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DroneShield’s Deployment Results in Arrest at College Football Game

skymonkey

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Good, then I think the story is BS until I hear from a story with real details. I believe that just because... and thanks.
 

LUIS MARTINEZ

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skymonkey

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From what I’ve read the drone was not intercepted in mid flight. In fact the drone hovered for a few minutes then flew away.
 

R Martin

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You are right. The local gendarmes have always had the authority to enforce state statutes, such as endangerment, disorderly conduct, trespassing, obstructing governmental operations, etc. on drone calls (they can be quite creative ;) ).
FARs are outside their bailiwick and authority so I am curious as to what authority (state law, US Code) they relied upon to interfere with a UAS midflight.
Guess the FAA is hoping they will get creative and do the Fed's job for them.
 

PatR

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From what I’ve read the drone was not intercepted in mid flight. In fact the drone hovered for a few minutes then flew away.
None of the three linked press stories mentioned intercepting the drone in flight, but all three stories are likely just slight re-writes of an original reporting. Without seeing the actual police report we don’t have a lot to go on. News media reporting is typically inaccurate.

If the college has a a no drone operations on college grounds rule the operators might have simply been cited for trespassing while evidence of the over flight was passed on to the feds for action. OTOH, since we have federal laws against stadium drone flights the cops could just have easily made an arrest for endangering public safety, impounded the equipment, and passed info to the feds for further action, which is certainly within their purview. Local LEA’s often make arrests for civil violations and advise federal agencies when they believe there is suspicion of a federal violation.
 
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Guardian44

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The FAA has clearly said that actions taken by drone pilots that violate a local statute can be prosecuted under the local statute. What local jurisdictions can't do, however, is enforce regulations about where drones can or cannot fly. If these guys had flown the drone over the same stadium when it was empty, there would be no ability to charge under local law for anything.

Given the described circumstances, however, I think that under the laws in my state, a couple of arguments could be made:

RSA 631:3 Reckless Conduct - A person is guilty of reckless conduct if he recklessly engages in conduct which places or may place another in danger of serious bodily injury.

Discussion: I believe that it could be easily argued that flying a drone over people creates danger of serious bodily injury. I admit that the "serious" part of the injury may be the most likely stumbling block. I would argue that if there was no danger to it, then the FAA would not have prohibited doing it.

RSA 644:2 Disorderly Conduct - A person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he knowingly or purposely creates a condition which is hazardous to himself or another in a public place by ny action which serves no legitimate purpose.

Discussion: I think this is the more likely to succeed charge. I'm not even sure there is a counter-argument to saying that the pilot is creating a hazardous condition to others (see FAA argument above). The "no legitimate purpose" can't really be argued against, because it is, in fact not legal to make the flight.

another variation of 644:2 - He purposely causes a breach of the peace, public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creates a risk thereof, by.... disrupting the orderly conduct of business in any public or governmental facility.

Discussion: If it could be shown that the flight disrupted the event at all, then this section might apply. Even if there wasn't a disruption, they might have still "recklessly created a risk" of the mentioned items.


Now, before you go beating me up, know that I'm a drone guy. I'm in favor of minimal restrictions on our ability to fly. However, there does need to be some sense of reasonableness exercised. I'd rather have a discussion with the pilot and educate him/her on why what they were doing was not smart. The point of this was an academic discussion though, of what COULD be charged, if that route was chosen.
 

skiptv

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First and Foremost this is a PR piece to promote the product. Nowhere in the story did they interview the actual police. No where in the story did they indicated what the charge was, However at the end of the story they did quote the management of 'Drone Sheild' and how valuable the product is. Thats all well and good, but the story should have had a by-line that indicated it was a 'press release' (PR) and not a news story. Second, Many Professional /College events are banning drones, Not in some great effort to 'save' the attendees but in fact in an effort to protect their 'copyright' 'broadcast' rights of the event. You can easily film a football game with a drone and do it safely while filming high enough and outside of the top of the highest grandstand in-effect putting your drone over the outside of the stadium. Again nowhere in this PR story did it say the drone was flying over the stands or the game. As a former producer at FOX Sports, we made a concerted effort to stop anything that looked like a professional camera from filming the games. Once the cell phone came along with 4K Cameras we pretty much gave up on that. But trust me, if you brought a broadcast camera to a football game you can bet security will remove you even if you purchased a ticket.
 
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Free2Fly

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This issue really points out the larger problem that Officer Martinez brought up. Local authority vs Federal Regulation. It confuses us mere mortals no end. For instance, you have Federal laws that state certain substances are illegal to possess, use, sell, etc, but apparently states have the right to govern themselves so some of them allow said sale, use, etc. You have a Federal law that states no drone flights within 400 feet of a federal penitentiary, yet several states impose that same restriction on the state facilities (I know firsthand on this one as I recently had to fly between a penitentiary, a county jail, and a detention center). I would sincerely like to understand why it seems to be okay to flout the Federal in favor the Local on certain things, but not on others. As hard as this is for civilians to wade through, I can't even imagine the difficulties it poses for the men and women in LE that are trying their best to uphold laws that change like the wind.
 

Airport Dog

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It was an Australian company, writing a vague story to promote new technology for sale. Called a sales pitch...Disguised as "BREAKING NEWS"
Not fake news, though. A REAL sales pitch.

So far its Britain and Australia with those infomercial story tactics...wait for it, coming to a country, near you.
 
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