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Soccer Mom calls the FUZZ - (US drone rights)
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2675 71 2017-1-19
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Matman
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Decided to catch another Arizona sunrise on video so when my son walked to school I followed him. A few minutes later, a minivan pulls up, stops and is watching me like a creep.

After about three minutes she rolls down the window and shouts,
Momma bear: Hey, is that your drone flying around by the school?
Me: Yeah, (grinning like a kid having fun)

Mom: Don't you think that's kinda creepy?
Me: Is what creepy? (I was somewhat insulted)

Mom: Watching the kids?
Me: What makes you think I was watching the kids? I was following my son to school.

Mom: Oh,..well. All you had to do was say that.. you're obviously very defensive and upset so ..
Me: I shouldn't have to, that's public space and who are you to be doing character assessments at 7AM? Bye now, keep driving please..

She drove off with a passive aggressive, "Thanks for keeping our kids safe"

Lessons learned: Know your rights
have a spotter with you on the lookout for drone haters
Be prepared to film any confrontations, carry a cell phone
Bring the dron back and use IT to film any confrontation to further exacerbate her angst





2017-1-19
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Ob1415
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How was she to know that you were following your child and not checking out the kids?  How would she know that the kid you were following was your own?  She would have to ask, which she did...right?  I'm all for being able to fly your drone without having to answer dumbass questions, but in this case, I don't think the mom was wrong.  The safety of children is more important and this type of drone activity SHOULD be questioned, IMO.
2017-1-19
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DJI-Ken
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Ob1415 Posted at 2017-1-19 07:43
How was she to know that you were following your child and not checking out the kids?  How would she know that the kid you were following was your own?  She would have to ask, which she did...right?  I'm all for being able to fly your drone without having to answer dumbass questions, but in this case, I don't think the mom was wrong.  The safety of children is more important and this type of drone activity SHOULD be questioned, IMO.

I too think the conversation could have gone better. There's a lot of people out there who have bad feelings about drones, If I encounter anyone friendly or aggressive I am very polite even if they are in the wrong.
2017-1-19
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ePetLicensing.c
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Ob1415 Posted at 2017-1-19 07:43
How was she to know that you were following your child and not checking out the kids?  How would she know that the kid you were following was your own?  She would have to ask, which she did...right?  I'm all for being able to fly your drone without having to answer dumbass questions, but in this case, I don't think the mom was wrong.  The safety of children is more important and this type of drone activity SHOULD be questioned, IMO.

I second that...Guys, guys, guys...No peeping..., No stalking..., No creeping the hell out of the population.

We don't need anymore bad publicity.


Protect animal population. Spay or Neutered your Pet!
2017-1-19
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Matman
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In agreement with everything above,

But when someone accuses us of peeping (or "watching" the kids as above) and we're just flying, that's a thin line. Just because it has a camera doesn't mean it's being used to perform surveillance.

It sounds like socially, we're gravitating towards, don't fly near humans, or be prepared to have your character questioned/insulted.

I will not be flying near or around any children especially at my sons school going forward. In fact if I see a child I'll speed away in the opposite direction, for fear of being accused a pedo by some anygry person.

I am not a creep, <tears> lol, but of course they don't know that, so I guess I need to go around being prepared to defend that I'm not an animal in this day and age where everyone is outspoken.

Drone life is hard, and by the way, when did "watching" become creepy?
Isn't watching the same as looking? I guess seeing is now a crime.

How would it be any different if I were to walk with him to school, am I "watching" the kids then too?
Looking/seeing and intentionally filming with the intent to exploit are two very different things.



2017-1-19
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OhOhDrone
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I was flying my drone around a ski mountain and the drone was about 100ft in the air. As I was walking with my drone to an open space, I saw someone who was directly under the drone flash the middle finger to my drone as I walked by. I just smiled at her. People are just too sensitive sometimes. I didn't spend all this money for my drone to be taking their ugly faces.
2017-1-19
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Matman
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I think I'll add bear spray to my flight bag for future angry bear encounters.

Be safe, drone responsibly.

I shared this so we can all learn from my stupidity, so I get both sides, and agree on both perspectives.


2017-1-19
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hallmark007
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-19 08:12
In agreement with everything above,

But when someone accuses us of peeping (or "watching" the kids as above) and we're just flying, that's a thin line. Just because it has a camera doesn't mean it's being used to perform surveillance.

I think, you would have been better off going over to try to educate her let her know what your doing, lots of people are sceptical of drones , in the media they are often seen as objects to spy on people and things, not enough is being done to show people of the benefits of drones, so when you get a chance you need to take it.

On a more serious note, there are regulations on how close you can fly to groups of people without there permission, in my country it's 50 meters, there are very good reasons for this law and it needs to be respected, for the sake of those who are flying within the law..

It's a good topic that you have brought up, and one that will help others understanding how JOE public might react whether out of ignorance or not knowing enough about drones, so the next time it happens engage with them and let them know what your at , and that your flying within the law. Good luck..
2017-1-19
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Matman
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Great perspective hallmark (I'm being serious, appreciate the positivity) maybe next time I'll approach and attempt to have relations. (And risk being assaulted, or just more directly personally harassed, or gear damaged for the drone community's image. Yeah no go on that part.)

Maybe I'll invoke my right to ignore them entirely, and just call PD for backup.





And Ken, you sir must be a saint. You're even polite when they are wrong? Are you from California? Hahahah
2017-1-19
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Mooney
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DJI-Ken Posted at 2017-1-19 07:47
I too think the conversation could have gone better. There's a lot of people out there who have bad feelings about drones, If I encounter anyone friendly or aggressive I am very polite even if they are in the wrong.

Agreed!

Drones have received their unfair share of negative publicity in the media.  The population has been spoon-fed every bad story available.

I believe people have become defensive about drones and often feel the need to vocalize their concerns.  Recently I was flying over a vacant corn maze that was long vacant from kids and people.  A lady pulled her car over near where I was piloting the Mavic.  I expected the typical barrage of curious questions, what I received shocks me to this day.  

Without going into all the mind boggling details, I was told in summary that "drones were built to hurt people."  It seems the numerous pictures in the evening news showing military drones attacking "people" left this lady convinced all them are dangerous.  She went on to say I had "no right to fly them in a public area, in a non-military zone."

Yes . . . I cued the Twilight Zone theme in my head, however I knew arguing with her wasn't going to stop her conspiracy theories so it was time to RTH.  I spent some time showing her the Mavic and while I'm sure she wasn't convinced the camera wasn't a laser beam cannon.  She did leave sounding a little more positive than when she arrived.

Ken's right, we need to help people understand the good drones do; Search and Rescue, SWAT action, tower inspections, power lines, flood patrol, traffic alerts, security . . . .  the list goes on.  Lets not let the media own (and create) the narrative.
2017-1-19
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thehippoz
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Lol yeah I get joggers coming up to me and even got old guy who pulled over in the park to ask me about my drone. Just friendly though, they happy. They only come up to me when by myself. If with my wife, they don't seem to care! It's women joggers and old men on the rich side of town. Maybe it's my good looks

That's the rich side of town. The ghetto parks, have to watch my booty and you see 300 lbers walking around like zombies. There's always someone behind a tree loitering with his obama shirt, I guess looking for booty. And at the house, so many power lines and neighbors out. I used to fly my toy drones around our neighborhood and stopped because the neighbors kept coming out. I never had anyone say anything, but it's unspoken. They want peace!
2017-1-19
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DJI-Ken
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Mooney Posted at 2017-1-19 09:00
Agreed!

Drones have received their unfair share of negative publicity in the media.  The population has been spoon-fed every bad story available.

Exactly, take the time to educate and show them you are not spying on anyone.
2017-1-19
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Matman
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These stories are gold. I've replayed the scenario/convo in a million diff ways. But I'm an a -whole so this was my best effort.
I'm not used to hostility, most people are happy and wave. But I'm now on guard like some god damn outcast. Like a drone therapy counselor for the paranoid segment of humanity.

I should have played the traffic safety angle, "ma'am I was patrolling for speeders, for our safety"


I left out the part where I switched to S mode and escorted her mini van out of the development. For her safety.




2017-1-19
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thehippoz
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-19 09:11
These stories are gold. I've replayed the scenario/convo in a million diff ways. But I'm an a -whole so this was my best effort.
I'm not used to hostility, most people are happy and wave. But I'm now on guard like some god damn outcast. Like a drone therapy counselor for the paranoid segment of humanity.

Yeah some people always on a mission for drama. If you know the jedi mind trick, play it and find the quickest way to leave. Don't get sucked up in it!
2017-1-19
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DRONE-flies-YOU
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-19 09:11
These stories are gold. I've replayed the scenario/convo in a million diff ways. But I'm an a -whole so this was my best effort.
I'm not used to hostility, most people are happy and wave. But I'm now on guard like some god damn outcast. Like a drone therapy counselor for the paranoid segment of humanity.

LOL right?  I'm paranoid hovering in 1 spot for too long.

The soccer mom thing cracked me up because it is so true.  They live in this false sense of security environment.  And trying to get a rise out of you at every opportunity...  She's bored and not open to learning/listening.  People like her are California in a nutshell.
2017-1-19
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Matman
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Yeah she was downright fiesty for a soccer mom, lol. Back to your life in the minivan, lady. I'm trying to fly right now and your bringing me down.

Then she kept digging further, "And obviously your defensive and upset so, I must be on to something"

Yes I'm upset you're calling me a creep. Pilots have feelings too.. snif snif

#dronelifesux

2017-1-19
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UtahKevin
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When I first got in to the hobby we hated it when people called them Drones. We called the Multi-rotors, quad-copters ext, that battle has been lost and the name Drone is here to stay. The problem is the word drone sounds like something the military uses to spy on people. I think letting people know what you are using it for goes a long way, maybe letting the lady know that you were trying to capture the sunrise and that the higher altitude you wouldn't be able to pick out children's faces would have put her mind at ease. Honestly though I think we should stay clear of schools, that's just asking for scrutiny.
2017-1-19
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BuzzCut
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I feel for you.  That was a cr@ppy experience.  We will  have more cr@ppy experiences, as people just don't respond well to 'drones'.  They get emotional, and people often do or say silly things when they're emotional.  Also, logical arguments typically bounce off people when they're in an emotional state - they can't process the logic at that point.

My neighborhood is 25mph and we have a lot of kids on the street.  I drive my sports car at exactly 25mph, and not one digit more on that street.  It's sort of grumbly, and some people associate noise with speed.  I am extra-careful to never speed in that car.  However, some of my neighbors look at me while I drive past as if I've killed a puppy.  I see the same neighbors routinely driving at 35mph on the same street.  Sometimes logic doesn't play into it, but it's always good to be on the side that tries to de-escalate things, even if it's not fair and even if it's not logical.

I predict good news ahead, though.  When I first saw somebody taking a selfie I thought they were insane (maybe I still do), however it's become so prolific that I don't even notice now.  When everybody's son and daughter and uncle (not the creepy uncle) are using flying things to take pictures people will become normalized to these things.  Right now they're not, but it is what it is.  We have to deal with the madness, and that's a lot easier to do if we de-escalate where possible.
2017-1-19
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hallmark007
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Always good to offer them an aerial photo, just make sure it's out of focus and has tilted horizon lol...
2017-1-19
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DRONE-flies-YOU
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-1-19 12:09
Always good to offer them an aerial photo, just make sure it's out of focus and has tilted horizon lol...

WOW, I just laughed coffee out of my nose!  You had me LMAO literally!!
2017-1-19
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Ob1415
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-1-19 12:09
Always good to offer them an aerial photo, just make sure it's out of focus and has tilted horizon lol...

LOL!  For real tho, if they see just how good the resolution is on the cameras, they'll freak out all over again.
2017-1-19
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Matman
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If anyone that has seen surveillance camera man on YouTube , I think I'll start a YouTube channel of my own called drone life sux.

I'll use the channel to troll overly hostile paranoid types and educate the masses that droning is not a crime. And filming in public is also legal.

Hey is that your drone? What are you doing?
I'm just filming, calm down,

2017-1-19
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hallmark007
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-19 13:41
If anyone that has seen surveillance camera man on YouTube , I think I'll start a YouTube channel of my own called drone life sux.

I'll use the channel to troll overly hostile paranoid types and educate the masses that droning is not a crime. And filming in public is also legal.

They wanted to ban Rock&Roll too, sometimes the minority has to show the way. Just stand up straight stick your chest out and fly that bird high...
2017-1-19
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Matman
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I wish I would have been wired up with a go pro to record her angst, she was all smarmy.
In the news today was a story of a "drone bomb threat" at the inauguration, that would be less than helpful to our hobby..
"On Thursday's "Today" show, a report indicated that U.S. Secret Service has put in place several anti-drone efforts out of concern that an I-inspired "flying IED" will smash into the crowd, or worse"


I can see it now, "how do we know that thing isn't a bomb"!

2017-1-19
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Rick A
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DRONE-flies-YOU Posted at 2017-1-19 12:38
WOW, I just laughed coffee out of my nose!  You had me LMAO literally!!

I second that, I read that post and choked on my coffee as well.
2017-1-19
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stratosHD
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I have been lucky and use my common sense, most of the people that have approached me are curious about the drone and about what it can do. Once they see that im flying responsibly they add the drone to their bucket list. Damn, I have even allowed a couple of them to fly it and they have a blast.
2017-1-19
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TrevorSK
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Not 100% on your American FAA rules. I live in Canada, and here we have to watch what we do with our drones very carefully. Here it's Transport Canada who makes the drone regulations and its against the law to fly a drone within 150 meters (500 feet) of any person, animal, building, structure, or vehicle. They don't usually prosecute anyone for doing it, but in the case of a complaint, they've written the law to favour the plaintiff, rather than the drone owner.
2017-1-19
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Matman
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So today was another gorgeous cloudy morning in Az so I decide to put the mavic up once more. This time hovering at 200 ft over a public zone in front of my home (no where near any kids as I'm now scarred).

The minivan momma bear shows up and drives down the street, parks and waits..

I finished my flight, burned thru another battery and bring it back, time for my morning shower.

I get dressed and see a marked unit in front of my house. So I approach the officer before he comes up to the door, like hey, so glad you came!

He explained that momma bear was concerned that I was filming kids and didn't know the nature of my flight activity.

I explained what happened yesterday and that I explained to her I was filming my son.

He basically said you didn't do anything wrong, so your fine, as you were. In fact he wasn't even aware of a single drone restriction it's federal jurisdiction here in the US, so not the city cops problem.

You can bet I'll be back in the air tomorrow fighting for my rights.
She's basically not cool with me flying in my neighborhood, too bad, so sad.




2017-1-20
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BuzzCut
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-20 07:09
So today was another gorgeous cloudy morning in Az so I decide to put the mavic up once more. This time hovering at 200 ft over a public zone in front of my home (no where near any kids as I'm now scarred).

The minivan momma bear shows up and drives down the street, parks and waits..

That's straight-up harassment in my view.  Cop should have explained it to her that there was no crime being committed and given her a mild warning about not doing it again.  It would have been different if she hadn't have talked to you yesterday and understood what you were doing, but you told her.  It's not like you ran away and hid.
2017-1-20
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Matman
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BuzzCut Posted at 2017-1-20 07:19
That's straight-up harassment in my view.  Cop should have explained it to her that there was no crime being committed and given her a mild warning about not doing it again.  It would have been different if she hadn't have talked to you yesterday and understood what you were doing, but you told her.  It's not like you ran away and hid.

She basically called it in then split. Officer Said she was "all puffed up".

I have my jacket rigged to record video on my iPhone (from the front pocket anonymously).

Will record any LE contact or contact with angry bears. Now seeking attorney to pursue restraining order, lol.
Does State Farm have a litigation coverage?

#dronelifesux

2017-1-20
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Matman
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Anyone willing to post my bail please post below, lol..

I'm an outlaw, a rogue renegade on the run. A castoff, a loner and a rebel.

This life ain't for everyone,

2017-1-20
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Ob1415
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She must think that these drones are FAR more capable than they actually are.  From 200 feet up, you aren't even capable of being a perv with a Mavic, LOL!.  IJS...
2017-1-20
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Matman
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Today, when she called the po po I was 30' above my front lawn, just waiting for her to come down the street.

Not a child in sight and she tells the po po I'm watching children.

I think I'll go get the police report and pursue a civil suit for defamation and harassment, and a restraining order as the cherry on top.

Fight fire with Fire,
2017-1-20
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ctopysf
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Sitting in a bush with a zoom lens on an entry level dslr would be cheaper, less conspicuous and much higher quality. She needs to turn her gaze back toward earth if she wants to find real pervs.

I've only had one or two people give me a hard time for flying (once for a fixed wing, line of sight...and once for a racing drone), while most people are reasonable. I was extremely civil toward their hostility. The next time that happens, I'm not so sure I'll be able to bite my tongue.
2017-1-20
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Watty2000
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-20 10:45
Today, when she called the po po I was 30' above my front lawn, just waiting for her to come down the street.

Not a child in sight and she tells the po po I'm watching children.

Go for it! Fed up seeing these types getting away with their nonsense.
2017-1-20
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Matman
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Thanks for your support (and advice on how to be a real perv, lol)

The police dept said there was an incident report with some notes (not a formal report as in a criminal case) available to me with her information redacted.

I am determined to find out her name and begin moving forward with civil litigation should this persist.

I will use anti redaction eraser to reveal her name, follow her to the den and begin overwatch of her domicile. jK
2017-1-20
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Wellsi
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Matman Posted at 2017-1-20 11:23
Thanks for your support (and advice on how to be a real perv, lol)

The police dept said there was an incident report with some notes (not a formal report as in a criminal case) available to me with her information redacted.

Maybe you show her how small people look on screen?  Tell her it's like trying to spy using a mobile phone from 200 feet away... people have no idea of the lens and (lack of) zoom on these things....

You have no idea what she's saying about you to the neighbourhood so surely you're better off just showing her that she has nothing to be concerned about.....

2017-1-20
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Matman
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That's great advice,

But why put myself in danger or legally exposed, because at this point I'm harassing her if I approach her.

Better to call PD and let them mediate, and explain to the snowflake how the cookie crumbles.
2017-1-20
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MacIak
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Drones, in all sizes, are the future..one day not far from now  we will fly to our holiday destinations in A380 size drones and pay good money to get seats in ultra-uber-business class which will be located where the  flightcrew is now (dammit mods, why is it not possible to use the word c0ckpit? This is getting silly)
Many fantastic things nowadays are former military applications translated and finetuned for civil use. The very same people complaining about destructive and scary drones gladly make use of this. We live in a selective dumb society where people turn into shallow and narrowminded creatures when it suits them. Educate where/if possible is the key i think. And enjoy flying cause heavier restrictions will come, no matter what.
2017-1-20
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boostedford
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wow, just wow so sorry you have to go thru that nonsense. when i first got a drone it was the regular vision without the gimble. second day i took it up in my neighborhood cops show up and said they're getting reports of a ufo flying LOL so i showed them and they were fascinated with it and taking pictures of it. i've never had any negative encounters, just the usual curious person. i actually i kind of hate that because im busy trying to focus on flying and theyre asking 50 million questions in my ear and a few times i almost had some pilot errors. ugh save your questions til the end please lol.
2017-1-21
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