taking action against the shooter to get their money back. The shooter declined to pay me the receipted costs, so he will now have to pay ALL costs including court and legal fees.
The police told me they confiscated his shotgun (he claimed in the press that he volunteered to give it up.) The gun has great sentimental value...
The police have revoked his gun licence and are taking their own action and treating it as gun crime of some sort.
What I find so extraordinary is that all his friends seem to ignore the fact that the drone was falling towards somebody (sods law) and I was the next in line to be hit by it. They thought rendering it uncontrolable was a great thing to do. It does make you wonder where some peoples brains are.
I am still astonished that with so much rotor damage and the electronics to one rotor shot away, I could still sort of fly and steer it to a safe landing.
For those interested, the drone lights up (well the lights that are attached) makes a beep and sits there doing nothing. No signal to the monitor either. So how did it keep going?
Full marks to DJI for a robust product.
2016-7-31
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Hawks100
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Good Result.
Looks like his great idea to get his gun out an shoot your drone out of the sky, has shot him in the ass.
I bet he was laughing with all his mates, yeh that showed em...
I bet he's not laughing now.
Pratt...
2016-7-31
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Photo Drone
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About time common sense prevails ajperks.
We should print this and pass it along.
I would love to see this story in the news
2016-7-31
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anthonyg
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You did well to land it after it being shot and holed, mine only fell 3ft onto grass and it won't fly now.
2016-7-31
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DB4Tim
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Move to America...it is still illegal to shoot at any flying machine/aircraft
2016-7-31
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ajperks
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DB4Tim Posted at 2016-7-31 23:00
Move to America...it is still illegal to shoot at any flying machine/aircraft

It is here also.
2016-8-3
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Capt. Wild Bill
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ajperks Posted at 2016-7-31 11:20
The rest of the drone shooting is as follows.
My insurance has compensated me for the drone. No prob ...

Can you please post a pic of the drone?
2016-8-3
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Adam Flurk
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Wow, that's pretty crazy. I couldn't imagine if that happen to me... And it's also the reason I will not take my quad out to the country - too much of a chance someone would shoot it down immediately, lol.
2016-8-3
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sinbad_uk
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Cessna172 Posted at 2016-6-14 19:25
Those insane Brits and their crazy passion for guns!

lmao, too funny
2016-8-4
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