HobbyKing.com New Products Flash Sale
Closed Thread
Thread Tools
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:05 AM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2011
90 Posts
Discussion
Airspace vs property rights?

If someone flys in a rural area in the United States, and sometimes fly over private property can the property owner legally shoot down your FPV aircraft? I know some FPV people venture out a few miles and sometimes you have to fly over private property just like full size passenger aircraft do. I have seen the media write articles that imply we are going to hover over their family pool and ogle their wives or stare in their windows. They are good at inducing paranoia. If I park in someone's driveway and knock on the door they don't have the right to shoot my car that would actually be parked on their property, so what makes people think they have the right to shoot down a persons RC plane flying over their property? I am not the type to be a bad neighbor, but I have heard many people who I have discussed it with think they have a perfect right to shoot at an RC plane just because it is over their property. I ask them if they could shoot at a private plane with passengers in the same location and they say "well that's different".

I normally fly in rural areas and explore lakes, landscapes, etc. I don't loiter over someone's property, but eventually you have to cross someone's property unless you own a lot of land. I just wanted to know what my rights are if someone decides they have the right to shoot down my plane with a firearm. Some can claim if they use a shotgun it is no different safety wise as shooting at a bird you would normally hunt. A shotgun can reach a long way up with good ammo and a tight choke. For a dollar in ammo they could take out a several thousand dollar RC plane. It's best to know your rights BEFORE you get in a situation where you should have known them. One thing to consider, it's hard for a land owner to know the planes location, if you have a recording showing the GPS lat lon when it was struck, you may have proof they shot it when it was not on their property.

Edit: I guess I should have asked specifically about the United States, sometimes I forget the internet is global.
Jim2011 is offline Find More Posts by Jim2011
Last edited by Jim2011; Feb 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM. Reason: added United States location for clearer meaning
Sign up now
to remove ads between posts
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:10 AM
Gravity is patient............
Joined Mar 2006
1,908 Posts
I've been told airspace is not owned by private land owners. Of course laws will vary country to country. Much like many land owners don't own mineral or oil rights, no private land owners own the airspace over their land. This was what I was TOLD, so it's not concrete.
billyd60 is offline Find More Posts by billyd60
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:32 AM
Registered User
Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
Joined Jul 2012
4,132 Posts
Do they have the right to shoot you down when you're flying an R22? Apparently they do legally have the right to shoot you down. If you're just passing over the area and get off their property asap and do it at a high altitude, you can get by. But if the owner thinks your R22 is flying too low and too noisy, he has the right to shoot you down. I think the wording is "Enjoyment of your land" or somethng similar, which apparently includes airspace.

Your FPV obviously isn't any safer than an R22. If you're flying FPV, either get permission from the owners or stay away from houses and good sniping spots.



Also, are drones, atleast the consumer grade ones (i.e. ours) actually practical for spying? Granted, they go very fast and can go kilometers in minutes but they seem pretty bad for loitering.
- Battery lasts five minutes. Getting into position will take up half your battery. Spies sit in wait for *hours*.
- We use wide angle lenses since we can't turn our heads. Not so good for detail.
- Telescopic lens on gimbal so you can view from long distance? Try putting a laser on your gimbal and aim it at something, lets see how steady you can make it.
Hajile is offline Find More Posts by Hajile
RCG Plus Member
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:57 AM
Gravity is patient............
Joined Mar 2006
1,908 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajile View Post
Do they have the right to shoot you down when you're flying an R22? Apparently they do legally have the right to shoot you down. If you're just passing over the area and get off their property asap and do it at a high altitude, you can get by. But if the owner thinks your R22 is flying too low and too noisy, he has the right to shoot you down. I think the wording is "Enjoyment of your land" or somethng similar, which apparently includes airspace.

Your FPV obviously isn't any safer than an R22. If you're flying FPV, either get permission from the owners or stay away from houses and good sniping spots.



Also, are drones, atleast the consumer grade ones (i.e. ours) actually practical for spying? Granted, they go very fast and can go kilometers in minutes but they seem pretty bad for loitering.
- Battery lasts five minutes. Getting into position will take up half your battery. Spies sit in wait for *hours*.
- We use wide angle lenses since we can't turn our heads. Not so good for detail.
- Telescopic lens on gimbal so you can view from long distance? Try putting a laser on your gimbal and aim it at something, lets see how steady you can make it.
Most states don't even allow people to fire a weapon in a residential neighborhood much less fire it in the air at a moving target. You can try to make that claim, but I wouldn't want to defend it in court. Especially if you kill someone in their backyard a half mile away with a stray bullet traced back to your gun.

But but but your honor he had a foam plane over my barbeque isn't going to cut it when there's a dead body because you went redneck on someone flying over your property.
billyd60 is offline Find More Posts by billyd60
Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:04 AM
Registered User
Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
Joined Jul 2012
4,132 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyd60 View Post
Most states don't even allow people to fire a weapon in a residential neighborhood much less fire it in the air at a moving target. You can try to make that claim, but I wouldn't want to defend it in court. Especially if you kill someone in their backyard a half mile away with a stray bullet traced back to your gun.

But but but your honor he had a foam plane over my barbeque isn't going to cut it when there's a dead body because you went redneck on someone flying over your property.
Actually, i was referring to ranches. I wouldn't want to fly FPV in residentials with crowded 2.4Ghz. I'm not american, but i've watched StormChasers (And quite a few reality shows) and you guys seem to have a ton of open land over there. I notice because i live on an island and you're never more than 50 miles from the ocean, kinda cramped over here.
Hajile is offline Find More Posts by Hajile
RCG Plus Member
Last edited by Hajile; Feb 19, 2013 at 09:10 AM.
Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:14 AM
Gravity is patient............
Joined Mar 2006
1,908 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hajile View Post
Actually, i was referring to ranches. I wouldn't want to fly FPV in residentials with crowded 2.4Ghz. I'm not american, but i've watched StormChasers (And quite a few reality shows) and you guys seem to have a ton of open land over there. I notice because i live on an island and i'm always 50 miles from the ocean, kinda cramped over here.
Every square inch is owned by somebody, and usually somebody with an attitude problem. Land of the over regulated and home of the offended.
billyd60 is offline Find More Posts by billyd60
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:30 PM
I tell her RC is cheap !
carguy1994ca's Avatar
Quebec, Canada
Joined Sep 2006
12,391 Posts
Nobody shot Trappy on its roadtrip, why would they shout you ?
carguy1994ca is online now Find More Posts by carguy1994ca
RCG Plus Member
Old Feb 19, 2013, 08:41 PM
I should be flying right now!
al1242's Avatar
United States, IN, Crown Point
Joined May 2010
450 Posts
If you are truly interested, read this, Daemon posted it in other thread and I read it today, spells it all out in layman's terms.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42940.pdf
al1242 is offline Find More Posts by al1242
Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:13 PM
Registered User
Chattanooga, TN
Joined Sep 2010
59 Posts
whargarbl
Lextronix is offline Find More Posts by Lextronix
Old Feb 19, 2013, 09:53 PM
Registered User
Deadstick 8409's Avatar
Joined May 2010
958 Posts
*If* you were flying a FPV over someone else's property in a such a way that they have a legal way to shoot at it, and they do, I would say you would be hard pressed to make a case, especially if said property owner has it in his possession, *and* any video from it. In fact, I would think he would have a good case (with the right lawyer) to sue your ass to the poor house.

And by "legal way to shoot it", I mean that he has a clear shot over his property and no one else's way past his shot.
Deadstick 8409 is online now Find More Posts by Deadstick 8409
Old Feb 19, 2013, 10:56 PM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
Joined Sep 2011
5,281 Posts
what if you are 300ft up, and not all that distinguishable from a fullsize airplane or UFO to the average redneck?
BCSaltchucker is offline Find More Posts by BCSaltchucker
Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:15 PM
Registered User
Philippines, Calabarzon, San Pedro
Joined Jul 2012
4,132 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by al1242 View Post
If you are truly interested, read this, Daemon posted it in other thread and I read it today, spells it all out in layman's terms.
http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42940.pdf
Interesting. So that's where they were taking their quotes.

The gist of it seems to be that you're ok as long as you don't specifically train your cameras on an individual or house, and that you aren't annoying them with your prop wash nor ruining their view of their (and their neighbors) property. Keep your aircraft discrete.

However, if you make your aircraft too obvious, they have the right to shoot it even if it's not on their property. Airspace right overlap and they can still legitimately shoot you even if you're on a neighbors property.



Pigeon Hunters Shoot Down Drone Belonging to Animal Rights Group (1 min 54 sec)


On this one, it seems they do have the right to shoot the drone, stalking or spying on peoples activities. Hovering in place right above an isolated part of someone's private property where the pilot knows the owner does not want anyone snooping, and blatantly pointing a camera at them, is just begging to be shot.

Another that's put in question is the intent. How do you tell when a drone is just passing through or spying like the guys above are doing? Considering how trigger happy americans are, they likely play it safe and just shoot. There have even been recommendations to ignore the drone and shoot the pilot instead.
Hajile is offline Find More Posts by Hajile
RCG Plus Member
Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:43 PM
fly by night
BCSaltchucker's Avatar
Joined Sep 2011
5,281 Posts
Yeah I have to sympathize with the hunters in that case. But I also think it should be illegal for them to shoot it down with a firearm. Maybe OK to just shoot paint pellets at it instead, if the aircraft is flying low and obviously eavesdropping.
BCSaltchucker is offline Find More Posts by BCSaltchucker
Old Feb 20, 2013, 12:11 AM
Registered User
Daemon's Avatar
Lakewood, Colorado
Joined Aug 2002
28,396 Posts
Actually looked to me like they were trying to make a point of hovering above or close
to the road and just looking in the direction of the pigeon shoot. Regardless, the shots
that hit the multi were fired *over* a public road, which is in fact unambiguously illegal.

ian
Daemon is online now Find More Posts by Daemon
RCG Plus Member
Old Feb 20, 2013, 10:15 AM
Registered User
Joined Aug 2011
90 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deadstick 8409 View Post
*If* you were flying a FPV over someone else's property in a such a way that they have a legal way to shoot at it, and they do, I would say you would be hard pressed to make a case, especially if said property owner has it in his possession, *and* any video from it. In fact, I would think he would have a good case (with the right lawyer) to sue your ass to the poor house.

And by "legal way to shoot it", I mean that he has a clear shot over his property and no one else's way past his shot.
Video is recorded at my vid receiver so it would be in my posession. So you are saying an owner could shoot down a Cessna if its in range? He can shoot a car that turns around in his driveway? He does not have the sky legally posted no trespassing every few feet as required by law.
Jim2011 is offline Find More Posts by Jim2011
Closed Thread


Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Category Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Discussion Real Rights vs. “Rights” (State-Dispensed Privileges) MtnGoat Life, The Universe, and Politics 50 Feb 02, 2013 09:00 AM
Discussion Quads in UK airspace Jimob23 Multirotor Talk 1 Jan 26, 2013 05:18 PM
Discussion field/airspace to fly a 500 vs 450 helivsFMX Large Electric Helis 16 Oct 12, 2011 08:01 PM
Question Is it illegal to enter the airspace over private property? Warsaw Electric Sailplanes 29 Nov 02, 2008 03:51 AM
Discussion Personal Property Air Rights skymind Aerial Photography 25 Apr 08, 2008 05:32 PM