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Old Feb 22, 2013, 12:48 AM
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I think Saltchucker got it right. If you put yourself in a position to annoy someone enough to the point where they are shooting at you, you probably deserve it(even if you have the right which has yet to be determined).
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:31 AM
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United States, ID
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Wow, so much misinformation and flawed logic in this thread.

In the US at least, the landowner owns the airspace over his land to the extent that he can "reasonably use it in connection with the land." There's all sorts of arguments you can make around that, but the FAA owns at least from 1000' and above. The land owner owns at least as high as he could legally build a structure. Everything in between is probably up for grabs based on who has the best lawyers.

Obviously the bird hunters can reasonably use the airspace as high as they normally shoot birds.

You can't just shoot someone else's property because it is trespassing or annoying you. If there's any chance it is a passenger aircraft or it's crash might hurt someone that's reckless endangerment. If not it's still destruction of property and they could sue you for the damages. You could of course bring a counter suit against them for trespassing or harassment, but it doesn't make it legal to intentionally destroy their property.

You guys really need some civics lessons. If someone is harassing you or trespassing you can't just shoot them or destroy their property, your only recourse is to call the police. The only time you can legally shoot anything that isn't yours is if it's an animal and you have a hunting license, or if you are defending your life or property. Even shooting something or someone to stop the theft or destruction of your property is very dangerous legally and you could easily end up in prison for it.

Those hunters faced no threat to their lives or property and had no legal right to shoot the drone. The only thing preventing them from being criminally and/or civilly prosecuted is the fact that the trespassing charge against the drone guys is probably a more serious offence in that state.

Had it been just passing through or there accidentally they likely would be in legal trouble.

Personally, in that hunt club situation, I would have had every gun there open up on the thing and blasted it to bits. Then I would have arrested the drone people and held them until the police got there. With any luck they would resist and more of their gear would be damaged in the scuffle. Seems like the drone guys were generally in the wrong and the hunting group had a lot more witnesses. The chances of the drone guys proving who shot the drone would be pretty slim, and they certainly would have been charged with trespassing.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:41 AM
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WiseDuck's Avatar
Kingdom of Sweden, Dalarna County, Sater
Joined Oct 2011
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Sometimes, with just one pack, I've flown over several dozen properties and whatnot. I've taken my plane over some too. What a heinous crime, bohoo.

You people and your guns.

'MURICA!
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:45 AM
FPV Desert Beta Test Center
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakestew View Post
Wow, so much misinformation and flawed logic in this thread.

In the US at least, the landowner owns the airspace over his land to the extent that he can "reasonably use it in connection with the land." There's all sorts of arguments you can make around that, but the FAA owns at least from 1000' and above. The land owner owns at least as high as he could legally build a structure. Everything in between is probably up for grabs based on who has the best lawyers.
Your right about the amount of misinformation but why add more. FAA is the authority on all of NAS and there is no lower minimum. Land owners only the right to build structures as high as local and federal laws allow. This issue went to the supreme court in 1946 (United States v. Causby).

Holding
Cujus est solum ejus est usque ad coelum et ad inferos has no legal authority in the United States when pertaining to the sky. A man does not have control and ownership over the airspace of their property except within reasonable limits to utilize their property. Airspace above a set minimum height is property of the Masses and no one man can accuse airplanes or other such craft within of trespassing on what they own.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:20 AM
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Australia, NSW, Picnic Point
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Really, I mean REALLY??

LMFAO, only in America does this question have to be asked!!
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 07:54 AM
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U.S. v. Causby - good article

I think this link to the court case defines it pretty well. The land owner has a right to build as high as they want, but cannot legally prevent any amount of unused airspace over their land from being used by others. This case points out that the government owns the airspace they are not actively using. The land owner won damages due to the type of use of it was killing it's livestock, and their business and had to pay compensation for this, but the courts also upheld the sky did not belong to the land owner. They were flying very low level huge airplanes a few feet over the farm causing chickens to literally panic to death. Our small quiet drones flown at a much higher altitude would never have this effect. If they claimed it did, they would have to take us to court and convince a judge it did. I fly at a local airfield in a park where deer are often grazing at the end of our runway and don't even look up when we land over their heads. Video of this should demonstrate to the court how little these little aircraft effect the wildlife. The question seems answered to my satisfaction, and I think I will keep a copy of this with me in case there is ever a question. Thank you for providing a legal reference.

http://supreme.justia.com/cases/fede.../256/case.html

The United States concludes that, when flights are made within the navigable airspace without any physical invasion of the property of the landowners, there has been no taking of property. It says that, at most, there was merely incidental damage occurring as a consequence of authorized air navigation. It also argues that the landowner does not own superadjacent airspace which he has not subjected to possession by the erection of structures or other occupancy. Moreover, it is argued that, even if the United States took airspace owned by respondents, no compensable damage was shown. Any damages are said to be merely consequential for which no compensation may be obtained under the Fifth Amendment.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 12:31 PM
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A lot would probably depend on which state we were talking about. I'm pretty sure that in most states you cannot shoot at trespassers. In some states you can, Texas and Louisiana come to mind.

I know for a fact it is illegal to shoot at a trespasser where I live because I have read news stories about people who did it and were arrested for it.

Many years ago I read some story about a crazy man who was angry about airplanes flying over his property. He setup all kinds of mirrors on his property to blind pilots of aircraft that flew over his land. He got arrested and in a lot of trouble. Fortunately this was in the days before you could buy high power handheld lasers.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by smoothvirus View Post
A lot would probably depend on which state we were talking about. I'm pretty sure that in most states you cannot shoot at trespassers. In some states you can, Texas and Louisiana come to mind.

I know for a fact it is illegal to shoot at a trespasser where I live because I have read news stories about people who did it and were arrested for it.
Not to get off topic, but generally speaking, if you shoot at someone you are trying to kill them. You generally go to jail and are going to have to explain yourself to a judge. If your life was not in danger, your freedom will be.

Getting back on topic, we are not talking about the pilot physically trespassing in someone's land, we are talking about our aircraft flying over a persons property. As I posted above, with what I read on the legal system's current ruling on the matter, the property owner has the right to build as high as they want on their own property, and others have the right to use the airspace they are not occupying with their structures. Anything else would go to court if they want to try to sue you for harassment, privacy, etc. etc. They would have to prove their case, in court, and the pilot would be able to defend themselves in court. Any action outside of the court system like firing a weapon with intent to destroy another persons personal property would be simply illegal and it could blow up into something no one wants.

Fly safe, try to be a good neighbor, and try to use good judgement. I know I have the right to fly over others property, but I only choose to fly small, quiet electrics anywhere close to anyone else. I know many value their quiet environment. My louder planes like the F27Q Stryker I save for the airfield where it is the norm.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Evans View Post
Your right about the amount of misinformation but why add more. FAA is the authority on all of NAS and there is no lower minimum. Land owners only the right to build structures as high as local and federal laws allow. This issue went to the supreme court in 1946 (United States v. Causby).
[...]
A man does not have control and ownership over the airspace of their property except within reasonable limits to utilize their property.
Umm... Did you actually read what I wrote? You just told me I'm wrong and then quoted what I said back to me as fact.

If I'm bird hunting then I'm using the airspace in connection with the land. I certainly own the airspace to the extent that my gun can "utilize".

That doesn't mean I can shoot anything my gun can hit, but it certainly means anyone in that airspace is trespassing. Common law has always been that people have a right of passage through unimproved or unutilized land. That doesn't mean you can fly through a skeet shooting range and expect not to get shot though.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 04:58 PM
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Bottom line it: You fly over someones vast estate, make noise, and they happen to be out shooting skeet or birds. They take a shot, and down your FPV. You have to go two miles on THEIR land to even consider recovering it. Forget about it. Done. Kaput.
That's why you would not fly over private property like that. Or if you do, and it hits the fan, expect similar consequences. In this scenario, are you going to run to a LEO and explain how you were video piloting over someones private property and they shot down your "recon" bird, and dammit, you want it back? GOOD LUCK.
It all boils down to being polite about your hobby, not flying over someones private property without consent, and generally, being decent and smart.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:04 PM
FPV Desert Beta Test Center
Mesa, Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakestew View Post
Umm... Did you actually read what I wrote? You just told me I'm wrong and then quoted what I said back to me as fact.

If I'm bird hunting then I'm using the airspace in connection with the land. I certainly own the airspace to the extent that my gun can "utilize".

That doesn't mean I can shoot anything my gun can hit, but it certainly means anyone in that airspace is trespassing. Common law has always been that people have a right of passage through unimproved or unutilized land. That doesn't mean you can fly through a skeet shooting range and expect not to get shot though.
Yes I read your comments several times and even thought about it before responding. Several points were incorrect such as who owns U.S. airspace, who controls it and that use of it kind of means you can own it.

1) U.S. airspace is owned by the population not any one individual or the government.
2) All U.S. airspace is controlled by FAA from the surface to 60,000 ft.
3) There are many ways airspace is legally used such as your example hunting or flying in an airliner as long as you are not in violation of FAA regulations. Using airspace does not however mean you own it while engaged in the activity.

I hope that helps explain my earlier comments.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:06 PM
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Quote:
It all boils down to being polite about your hobby, not flying over someones private property without consent, and generally, being decent and smart.
Sounds reasonable in theory, but if you live in a semi-rural area, you're going
to be flying over other people's private property *all the time*, same as you
would if you were in a manned aircraft. Confining your flights to the boundaries of your
own back yard (even if it's a big one) kind of defeats the point of FPV.

I am however, not going to argue that losing my plane on someone's property
should in any way take away that property owner's rights, any more than if
I threw a frisbee over their fence and they decided to not give it back, or throw it away.

ian
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakestew View Post
Umm... Did you actually read what I wrote? You just told me I'm wrong and then quoted what I said back to me as fact.

If I'm bird hunting then I'm using the airspace in connection with the land. I certainly own the airspace to the extent that my gun can "utilize".

That doesn't mean I can shoot anything my gun can hit, but it certainly means anyone in that airspace is trespassing. Common law has always been that people have a right of passage through unimproved or unutilized land. That doesn't mean you can fly through a skeet shooting range and expect not to get shot though.
the part I found inaccurate was getting the drone operator arrested, i know of no current laws that would allow that. link them if you can so I can be protected from arrest lol really though
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Beerwiser View Post
I think Saltchucker got it right. If you put yourself in a position to annoy someone enough to the point where they are shooting at you, you probably deserve it(even if you have the right which has yet to be determined).
+1 If you want to fly low, loud, or frequently over large private lots, proceed diplomatically. Introduce yourself to the property owner. Solicit consent. Who knows, you might receive an invitation to set up your ground station on their land.

Nothing beats making friends to get these issues to go away.
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Old Feb 22, 2013, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by branflakes View Post
the part I found inaccurate was getting the drone operator arrested, i know of no current laws that would allow that. link them if you can so I can be protected from arrest lol really though
Umm... Trespassing, harassment, invasion of privacy, disturbing the peace, negligence or reckless endangerment (drones can crash and hurt people), damages due to delaying hunting activity, lost wages, emotional distress, etc., etc.. I'm sure a good lawyer could come up with a dozen criminal or civil charges that could be used against the operator.
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