Who here owns a drone? Who here knows every single minute rule, regulation, and flight path allowed to actually fly it personally or commercially? Probably not very many. As the market grows, we find the FAA expanding rulings and steps to go by to make sure you are being safe and responsible when flying these types of devices. Though, even with all those in place we can still find ourselves with a wild neighbor prepared to shoot the thing straight out of the sky with ease.
The story goes Brad Jones took his DJI Inspire 2, a $3,000 drone, out for a flight in front of his home to capture sunset. Nothing out of the ordinary or beyond what I would do with my own drone. Though this time around his neighbor thought he would get adventurous and begin to fire into the air to grab it out of the sky, which is a federal crime.
Brad started by flying over his aunt's house and heard gunshots from afar. After a few minutes of flight he sped up the flight and headed back towards his own house. Only a few minutes passed and switched to camera mode from video to take some stills and heard more gunshots.
“Everything was fine, except the left rear motor with a bullet hole in it.”
Brad continued in the interview with ARS by stating; “It didn’t hit the ground as hard as it could have,” Jones said. “When it hit, it broke the left landing gear arm, snapped the molding off the Inspire. But it was still running. Didn’t damage batteries, rotors were intact. Everything was fine, except the left rear motor with a bullet hole in it.”
As wild as this story is I don't doubt one second of it. I just recently got a drone of my own and find myself always in the back country of Indiana where my parents live to fly around to get the hang of things. Though when cutting across the property to the neighbors my Dad always warns of the trigger happy farmer will take it down if he has the chance. So the danger is real, outside of the fact someone is firing a gun straight into the air.
Just a friendly reminder to keep in mind your surroundings, keep up on the latest FAA rulings, and of course watch for crazy neighbors that may own guns.
[via ARS Technica]