Can You Shoot Down a Drone?

I get it. The sound of that buzz above you brings a combination of rage and anxiety. Many people despise drones, and the only way to change that is through constructive dialogue, not fake news and shoddy, irresponsible demonstrations. What is the answer to satisfy both sides?

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50 Comments

  1. Freedom Keepers Productions on June 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Wayne County Sheriff’s Department, Richmond, Indiana

    A sheriff deputy told my neighbor he could shoot down my drone if I was flying over his property. I wrote the FAA and asked that question of them. Here is their response Sep 2019:

    Thank you for contacting us with your questions about UAS.

    According to Federal Regulations, Title 14, Chapter 1, Subchapter A, Part 1: (Definitions)

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&sid=a3a21673a5020d6763cfb10d068366d8&rgn=div5&view=text&node=14:1.0.1.1.1&idno=14#14:1.0.1.1.1.0.1.1

    Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

    Unmanned aircraft means an aircraft operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft

    According to US Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 31 and 32:

    31. Definitions

    (a) Definitions.-In this chapter, the following definitions apply:

    (1) Aircraft.-The term "aircraft" means a civil, military, or public contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, fly, or travel in the air.

    32. Destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities

    (a) Whoever willfully-

    (1) sets fire to, damages, destroys, disables, or wrecks any aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction
    of the United States or any civil aircraft used, operated, or employed in
    interstate, overseas, or foreign air commerce;

    (2) places or causes to be placed a destructive device or substance in, upon, or in proximity to, or
    otherwise makes or causes to be made unworkable or unusable or hazardous to
    work or use, any such aircraft, or any part or other materials used or intended
    to be used in connection with the operation of such aircraft, if such placing
    or causing to be placed or such making or causing to be made is likely to
    endanger the safety of any such aircraft;

    (3) sets fire to, damages, destroys, or disables any air navigation facility, or interferes by force or
    violence with the operation of such facility, if such fire, damaging,
    destroying, disabling, or interfering is likely to endanger the safety of any
    such aircraft in flight;

    (4) with the intent to damage, destroy, or disable any such aircraft, sets fire to, damages, destroys, or
    disables or places a destructive device or substance in, upon, or in proximity
    to, any appliance or structure, ramp, landing area, property, machine, or
    apparatus, or any facility or other material used, or intended to be used, in
    connection with the operation, maintenance, loading, unloading or storage of
    any such aircraft or any cargo carried or intended to be carried on any such
    aircraft;

    (5) interferes with or disables, with intent to endanger the safety of any person or with a reckless
    disregard for the safety of human life, anyone engaged in the authorized
    operation of such aircraft or any air navigation facility aiding in the
    navigation of any such aircraft;

    (6) performs an act of violence against or incapacitates any individual on any such aircraft, if such
    act of violence or incapacitation is likely to endanger the safety of such
    aircraft;

    (7) communicates information, knowing the information to be false and under circumstances in which such
    information may reasonably be believed, thereby endangering the safety of any
    such aircraft in flight; or

    (8) attempts or conspires to do anything prohibited under paragraphs (1) through (7) of this subsection;
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years or both.

    This means that a UAS is an aircraft, so if someone was to shoot down a UAS, they are
    effectively shooting down an aircraft and it would be investigated by the
    Inspector General as such.  This has happened multiple times now within
    the state of Indiana, however I am not sure what the outcome was.

    The local authorities could not be more wrong in this matter.  As much as people do
    not like it, the FAA controls everything above the blades of grass or
    structures on their property.  Property does not extend above the
    surface.  A person or individual does not own the air above their
    property.

    With that being said, this is only the federal law side of things.  If there is a
    local, city or county ordinance that declares the area a “no drone zone”, then
    the local authorities could charge a person with a local ordinance
    violation.  However, shooting down a UAS would be a violation of Federal
    Law.

    If a person was using the UAS to commit criminal acts, those acts would still fall under
    the jurisdiction of the law pertaining to those criminal acts, such as
    harassment or privacy invasion, the only difference would be the method used to
    commit the acts.

    I hope this has answered your question, please let me know if you have any further
    questions.

    Thank you,

    John C. Van Rees
    Aviation Safety Technician
    sUAS POC/Focal Point
    DOT/FAA IND FSDO
    1201 Columbia Rd. Ste. 101
    Plainfield, IN 46168
    317-837-4531(T)
    317-837-4423 (fax)

  2. Richard Gilmore on June 25, 2020 at 7:18 am

    Enjoyed your podcast. Keep it up. Now off topic. I like your shirt in this video. Can you enlighen me on the brand and where you got it if you can. 🙂

  3. Nomads cheap-n-nerdy! on June 25, 2020 at 7:19 am

    I’ll say if I can hear it that’s too close and that’s a Shoot first situation , I have rubber shots no worries for safety. And yes my Property even above and yes judge ruled for us to be able to shoot them. They are not permitted above neighborhood in city without a permit and are not allowed within so many feet above a home.

  4. billucf96 on June 25, 2020 at 7:21 am

    Shoot it down and get rid of the evidence then go hunt down the drone owner.

  5. Tonya Milam on June 25, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I am so glad that you made this video! Thank you! I’ve always feared someone shooting at my drone as I live in a rural area in Alabama. I’ve thought for a long time that surely it was illegal because it’s an aircraft technically and I’m happy you showed the actual legal text. I have some ATF agents as my neighbors and I know he hates my drone even though I have never flown it over his property.

  6. Elbert Smit` on June 25, 2020 at 7:23 am

    I feel they shoud require everyone who flys a drone to have their FAA 107 it is an easy test and not expensive so if you don’t have your just lazy.

  7. George Of The Jungle on June 25, 2020 at 7:23 am

    I WOULD SHOOT IT DOWN IN A SEC

  8. Eagle Eye View Images on June 25, 2020 at 7:25 am

    Well said

  9. Most Interesting man in the world on June 25, 2020 at 7:25 am

    They are considered civilian aircraft if you shoot at them you’re shooting at civilian aircraft

  10. JetDeveloping on June 25, 2020 at 7:26 am

    You hav 51k subscribers.

  11. A Birds Eye View 4U on June 25, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Hi Russ, I’ve been flying drones for about 4 years and I’ve been flying aircraft for over 30 years (military and airline) and I love both. Talking with a RAF pilot, the English have flight tested the impact of a DJI Phantom compared to bird of similar weight with a Chinook helicopter and discovered that the bird will crash through the helicopter canopy at 80 kts but the Phantom will penetrate at only 40 kts collision speed, because a bird is pretty much water and feathers compared to the density of a drone. Bottom line is that with more and more drone activity the risk assessment is getting worse. I have had a Phantom fly past me very close at 7000 feet over Sydney one day. Bottom line, as drone pilots we must fly safe as do airline pilots. Great video, keep them coming, thanks mate. 👍🦅🇦🇺

  12. Charlie Hare on June 25, 2020 at 7:26 am

    Screw you and your drones, fly it over my house!

  13. Low Dough Tech on June 25, 2020 at 7:27 am

    Wait…I don’t have a gun…or a drone…why am I watching this?

    Oh yeah… it’s interesting!

  14. Sudburydrone on June 25, 2020 at 7:28 am

    Excellent… going to share this with my Canadian friends. I hate it when I tell someone about my drone and the first thing that comes out of their mouth is spying. Ugg.

  15. folepi22 on June 25, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Excellent. I’m not going to research the facts you have presented. I’m just assuming you have already done so accurately. Thank you. Good work.

  16. 3D Printwiz on June 25, 2020 at 7:29 am

    Birds should also get FAA certificate and approval to fly.

  17. Top Drone on June 25, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Hi, just thought I would share. It’s more than just privacy. It’s security! I was flying my Magic Pro Platinum from a public road but above farm land. I was approached (very politely) by the farmer who introduced himself and asked me what I was doing. I was very polite and apologized for any disturbance I had caused and offered to leave immediately. What happened next was cool. We ended up chatting for two hours about life, the universe and everything. We swapped numbers and I offered to demo the drone to him another time. Anyway, the point of my comment, he told me that a BIG problem for rural communities is that criminals are now using drones to check locations of livestock, agricultural equipment and whether people are home or not. They are using drones to plan burglaries. This is not rhetoric! To be perfectly honest, if I owned a farm and me and my neighbors had been broken into, I would blast that drone out of the skies too. Lesson learned. Always introduce yourself to people where possible before and around their property. It’s just good manners and will avoid anyone getting upset.

  18. Vinh Ha on June 25, 2020 at 7:31 am

    Wow…. thank you Sir… very helpful and enducation topic…

  19. Dawn2Dusk Adventuring on June 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

    Great info thank you for supporting both sides of this controversy

  20. ethannf502 on June 25, 2020 at 7:34 am

    This is so cool!
    This is beautiful

  21. JamiesCryin1 on June 25, 2020 at 7:35 am

    I don’t know, can I shoot a cell phone out of your hands if it’s pointing at my house? I live in a state where a firearm cannot be fired within city limits unless to defend against threat of death of serious bodily harm against myself or others.

  22. Jeancarlo Betancourt on June 25, 2020 at 7:35 am

    Amazing video and information as always
    🤜🏻🤛🏻

  23. David Goodwin on June 25, 2020 at 7:36 am

    what does the 51 stand for?

  24. Just Sum Guy on June 25, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Allowing the public to have this shit is horrendous. So now people can spy on you without your permission/consent or even knowing. Thats called spying/invasion of privacy..which can be used for illegal purposes..what a f*cking existence….

  25. Jeff Bryner on June 25, 2020 at 7:40 am

    I feel none of this would even be a issue if they didn’t have cameras. No one would give a shit then. The fact they do have cameras amd can travel long distances makes them a issue. The government doesnt want us to have that kind of power in our hands. People use them wrong and we all suffer. Im not going to strap a IED to my mavic air and blow somethimg im just taking pics of sunsets or kids playing in my back yard.

  26. Gosselin Farms Ed Gosselin on June 25, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Good video!!!
    There are misunderstandings…
    We farm, that being said, we don’t need people snooping around.
    A few years ago, there was a kid flying a drone over one of our pastures. Something for everyone to keep in mind, animals don’t necessarily like drones.. livestock, wild game, birds, dogs ….. They are not used to the sound or movement of drones. One of my daughters chased the poor kid down to find out what he was doing and explain the facts of Life to him. He was a nice kid, said he was practicing for an upcoming competition.. ok, he meant no harm, but… What if the cattle would have been in the pasture along the road??? It could have spooked them and caused some serious issues.
    Hot air balloons have been a long standing issue.. we had some neighbors years ago, they ran a 500 cow dairy. Picture this… It’s a quiet day, all is well, you’re enjoying your corn silage and grain for breakfast… Then the sudden blast of the balloons burners!!!
    It would be like you enjoying your corn flakes and coffee, when a tree suddenly falls on top of your house. You would freak out!!!
    When 500 cows freak out, most of them will be hurt, or worse!
    In the end, 200 cows were uninjured, 250 cows required medical treatments by veterinarians for up to two weeks… 50 cows died or had to be put down that day…. One irresponsible balloon pilot directly caused a quarter of a million dollars in damages… Plus about a quarter of a million dollars in lost income because the surviving cows did not milk for some time after…..
    Bad timing or area when flying a drone, could very easily cause a similar situation……
    Fly safe and responsible people!!!!
    Don’t give someone a reason to think you are spying on them…
    Don’t annoy them with the noise…
    Causing issues, will only prompt stricter laws, or bans.

  27. daniel Slobodyanyuk on June 25, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Found your channel and absolutely love your content please please keep up the amazing work I always drop a like 👍🏼

  28. Steve Bunyan on June 25, 2020 at 7:43 am

    No home owner owns the air space above there house

  29. WhirlyBird Aerial Services on June 25, 2020 at 7:43 am

    The bottom line is this. You have no legal right to privacy outside of your home. You could be in your backyard and your neighbor has a 2 story house with a balcony. That neighbor can stand up there on his balcony and take photos of you and yours out in your back yard. Don’t believe me? Ask Sarah Palin. She was forced to build a two-story-tall fence between her and her neighbor’s property because a "reporter" type was renting the property and was constantly taking photos of their family. Would this be creepy and infuriating? Hell yes…but it’s not illegal.

    You could have someone standing on the sidewalk in front of your house taking photos of you in your front yard and you have no legal recourse. They are on public property. Why do you think that people in helicopters and hot-air balloons have never gotten in trouble for taking photos of people’s properties below them?

    As for people threatening to shoot my drone down, I’ve been very fortunate to have only had one real instance where they not only threatened to but went out in their yard and shot off their shotgun numerous times in a different direction. I guess that was supposed to frighten me. I contacted the Sheriff’s office and they sent out a deputy to take care of the misinformed citizen.

    Love your vlogs…

  30. Elbert Smit` on June 25, 2020 at 7:43 am

    If it is under 250 grams it is not considered a drone

  31. Home Dronen FPV on June 25, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Thanks for sharing this information…happy flying!

  32. Lyn Smith on June 25, 2020 at 7:46 am

    Good video Russ.

  33. Keith G on June 25, 2020 at 7:48 am

    As my Father said " My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts"! I understand trying to explain but I will not be intimidated , threatened or abused by some idiot who seems to think drone’s are causing global worming or I am filming his overweight dog. I am too old to caudle some over sensitive basement dweller. I am so blessed that I live in a small town w/lots of fields. I heart goes out to the big city drone owners.

  34. Steve Bunyan on June 25, 2020 at 7:51 am

    You should check the the photo privacy rights

  35. next channel next on June 25, 2020 at 7:52 am

    8:40 important so

  36. Wesly Centerwall on June 25, 2020 at 7:52 am

    “They may have be resources” lol

  37. John A on June 25, 2020 at 7:52 am

    what is your thoughts on coppa ?

  38. Trini Weekes on June 25, 2020 at 7:54 am

    Great video, well said

  39. A. Teague on June 25, 2020 at 7:56 am

    Just had a neighbor follow my mav2 up the street & ask me not to fly "that f’in thing over my house again or blow it out the sky." Tried to apologize for any perceived infraction as he took off. I love mankind, it’s just people that get on my nerves. 🙂

  40. Michael Harding on June 25, 2020 at 7:57 am

    Fantastic video, well-articulated and backed with great evidence.

  41. MrWheatle on June 25, 2020 at 7:58 am

    Great video. Very informative

  42. boss hog on June 25, 2020 at 8:00 am

    Does the drone have to be over the 250 gram weight limit to be considered a protected aircraft?

  43. Antonio Bonomo on June 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Obviously, keeping everyone safe is very important, but maybe if people understood how much money we spend on our drones, they would understand that we have an interest in keeping them safe too, beyond the aspect of making sure the rest of the world is safe.

  44. MrMrsregor on June 25, 2020 at 8:07 am

    i remember when they started putting cameras on a cell phones. everyone was so concerned about privacy and worried that anyone anywhere could be filming them…
    i also fly rc air planes and quad copters (without cameras) and people assume that i am recording and filming everything

  45. Cory Hickman on June 25, 2020 at 8:09 am

    If someone shoots at or shoots down my drone. I will press charges and file a report with the FAA

  46. konasc on June 25, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I’m flying and filming my son’s paddling team from the outside of the Waikiki Yacht Club, then this guy comes over and accuses me of being a peeping Tom and filming the girls paddling team. I tell them wo wo hang on, I’m filming my son’s team and the coach not only knows about it but approves of it. Then he goes you can’t film near the yacht club and that he “saw” me hovering over the club. I said yes I was setting my RTH and yes the paddling team uses the yacht club and no I’m not on property. He retorts that it’s a private club and I can’t film there, to which I replied yes I’m also a regular member of WYC. Then he says well why don’t you fly inside the club, to which I replied cus they told me I couldn’t fly there. So I go to the club office to clarify to which the reply from the manager was well you cant take pictures of kids! I’m like really?! I’m a parent and other parents are also taking pictures (albeit not with drones) besides I’m also sharing my footage with all the parents using Shutterfly and most of the parents are not only impressed but also grateful that I’m filming. Some of the kids even say they can finally see their paddling strokes and it actually helps them improve. So overall you’re right Russ, there needs to be more public awareness and education but there will always be idiots like the guy who accused me. I ended up putting this situation on the WYC members page and many people came on to say it is perfectly alright to fly the drone on property and that this guy was being an idiot. Sigh…hate being accused of being a perv! Lol

  47. Clifford Green on June 25, 2020 at 8:12 am

    I guess I’m not as cool headed as you are. If someone told me that they were going to shoot down my drone they would be picking their ass up off of the ground. That is a threat to me and my personal property and I have the right to protect both of them. I enjoy your videos.

  48. Remko Meijer on June 25, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Hello Russ, I saw your video and was very impressed about what we were told. We have the same problem in the Netherlands, except for the shooting ;-). Do you mind if I make your video message in Dutch?

  49. Simon Saucy on June 25, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I love drones. But if a drone was hovering 10 feet from my house 10ft off the ground. Would that be considered invasion of privacy? Quite clearly peering into your house and taking photos? obviously you wouldn’t want to shoot it down but would it be okay to take it out of the sky with a other means? I mean at some point invasion of privacy becomes self-defense. And don’t get me wrong I love drones but when this happened to me it really caught me off guard

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