‘Endangering an aircraft’ refers to article 240 of the Air Navigation Order; Endangering safety of an aircraft and says: 240. A person must not recklessly or negligently act in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft, or any person in an aircraft.
However, article 23 ‘Exceptions from application of provisions of the Order for certain classes of aircraft’ excludes unmanned aircraft from article 240.
Article 241 (Endangering safety of any person or property [with an aircraft]) does include unmanned aircraft. So you must not endanger people with your drone, but there are no protections for your drone in the ANO.
Nevertheless, if someone were to assault you, or cause criminal damage to your property, they could certainly be prosecuted.
Members have reported that your FPV UK membership card in a hi-vis armband can avoid confrontation altogether, or bring it to a close with much less interaction/distraction.
These are now available in the FPV UK store within your account:
This would be a nightmare if someone caused me to crash because of there reckless behavior. I’m guessing we would get sued if some one was hurt and I would have to sue the person that caused the accident but I’m no solicitor so this is a wild guess and unfortunately that’s all I have.
I know that what people say it’s against the law to recklessly interfere with an aircraft but this is only applicable to manned aircraft unfortunately but I would use this to distract or give me a few seconds to get my drone down and safely put away.
I’ve only been hassled three times in total over the years - it is pretty jarring at the time because they tend to be fairly confrontational and it’s an art to de-escalate if you can. Plead ignorance, ask for forgiveness and move on as quick as you can is probably the best advice.
First ever was a caretaker of private land for the landowner. I’d flown there a few weeks prior and had a good chat with him and he was perfectly amiable. On this day though he was almost frothing at the mouth and seemed to have forgotten our chat. I was asked/told to leave because apparently I’d been flying over the private property days earlier with my RC plane (an old Easystar) about 1000m from where I was stood and disturbing birds that were hatching? I hadn’t (and hadn’t been in the area between sessions) and in fact when I was there I had only ever flown over a small lake in the opposite direction to where he pointed - but he wasn’t having it and I was told to leave. Never found out who caused that issue but obviously someone else had been in the same area.
Second was when I was flying with a group. Some of the group were testing a very large commercial drone and made the mistake of flying reasonably close to a property that was outside of the flying area. Of course the owner came out and started complaining - however, what they did was go straight into the irrational “why are you spying on my children in the yard” spiel which escalated the situation somewhat because the insinuation was that we were somehow paedophiles because we were flying drones. That was smacked down VERY quickly and luckily once the drone was shown to be sans-camera (they were just flight testing) the property owner calmed down and was given assurances that the flying would be away from their property from now on (which arguably it should have been anyway to avoid the whole situation).
Third was some random cyclist shouting “THAT’S ILLEGAL! THAT’S ILLEGAL!” because they saw a drone flying in a field as they went past (in the middle of nowhere). Unfortunately they didn’t stop to discuss the situation and find out they were in the wrong but I suspect they didn’t care anyway and just wanted a video for their head camera.
The vast majority of people think drones are interesting and are no problem at all - however it’s quite alarming just how many people default to “oh you can see through peoples’ windows with that! ha ha!” line of thinking which is not only false (they’re noisy - not what you’d use if you were an actual peeping Tom!) but a little more telling about their own train of thought compared to anything I’m up to with a drone.
I could mention an angry meth head when flying in the city, in a side street as a base, having a great flight over a transporter bridge…I was accosted for sexual favours mid flight…in broad daylight. But not adding this as a heading or Mr Dale will be deleting me. There are some crazy people about !!!
I hear Jeremy Clarkson at Diddly Squat been threatening people with drones also, his staff threatening to shoot them all down, but not his land on those side roads alongside his property… Went up last week to discuss it, but he was travelling back from holidays, but did say to his staff, I sent him a large email, and still waiting on a reply.
That’s interesting regarding Clarkson because while I understand it might be perfectly legal to fly over certain locations, can you imagine how irritating it would be to have multiple drones overflying your property on a daily basis?
He’s a public figure who’s fairly popular and people want a photo/video (I get it) but at what point does the right to peace and/or privacy come into play over the legal right to overfly a property? He already has to put up with cameras in his face when he walks down the street … this is a new thing though because now the cameras can go over his property whereas beforehand people needed to stay at the roadside off his private land.
I myself would have no problem if one of my neighbours flew their drone over my house (I couldn’t care less) … but if it were happening multiple times a day with multiple drones and the cameras were trained on me or my stuff I’d start to get annoyed pretty quickly.
I suppose from Jeremy Clarksons point of view he’s just a regular guy with a farm. He wants left alone - is that unreasonable?
Not to mention it might destroy the sanctity of sitting outside in the countryside enjoying the sound of “nothing”.
Yes, you got a point there. But the way all these restrictions are going, I can see me selling up soon enough, and sticking with photography. Seems the CAA and laws don’t really want leisure flyers under 400ft in the long term, or pay out more for whatever new rule they muster up. This is a hobby that will go out of fashion soon enough, just like paddle boarding, killed off by their own greed.
What happened to paddle boarding?
Paddle boarding took off really well after co vid kicked in, and everyone looking for a new interest and heading down the coast (for us that don’t live on the coast). Triple the mountain bikes sold when co vid kicked in as well, with parts hard to get as manufacturers were not working, but everyone buying bikes, and some UK shops empty of stock. Import shipping crates tripled their export costs also, so UK shops was at a profit loss. The Far East was really slow producing with Shimano and Sram lacking workers at that time. I see loads of paddle boards now on Ebay and Marketplace cheap as chips now, especially with the weather we get. On the coast, paddle boarding must be great fun, but stuck in Wales amongst three mountains it’s hardly worth it.