Man Wins Lawsuit After Neighbor Shoots His Drone

A court has determined that you can't shoot your neighbor's drone out of the sky.

Splash

Legal experts say that shooting down a drone with a gun should technically be a federal felony offense.

Jason Koebler isn't just a fellow quad and FPV pilot, he is also a writer for MotherBoard.com. To top it off he is also an active RCGroups user.

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The Sky's Not Your Lawn

Comments section tough guys and fictional sitcom characters have popularized the idea that it's completely acceptable to shoot a drone out of the sky. One man in California recently learned, it's not: A judge just awarded a drone pilot $850 in a lawsuit related to the shooting of his custom-built drone.

I was contacted by a man who said his drone had just been shot while flying over his parents' farm. Before talking on the record to the press, he wanted to get the case settled either with his neighbor or with the legal system. In late May, his case was finally finished. It is the first lawsuit relating to the destruction of a drone to become public.

Legal experts say that shooting down a drone with a gun should technically be a federal felony offense. Because the Federal Aviation Administration has decided to consider drones "aircraft" (and has fought for that distinction in court) and has not yet created specific rules about their use, shooting at one should be a violation of federal code 18 32, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

"If drones are aircraft, and subject to all of the same restrictions as aircraft, then they should also be afforded the exact same protection the law provides all aircraft," - Peter Sachs, a Connecticut-based attorney specializing in drone issues.

Thus far, the FAA has not charged anyone who has shot down a drone with violating that law, though the FAA has made it explicit that shooting at a drone is illegal.

So, if you are thinking about shooting down a drone, know that at the very least, there's a good chance you'll lose a good sum of money if you get sued.

Read the full story here.

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Jun 29, 2015, 01:51 PM
Registered User
This is excellent news- I'm so sick and tired of the "redneck" shotgun threats that fill the comment section of every single drone article- regardless of pilot fault.
Jun 29, 2015, 02:16 PM
Thanks Wilber and Orville !.
sonic liner's Avatar
Nice !

Our machines aren't clay targets people.

Plane ~
Jun 29, 2015, 02:18 PM
Thanks Wilber and Orville !.
sonic liner's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5 oclock charlie
This is excellent news- I'm so sick and tired of the "redneck" shotgun threats that fill the comment section of every single drone article- regardless of pilot fault.
Just upset that they don't have the skills needed to fly one.
Google sat's are out of range............LOL !

Plane ~
Jun 29, 2015, 02:18 PM
AMA District VII AVP
PropsnWings's Avatar
Finally, a court that has some sense!
Jun 29, 2015, 02:36 PM
Registered User
Good. Paranoid delusions aren't justification for destruction of private property.
Jun 29, 2015, 03:16 PM
Go Hawks!
cryhavoc38's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonic liner
Just upset that they don't have the skills needed to fly one.
Google sat's are out of range............LOL !

Plane ~
Skills are not needed to fly a multirotor with a decent nav/stabilizing system as evident by all the fools who go buy one at the local hobby shop and then proceed to fly them where they shouldn't be.
Jun 29, 2015, 03:50 PM
AMA District VII AVP
PropsnWings's Avatar
This was not your run of the mill multirotor. It was built from individual parts by the pilot. From the photo I saw looked to be a DJI F550. Takes a bit more skill than flipping a switch.
Jun 29, 2015, 03:56 PM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
What if he flew over the neighbor's property? Does the neighbor have the right to defend the sky above his property? I guess only if he felt threatened.
Jun 29, 2015, 04:18 PM
RC boat Rock Star
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdooley
What if he flew over the neighbor's property? Does the neighbor have the right to defend the sky above his property? I guess only if he felt threatened.
He was on his parents farmland, read the article again. No onboard camera so he wasn't spying on the neighbor.
So far he's lucky that he hasn't gotten jail time for the illegal discharge of a firearm or been really popped by the FAA.
Jun 29, 2015, 04:46 PM
Registered User
how about this... http://www.kitv.com/national/taser-u...lcano/32644538
Jun 29, 2015, 05:05 PM
Closed Account
well , tho I may be tempted to shoot at someones drone for certain reasons and more likely to just simply walk over and rip the guy a new one without a gun for those certain reasons....

I really don't condone shooting at a drone or clubbing the guy to death

BUT I am glad he won the law suit ....HOWEVER

the interpretation of Drones are Aircraft defined the same as ALL other aircraft should be a BIG red Flag to every Hobbyist

IF they define these models like they do all aircraft, then this Hobby is in serious trouble.

This quote: "If drones are aircraft, and subject to all of the same restrictions as aircraft, then they should also be afforded the exact same protection the law provides all aircraft," - Peter Sachs, a Connecticut-based attorney specializing in drone issues.

IF the FAA does do that....then our little models will be regulated and that will take away our hobby and put it into the FAA's interpretation as all aircraft and it's rules and guides, Regulations...thus licenses, fee's, etc etc etc will be implemented , and us Hobbyists will lose out !!!
Jun 29, 2015, 05:46 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by HGhost
HOWEVER
the interpretation of Drones are Aircraft defined the same as ALL other aircraft should be a BIG red Flag to every Hobbyist

IF they define these models like they do all aircraft, then this Hobby is in serious trouble.

IF the FAA does do that....then our little models will be regulated and that will take away our hobby and put it into the FAA's interpretation as all aircraft and it's rules and guides, Regulations...thus licenses, fee's, etc etc etc will be implemented , and us Hobbyists will lose out !!!
The FAA has already done that. (See Myth #1)
http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=76381
There is a formal document on the subject, but I found this link first.
Don
Jun 29, 2015, 05:53 PM
rc user
pdooley's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Olson
He was on his parents farmland, read the article again. No onboard camera so he wasn't spying on the neighbor.
So far he's lucky that he hasn't gotten jail time for the illegal discharge of a firearm or been really popped by the FAA.
I don't need to read the article, i got that part. I was posing a hypothetical question- the neighbor(of the guy's parents of you want to get technical) fired into the airspace above his(parents) property.
Where do you get spying? You're reading too much into my question.
Jun 29, 2015, 06:08 PM
Closed Account
Quote:
Originally Posted by defranci
The FAA has already done that. (See Myth #1)
http://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=76381
There is a formal document on the subject, but I found this link first.
Don

i understand that...however the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012.

still allows some what a leeway.....if they do not...we will have to get licensed to fly.


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