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Another Drone Problem - National News

Paul2660

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Sad, hope that they find the pilots. Can't understand what or what people don't understand about where not to fly, and why they would want to fly around a firestorm.

Paul C
 

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Drones that have been recovered by the authorities after their use in suspicious or illicit activities.

Drones that have been recovered by the authorities after their use in suspicious or illicit activities.Credit...From top left: Border Patrol via Associated Press; Virginia Department of Corrections, via Associated Press; Secret Service via Reuters; David Dishneau/Associated Press; Oklahoma Department of Corrections via Reuters; Secretaria de Seguridad Pública Municipal de Tijuana, via Associated Press

Drones Used in Crime Fly Under the Law’s Radar
Drones are increasingly being used by criminals across the country, and local law enforcement agencies are often powerless to stop them.
Drones that have been recovered by the authorities after their use in suspicious or illicit activities.Credit...From top left: Border Patrol via Associated Press; Virginia Department of Corrections, via Associated Press; Secret Service via Reuters; David Dishneau/Associated Press; Oklahoma Department of Corrections via Reuters; Secretaria de Seguridad Pública Municipal de Tijuana, via Associated Press
By Vanessa Swales
  • Nov. 3, 2019

An otherwise peaceful suburban neighborhood in Washington Township, Pa., began experiencing a series of explosions this past spring and summer. Homemade bombs were blowing up in front yards. Nails were raining down from the sky. Windows were left riddled with marks, as if they had been shot at.
For a while, the police were mystified. They could find no clues to the identity of the bomber, and they were confused about how the perpetrator could leave no footprints, tire tracks or DNA behind.
Only after a resident’s security camera caught a glimpse of what was going on did they crack the case. The perpetrator, it turns out, was a drone, one that the authorities say was controlled by a man who is now behind bars, accused of serious felonies.
Drones pose novel and difficult problems for law enforcement. They are widely available, lightly regulated and can be flown remotely by an operator far away from the crime scene. They have already been put to a host of nefarious uses, from smuggling contraband into prisons to swarming F.B.I. agents who were preparing for a raid. And local and state authorities are restricted by federal law from intercepting drones in flight, potentially even when a crime is in progress, though experts say that has yet to be tested in court.


“The use of drones by criminal groups is appealing in part because drones are harder to catch,” said Arthur Holland Michel, co-director of the Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College. “They create all kinds of headaches for law enforcement.”
In the Pennsylvania case, the authorities arrested Jason Muzzicato, 43, who is accused of dropping homemade bombs onto his ex-girlfriend’s property. He has been indicted on charges related to making explosives and possessing firearms, but the only charge concerning his delivery method has been unlawful operation of an unregistered drone. He is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 9.



Image
Police officers searched a business in Bangor, Pa., belonging to Jason Muzzicato, who was arrested on suspicion of using a drone to drop bombs near the home of his ex-girlfriend.

Police officers searched a business in Bangor, Pa., belonging to Jason Muzzicato, who was arrested on suspicion of using a drone to drop bombs near the home of his ex-girlfriend.Credit...Rich Rolen
“At state level, regulation has been very piecemeal or reactive to specific cases, whether criminal or otherwise,” said Hillary Farber, a law professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Law who studies the legal issues surrounding drones. “The charges seemed to miss the heart of the issue of how he was using the drone and how it was posing a threat to another person.”
Drones have been widely available to the general public for about five years, and they are already everywhere. The Federal Aviation Administration counts almost 1.5 million registered commercial and recreational drones in the United States, which does not account for the many unregistered or homemade drones.
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There have long been concerns about the use of drones for smuggling. The Border Patrol caught two people flying 28 pounds of heroin over the border near Calexico, Calif., in 2015. In July, a man pleaded guilty to attempting to use an unregistered drone to smuggle a bag of marijuana into Autry State Prison in Pelham, Ga.What drones see can be as worrisome as what they carry. In 2017, a Utah couple was charged with voyeurism for using a drone to spy on people in their bedrooms and bathrooms. One victim chased the drone to a parking lot, found a memory card full of illicit images and turned it over to the police.When a drone is flown in a crime, it leaves the authorities little to go on — unless they are able to get hold of the machine.“Drones have a wealth of very valuable forensic evidence to analyze the classic ‘who, what, when, where, why and how,’” said David Kovar, one of a small number of specialists in the new field of drone forensics. Mr. Kovar and the company he founded, URSA, provide technology to law enforcement officers and train them how to capture data from drones that can establish where and when it was flown and by whom. But investigators may not be able to tap such expertise in every case. “Unless it is a very high-stakes investigation, it’s unlikely they will call in an expert,” Mr. Holland Michel said.And even if a drone is recovered and dissected by experts, if it is homemade, it may prove impossible to trace to an owner.




https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/01/sports/football/eagles-sensory-disorder-autism.html?fallback=false&recId=485993293&locked=0&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=CA&recAlloc=story&geoCountry=US&blockId=home-featured&imp_id=830097484&action=click&module=editorContent&pgtype=Article®ion=CompanionColumn&contentCollection=Trending
Drones are not easy to detect in flight, as the Secret Service found when one flew unnoticed over the White House grounds and crash-landed on the lawn in 2015.
Audio sensors can listen for the distinctive sound of a drone, but that method does not work well in urban areas, and a drone’s sound signature can be altered by changing its propellers. Cameras have limited reach and may not be able to tell a drone from a bird. Commercially manufactured drones are typically made largely of plastic and run on battery power, so they do not give off much heat or show up strongly on radar. Picking up a drone’s radio signal is considered the most reliable way to detect one — but that does not mean the drone is easy to catch.
Then there is the question of who has the authority to do something about a drone that may be up to no good.



Image
A drone crashed into the stands during a U.S. Open tennis match in 2015.

A drone crashed into the stands during a U.S. Open tennis match in 2015. Credit...Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
The F.A.A. has primary authority over what happens in the air, and it sets the rules for drone use across the country. A flight is generally legal as long as the drone is registered and displays its registration number, weighs less than 55 pounds, stays within 400 feet of the ground and avoids crowded places like stadiums or restricted areas like airports.
All reported sightings of drones flying in restricted airspace are recorded by the F.A.A., and the agency can impose civil penalties on those who break the rules, according to a spokeswoman. But the F.A.A. does not have criminal enforcement authority, and though it requires drones to be registered, it depends on the honor system.
“It’s not like a car — it’s not necessary to register at sale,” Mr. Holland Michel said, adding, “A criminal will not register a drone.”

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Local and state authorities are often the ones dealing with crimes committed using drones, but their authority is limited. They have no power to charge suspects specifically for drone-use violations.
According to F.A.A. sightings data, when the police in Huntsville, Ala., were notified by a pilot in June that a drone had been spotted in restricted airspace, the police “did not know whether or not that was their jurisdiction, nor what to do about it if it was.”
All the police can usually do, experts said, is use the drone as evidence — if they can get hold of it — and charge suspects for the crimes that the drone was used to commit.
“The legal landscape is chaotic when it specifically comes to drones,” said Mr. Kovar, the forensics expert. “Using existing laws such as voyeurism or harassment sidesteps this issue.”
What about using jamming systems or other technology to interfere with drones in flight or keep them from flying where they do not belong? The only agencies allowed to do that are the federal departments of Defense, Justice, Energy and Homeland Security. For everyone else, it is illegal in all but the most exceptional circumstances — and so is taking down a drone in flight.
“The consensus is, no one has cracked the code on countering drones,” Mr. Holland Michel said. “It’s an unresolved challenge.”
 

dronerdave

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Sure you can... this is why the FAA created the registration. After all, the problem is not getting the drone, it is matching it to the owner.
If they're stupid enough to fly an illegal flight I doubt they even know they have to register their drone. Then there is the entitlement group who refuse to register and fly as they wish. That crowd won't register to keep from being caught. IMO there are a lot of drone owners who actually don't know the rules they're breaking. When I first bought my MP there were so many gray areas about legal flight, I didn't know right from wrong. If the manufacture required me to to take a common sense test before the rotors would spin up, it might of helped me but the FAA was way behind the tech and didn't react quick enough. There were many posts by people on this site stating the height and/or VLOS limitations were suggestions (not law) and while that was probably true, I blame the FAA for not seeing this coming. The AMA RC pilots have always worked well with the FAA...like since the 30's . Funny how this all started going south after the introduction of drones. Registration is part of being able to convict an operator but education might be as important in keeping some of these rogue flights down. It certainly has worked for those at AMA flying sites. When looking at percentages of good to bad multi rotor flights, It's too bad the media is so full of it keying on the bad and just trying to get a reaction from the public. They make it seem like all drone operators are doing something bad or suspicious. The laser pointer debacle a few years ago comes to mind but I'm sure there will always be those who make the responsible drone pilots look bad and the media loves to capitalize on that. It's a cryin shame.
 

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Registered or not this will identify and track multiple brands of drones real-time with locations shown on a map.
 

Capt KO

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Registered or not this will identify and track multiple brands of drones real-time with locations shown on a map.
Just like our planes use transponders for tracking, only a matter of time till they’re gonna be on our drones. I pray not.
 

Capt KO

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I wonder how long after Aeroscope is introduced in reasonable coverage, that DJI will release the Anti Aeroscope Drone System, the Aeroscope 'radar detector' for your drone ?
Wouldn't surprise me if they did.
It’s just a transmitter. Anybody tuned to the right frequency, like an airport tower, would be able to see it and track it. Only a matter of time before they make it tiny enough to install it on drones during manufacturing. But not the MM. Too tiny.
 

Thomas B

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I wonder how long after Aeroscope is introduced in reasonable coverage, that DJI will release the Anti Aeroscope Drone System, the Aeroscope 'radar detector' for your drone ?
Wouldn't surprise me if they did.
Sure they will... DJI playing both sides to increase business!
 

sar104

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I wonder how long after Aeroscope is introduced in reasonable coverage, that DJI will release the Anti Aeroscope Drone System, the Aeroscope 'radar detector' for your drone ?
Wouldn't surprise me if they did.
Aeroscope is just a receiver that listens to the controller/drone radio traffic, so it's not going to be detectable.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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Aeroscope is just a receiver that listens to the controller/drone radio traffic, so it's not going to be detectable.
Yeah, was just a little 'tongue in cheek' re DJI making a heap of drones, then making anti drone systems.
In saying that, there is probably a way some electronics genius can make something to throw off such systems, not that most of us are really interested in this . . . just the usual anti Big Brother sentiments to being under the ever increasing microscope (control and power).
 
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tcope

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If they're stupid enough to fly an illegal flight I doubt they even know they have to register their drone. Then there is the entitlement group who refuse to register and fly as they wish. That crowd won't register to keep from being caught. IMO there are a lot of drone owners who actually don't know the rules they're breaking. When I first bought my MP there were so many gray areas about legal flight, I didn't know right from wrong. If the manufacture required me to to take a common sense test before the rotors would spin up, it might of helped me but the FAA was way behind the tech and didn't react quick enough. There were many posts by people on this site stating the height and/or VLOS limitations were suggestions (not law) and while that was probably true, I blame the FAA for not seeing this coming. The AMA RC pilots have always worked well with the FAA...like since the 30's . Funny how this all started going south after the introduction of drones. Registration is part of being able to convict an operator but education might be as important in keeping some of these rogue flights down. It certainly has worked for those at AMA flying sites. When looking at percentages of good to bad multi rotor flights, It's too bad the media is so full of it keying on the bad and just trying to get a reaction from the public. They make it seem like all drone operators are doing something bad or suspicious. The laser pointer debacle a few years ago comes to mind but I'm sure there will always be those who make the responsible drone pilots look bad and the media loves to capitalize on that. It's a cryin shame.
Could not agree more. As I've always said, the FAA created a bunch of pointless laws that don't help anyone, it just makes it extremely difficult for people to know what they need to do. Some here would tell you it is only because they don't bother to look. But then you see people here confused. Heck, with the release of the Mini I'm seeing a lot of people saying you don't need to follow any FAA laws (because of the weight). IMHO, the first thing that should be done is to simply many universal rules for everyone. There is no need for commercial laws and hobby laws. Safe flight is safe flight. They then need to junk the registration. It is worthless.
 

dronerdave

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I didn't mind having to go through the registration process but want nothing as far as a 107 type certification. Still rec fliers need to know where and what the limits are and I'm hoping this new test will supply a bit of needed education and at the same time be very basic. I at least took the time to learn how to read sectionals which might be a stretch for a rec flier. If an FAA app works for the newbie fine but so many do not even know they might be flying in restricted airspace and that has to stop. If this illegal flying continues I'm afraid a knee jerk reaction might shut us down more.
 
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