Friday, October 30, 2015

In Kentucky, You Can Shoot Down Drones Hovering Over Your House

Great news from Kentucky:
A man dubbed the Drone Slayer for shooting a miniature aircraft out of the sky has had a criminal case against him thrown out. William Meredith drew his shotgun and took out a Phantom 3 drone after spotting it above his home in Hillview, Kentucky, this summer - landing him in jail and prompting legal proceedings.

Mr Meredith was charged with criminal mischief and wanton endangerment for destroying the $900 drone in July - but this week had both of them thrown out by a judge.

Rebecca Ward, a district court judge in Bullitt County, Kentucky, said she believed claims that the drone was hovering so low over Mr Meredith's single-story home that it was violating his privacy, local news station Wave3 reported.

She threw out both charges after hearing from witnesses who said the drone was hovering low - claims disputed by its owner, David Boggs, who says the aircraft was some 200 ft above the house.
Heck, 200 feet seems awfully close to me.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

The US really needs to hammer out some proper legislation for drones already. This blurry gray area stuff is what leads to both sides of the issue acting badly.

Drone operators need reasonable limits on where, how, and when they can fly their drones, and property owners need official ways to respond to "trespassing" drones other than shooting them down or ignoring them.

We need to treat drones as what they are - miniature, remotely piloted aircraft. Operators need to be tested for competancy and licenced. Drones themselves need to be registered and insured against accidents.

Perhaps most importantly, drones must be capable of transmiting and receiving (and relaying to the operator) remote communications. For example, if a drone enters a no-fly zone, the operator must be able to be contacted by authorities and instructed to leave. There have already been documented cases where police and fire operations had to be suspended due to rogue drones operating in critical areas with no way to contact the operators and instruct them to withdraw.

We have precedents for all of this, the laws could easily be drafted, examined, verified, and pre-planned for gradual rollout. But for whatever reason it seems we're just ignoring the issue completely until a big enough problem crops up that eventually we're forced to take action.