This isn't going to fly
I'm getting tired of all the droning on about this
The US federal government has just authorized its staff to shoot down any drone they consider a threat. The provision was added to the routine reauthorization act for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) – the watchdog that deals with America's skies – and has invited the ire of civil liberties groups who are unhappy at the …
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"How exactly do you shoot down a drone, with a pistol?"
12 gauge, modified choke, magnum goose loads. Good out to 80 or 90 yards or a tick more (depending on the weather, the shooter, the gun, and the handloader). Any fairly proficient duck hunter should have no problem taking out a drone.
Special note for the hand-wringers: the collateral damage should be nil.
Even easier... streamers! Enough to foul up the props for long enough to disrupt airflow and cause it to lose air space. ;-)
Yup, exactly what they want to walk around with down-south - a streamer-slinging 12-gauge.
Do the streamers come in red white and blue or rainbow colours?
"The last thing any sane shooter would want is to hurt somebody."
Problem is, as we know from regular news stories, that there are plenty of legal gun owners in the US who are anything but sane, either in the pejorative or medical senses. And a few more in other parts of the world.
"The last thing any sane shooter would want is to hurt somebody."
Okay, I'm pretty sure that what you MEAN is that the "last thing any sane sporting shooter would want to do is hurt a human being when shooting", but, erm, there is the little matter of guns having been invented in the first place mostly to, erm, kill human beings, and there are an awful lot of (one hopes) entirely sane people employed in armies and things like that, trained to use their firearms to kill other people if called upon to do so.
It'd be nice if the world weren't like that, but there you go.
>"credible threat… to the safety or security of a covered facility or asset."
"credible threat" isn't the key part of the clause. "the safety or security of a covered facility or asset" can easily include a drone investigating a corrupt police dept., a covert (potentially illegal) 'security' operation, a politician screwing his mistress...
I expect every Government will give themselves similar rights.
Government X can also claim it was a US Military Drone / Terrorist Drone / Drug Dealer / Paedophile etc (delete as required, or possibly claim all apply).
Is your flying car a drone if autopilot engaged? What about Uber Autonomous Flying Taxies?
Human piloted vehicles are already prohibited from anywhere Uncle Sam says. Don't believe me? Try buzzing the Golden Gate Bridge without authorization some time. Or parking your car and walking away from it at an unauthorized spot at, say, an airport. Or driving/flying into a military zone unannounced. (NOTE! I do not really suggest this! Don't try it! We get enough news reports of idiots Darwinizing themselves as it is.)
Or driving/flying into a military zone unannounced.
I know this to be true from my time in the US, but it only takes a radio call and if they are not busy then they have no problem with a civilian light aircraft flying an approach and low pass along the runway (no landing).
I wouldn't even bother asking at Marham or Brize etc, because the RAF are really not interested.
I wouldn't even bother asking at Marham or Brize etc, because the RAF are really not interested.
I dunno, if rock apes had carte blanche to shoot down any UFO, they may be interested. Otherwise, it'd just be a lot of paperwork.
I'm not sure activism should be a good defence (against buckshot). There are plenty of places with restrictions against photography or overflights, often for good reasons. But I guess that's part of the security challenge. If you're a private pilot, maps would show restricted airspace. Regular maps might not show anything, and proposals to geo-fence off restricted areas might just be a handy list of sites to scout out with your trusty drone.
I'm guessing there's also a public safety argument as well. So figure on some popular protest event and there might be multiple drones from press, authorities, protestors and counter protestors, and no simple way to deconflict the airspace and stopping drone wreckage.
Hmm... or, it could be an opportunity to arm RC fighters, or create mini-AAA systems..
In Germany, you can fly drones at model aircraft airfields or over open fields.
You cannot use it in towns or cities, over industrial areas or over residential areas. I believe forests are also limited.
The bigger ones have to be registered.
You cannot upload any footage taken with the drone online, if there are identifiable people on it (faces, vehicle registration numbers, signage etc.), without first getting a waiver - but that applies to all photography and videography in Germany. There are exceptions, if you are filming one person and another walks across the background, for example, although you would do well to blur them out, before uploading.
Or better still have drones fitted with some gov backdoor. If they see it and it won't respond to a take-over request then its not licensed and so shooting down is justified.
Now such an argument applies here only because a drone is often bought as a toy but poses a significant threat to aircraft, etc, which is rather different from encryption that protects everyone's commerce and privacy.
If they shot it down they'll say "they were suspicious of it" and that will be all the proof they need. The police in the US kill people who don't pose a threat and claim "I felt my life was being threatened" and all too often juries accept that - though fortunately that's beginning to change as it is finally started gaining much needed press attention the last couple years.
Until people are no longer killed without justification, no one is going to care about drones getting shot down without justification.
@Jake: ""Across the country police used the stun guns 30 times a day last year."
That is atrocious. Tasers were introduced as an alternative to deadly force, but there is no way in hell Firearms trained officers would have fired 30 times in one day/ This is urban pacification, and it should be resisted.
Oh, you must mean those Amazon delivery drones that will probably drop their packages on the address without detecting who or what is below...
As all the phone lines to the properties in my area are run overhead for the last 50/100 ft I wonder if those drones and their operators will be liable for the costs to fix the lines that that will inevitably run into?
How could anyone protect themselves from drones flown by rogue players? There is no means other than taking them out of flight. How many people have the ability to do so? We have already had numerous incidents of drones interfering with commercial aircraft. How many travelers would be OK with a drone getting sucked into a jet airliner's engine while landing or on take off? The headaches with drones has just begun and the populace is defenseless against them. All countries will be forced to address this menace.
"US Government's stance: Shoot now, ask questions later."
The intent is probably entirely reasonable. There have, for example, been documented instances of drones unintentionally preventing water tankers from dumping water on wildfires. It's a drone. Who exactly does on ask questions to? Shooting the silly thing(s) down -- likely easier said than done -- seems pretty reasonable if the drone constitutes a significant public nuisance.
Whether the regulation will be abused? Who knows?
"Whether the regulation will be abused? Who knows?"
We are talking about a USA Federal regulation. There is no question whether it will be abused, just how long it will take. Personally, I am betting on a couple of hours max.
AC because Trump cum suibus will take excemption.
Anyone with a brain, older than 11. There's no "if" in that sentence. All power gets abused all the time. No exceptions. That is the nature of the human beast. All you can do is try to create a system of checks on the use of that power and hope it's strong enough to balance abuse. Except that as long as those wielding (or granting) the power would be responsible for also creating the checks, they have zero incentive to tie their own hands, so nope - and power long stopped caring about pretending to be accountable to anyone these days.
Still can picture the dirt clod missing - down and to the right ...
Debated over rock ... which would have done more damage on the down side ... and the sparsity of clods ...
Construction guys told me today that the gas company prohibits pictures of the lines being installed in the streets along our property ... reports to the fuzz and something about making the terrorist list ...
Told them if this was the PRC, would be invited to have tea while being strapped into an interrogation chair fitted with leg cuffs and a metal hoop for a handcuff attachment, and are priced between $75 and $460 on Taobao.
A bigger problem is that the term "drone" encompasses legally and safely operated model aircraft - not just autonomous or semi autonomous quad-copters.
I can foresee some very angry US citizens when a cop shoots down an expensive (in terms of both money and time building it) model, just because he's taken a dislike to it!
Here in the UK, the CAA (our equivalent of the FAA) has taken a more enlightened approach, and members of the major modelling associations have been exempted from the more draconian regulations, subject to some not unreasonable conditions.
The other problem here in the UK is enforcement! The clowns that have caused the present problems by operating "drones" in unsafe ways are not going to be deterred by any new regulations, and the CAA don't have the manpower to police them. According to the documentation, that is going to be left in the hands of our already over-stretched police!
In any case, the aforesaid clowns were already in breach of any number of regulations by operating "drones" in an unsafe manner.
If the existing laws could not be enforced, what is going to change with the new ones?
I can foresee some very angry US citizens when a cop shoots down an expensive (in terms of both money and time building it) model, just because he's taken a dislike to it!Based on my experience with police marksmanship, the odds of one shooting down a drone are small. If they're shooting at yours, just hover until they run out of ammo, then retreat while they're reloading.
@Jake "That would be "none", then? I've spent many hours at various ranges with cops from all over the US. Most can shoot better than most civilians, hunters included"
On a range.
In a highly charged real world situation they are (naturally) more than likely to empty their gun in a perp's direction and not be able to remember how many shots were fired.
You seem mighty excited by firearms, BTW. Are you on a watch list?
I'd use the troll icon, but prefer to be AC just incase you decide to come round my house with one of your "toys".
Your knowledge of police training and methodology is flawed. I suggest you refrain from commenting on such matters until you actually know what you are talking about. Unless you enjoy coming off as a typical sheeple, happily eating all the carefully picked cherries that your media god of choice feeds you.
I'm not anymore excited about firearms than I am a hammer or a screwdriver or any other tool. Watch list? I have no idea. Probably not, though. I'm not skulking around, hiding in the shadows trying to stay hidden. All my tools are legal. Even in California.
I wouldn't visit you with my tools in tow unless you were paying me to make the visit. Would you expect a plumber to just drop by with his tool box? An electrician? Your barber? Dreadfully sorry that your paranoid fantasies don't match reality.
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"That would be "none", then?"
None needed. Trying to shoot down a moving drone has been explicitly tested, on video, with people invited from a range of law enforcement agencies; they all failed, until the drone slowed down to a near-stop on a sharp turn of its previously agreed-upon (!) route. That is not to say there exists no sharp-shooter capable enough to reasonably likely shoot down a drone - that is irrelevant. What it does say instead is that the average law-enforcement gunslinger goon is seriously unlikely to hit a drone that isn't sitting still, from a typical "shooting range" distance.
I seem to remember the video, and at the beginning all the shooters were very confident that they would be able to shoot down the drones with their pistols. They soon found out it wasn't easy.
Later they swapped over and gave the drone pilots shotguns and the shooters the drones to pilot.
Didn't take long for them to shoot them down with the shotguns.
Also as previously noted bullets, even pistol bullets, travel a very long way before coming to earth and still have a lot of energy.
When going clay pigeon shooting (aka skeet in the US I believe) I was told that the lethal range (for people) with the shot that was in the gun was about 30 feet.
From popular media it seems that a lot of American Police cars have shotguns in them so I would have thought that will be the preferred tool to shoot down drones in most places.
@Jake: "I've spent many hours at various ranges with cops from all over the US. Most can shoot better than most civilians, hunters included."
Well, this is a personal anecdote but,.... Cops aren't that good. I was guesting at a gun club with a colleague, with a view to join. Three UK Police 'Marksmen' were there, and challenged us to a shooting competition. Now, to be fair, they were using 6" S&W 686 revolvers, and we were using a Star 9mm, and a 4" Ruger .38 special, so theirs were a bit more lively. But they were utterly dire, and lost by some margin. They made excuses like 'You couldn't shoot like that under pressure' to which I replied 'You can't shoot like in the first place'.
Several weeks later it transpired that some Police Marksmen had lost a bag of revolvers, when they drove off from a gun range, and left the bag on the roof on the car. I presume it was the same goons.
It never ceases to constantly amaze me that the people, as in the greater general population, still doggedly believe and accept the notion that governments, which are simply an ad hoc collection of various special interest groups and sociopathic psychotic individuals with megalomaniacal tendencies, have any real interest in their greater future welfare whenever such may expose the abuse and misuse which the powers they may presume and assume themselves to have, are challenged.
It does though very quickly get most interesting whenever a much greater enlightenment in much broader fields of information and intelligence, emerges putting such individuals and the cabals which would be servering to them into the sharp focus of an enraged and more potent surrounding enemy.
And .... in much the same way that well orchestrated urban guerrilla warfare can effectively neutralise mass traditional defence forces, do new ethereal sources and/or CyberIntelAIgent Forces surrounding the enemy have similar relatively anonymous and autonomous advantage to exploit and expand their power bases on?
In Blighty, to name but one Great Game Player Jurisdiction, do the suppliers of actionable intelligence there, and there be myriad agencies and self appointed and self serving committees professing an excellence of product for spouting to the masses and media there, realise the sticky wicket they be batting on ..... and the fact that they be already beaten before they even begin to play any of their confidence tricks and slick slippery moves.
Out of this world advice ..... Changing the Game Delivers New Rules and Results. Failure to do so Guarantees Comprehensive Defeat.
It's not really people's fault though - they're all taught as a kid that honesty and good always defeats evil, and good deeds always get rewarded / bad deeds always get punished; and while sooner or later most end up understanding to some degree that's not exactly how it all works, some just never really grow up to realize how ludicrously unhinged from reality all that drivel actually is.
ok.. but WHAT is their definition of a "drone"? would a Borg cube starship qualify? What about a Transformer autobot?
Does that mean that they effectively authorized any parking officer / traffic warden / office secretary / etc. to start acts of war against any unidentified flying object?
I was wondering the same.
"You shot it down."
"Yeah. We're allowed to do that if the drone looks threatening."
"It was a 747 coming in to land."
"...in a THREATENING MANNER!"
"It had civilians aboard. We're only allowed to shoot down unmanned drones."
"I didn't see 'em."
The only good I can see coming of this is that Mr Travaglia is going to have a field day with this nonsense.
Include language restricting drone engagement to Prohibited Airspace (think Washington D.C.) and maybe... just maybe... some classes of Special Use Airspace. My vote would be to contemplate drone engagement in active Restricted Areas (think major sporting events, nuclear power plant sites). [×]
If you feel a burning desire to engage drones in a certain area, man up and go through the NOTAM process and either activate existing restricted airspace or stand up a new one. That way the other airspace users know what the heck you are doing.
If something is an imminent danger? As in credible mass casualty weapon employment? Well, Intl Law holds that states have an inherent right of self defense. No need for a regulation. Blast away and explain it on CNN later.
[×] given 9/11, small aircraft crashes into the WH, the Mathis Rust incident on Red Square... It's unclear to me how any of this works in practice.
Why is it so fucking HUGE? It's just a compressed air smooth-bore ... I suspect the average T-shirt cannon can do a similar job, in a much smaller package. Hell, I bet one could make a spud-gun with better range, and equal or better accuracy with nothing more than common-or-garden PVC water pipe!
And the range is quite limited ... Watch the video, see how far above the drone they had to fire? That's quite the projectile drop ... I think I'll stick to my old Browning. Reloads faster, too.
I won't get into the use of carbon fiber in this boondogle ... it's quite obviously necessary, in order to sell it to the .gov's
bling bean counters.
That sir is the new anti drone gun. Specifically designed for easy use by all law enforcement agencies. It's integrated targeting system not only keeps a lock on the drone itself it also scans and locks onto to the source controller . Thus eliminating both high potential threats once.
The patented high explosive is designed to ensure the drone is destroyed in the most visually spectacular way possible. Ensuring even the most anti gun nut case will instantly turn into a patriotic American (Shouts of Yeee haw! America Fuck yeah not uncommon*). This has the added benefit reducing the number of complaints afterwards. **
(*, ** Results do vary depending on county in California ).
It's more accurate to say that the US, like Russia and for that matter every other country, feels that its laws don't cover the whole planet, and therefore anything that happens outside its borders is no concern of its courts, and therefore doesn't need to be legal.
It may be against some other country's laws, but as far as the US courts are concerned, that's Someone Else's Problem.
It's more obvious with the US and Russia, because they've got the resources and the brass face to pull off these operations more often than anyone else. But every country takes that attitude.
"Is it limited to US territories or covers the whole planet?"
Same as any other sovereign airspace, I would imagine. What is it in Blighty?
"Also what is the upper limit? I mean, are satellites in danger?"
By international convention, the Kármán line (100km above sea level) marks the difference between "atmosphere" and "space" for this kind of thing. "Space" is (supposedly) a non-combat zone.
If it's just a routine reauthorisation, how come it's allowed to add changes? I'd have thought "routine reauthorisation", by definition, meant they were re-authorising existing rules, not changing them.
That sounds like an excellent way to introduce legislation by the back door.
Considering the US attitude to local law outside the US, this is essentially giving itself the right to take down any drone anywhere in the world.
It will first occur when a suspected "terrorist" - a.k.a. a 16 year old kid playing with his new drone - comes too close to a US installation or facility. There will be a bit of a fuss, but everyone will move on.
Then US commercial interests will ensure that third parties, such as unions, environmentalists, other governments, will limit the inspection of these interests, such as mines, manufacturing, fisheries &c.
No, there is nothing to worry about here.
I'm wondering why this was not already voted in the US and elsewhere. I would bloody well shoot any drone hovering above my house !
And I'm sure after this law, we'll see the number of aircraft near-miss in the US drop to 0, once a handful of the idiots that like to fly drones above airports will have theirs shot down.