Man Fined for Shooting Down Drone

For shooting down his neighbor’s personal hobby drone, a man from California is ordered to pay for damages.

A California man who shot down his neighbor’s drone after thinking it was a CIA surveillance device has been ordered to pay damages. Eric Joe was flying his homemade hexacopter over his parents’ own land in rural Modesto in November 2014 when he heard a loud bang and it suddenly dropped from the sky, reports Ars Technica. – Read more here:

Most of the hexacopter survived the crash intact, but Joe ended up needing to replace about $700 worth of equipment, which he asked McBay to cover, in light of the fact that he’d shot the drone down, and all. McBay said he would split the cost with Joe, but declined to pay the full amount, so Joe took his neighbor to court – and won. – Read more here:


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Several other such incidents of people shooting down or causing damage to their neighbors’ drones have also been reported, and the numbers are increasing.

One such incident was reported earlier this month. A drone took to the air, but a neighbor had other ideas.[…] Mike Luzansky, from Lucky Seven Drones, says they were trying to demonstrate the drone’s maneuverability on a street in Huntington Beach, California, when the neighbor struck. This same story also talks about a related incident. See more here:

Privacy and safety are two main concerns of the general public regarding drones, and because of the number of mishaps involving drones, such concerns are indeed valid. On the other hand, there is also a need to be educated on rules governing hobby drone usage in order to avoid undue panic as well as indiscriminate destruction of somebody’s personal property, lest they may also be running afoul of the law.

This is the same challenge faced by avid aerial photographers – most especially for those using their drones for providing aerial photo services – for real estate marketing, social events such as weddings, or just simply take awesome landscape aerial views.  To avoid accidents, more skilled, responsible drone flyers do observe FAA’s guidelines, which should really be the case.  As The Droneologist, through its publisher James Davis, always reminds people: “Drones do not cause accidents; irresponsible, reckless drone pilots cause accidents.”

Utton said he always keeps the copters in view and restricts flights to over the street and the property he is shooting. He won’t fly near power lines, in high winds or if a site is too congested with people or cars. See more here:


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