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Can we stop all the drone hate?

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Yaros

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A bit of about me, relating to this topic:
I've been flying drones for nearly 2 years now. I love everything about it except the people that come arguing that I can't fly here, that they're disturbed by it, and them "threatening" me...
I guess most drone pilots here can relate, or had a drone confrontation at least once. However, people in the EU mostly can relate even more, because here it is more of a problem because the laws are more restrictive, and drones aren't as common as in the US.

I fly in Mallorca, it is a small island in Spain, here drones are very uncommon, you see maybe one drone per year at most, and most drones flown here are flown by tourists that come to the island with drones. There are a couple of local people and companies I know that use drones, but still, the image I'm trying to portray is that it is not common to see drones here.

What I'm tired of:
This really annoys me, but at least every 2 weeks I fly, before I know it, there is an angry person in front of me shouting that what I'm doing is illegal, that they don't want them to be filmed, that they are scared that I'm spying on them, or whatever other excuse they can think of. Okay, these kinds of situations happen all over the place, mostly near beaches and public parks. I don't know who expects privacy in a place like that... I've had 3 people approach me angrily while I'm flying the last 3 weeks.
Yes, most local Spanish people are against drones, if they don't own one they don't understand, and they don't care about the laws, they just make up stupid crap about why it is wrong to fly here or there. Now during it is even more annoying because tourists are also getting angry over drones, some of them try to talk to me in another language, so I can't reply anything back. Other people I know that fly drones here, also have this problem, not only here but all over the world, most common in the EU as I mentioned above.
I know 2 people from US that fly drones, and they don't have drone confrontations as often as I do. Here in Mallorca, when you takeoff in a public location, at least 5 people will look over the drone... all because of my next point:

The misconception of the public:
People that don't have drones think that it has a giant lens to spy on them, or that we - drone pilots, use the drone for bad things only, but they don't understand that the only reason I'm flying near that beach or park is to capture the amazing views.

The real reason this happens:
Most might not agree with me here, but I blame the media for this, because they are spreading only bad news of drones, like when they crash against an airplane, or the White House, or when someone gets fined for flying illegally. This sets a bad image of drones in normal people that don't know as much as we do about drones.
Think about this for a minute, how many times have you seen positive news about drones on media, like when a drone saved someone, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand, and now think about how many times you have seen negative news about drones, much, much more often, at least in Spain and the EU, I don't live in the US, and don't know how the situation is there, however I can say that here it is not great. Spanish media even went as far as faking a drone accident as a joke, but by many it was perceived like something serious that really happened.

We can still fix this!
When someone approaches me angrily about me flying the drone, I try to explain why he/she is wrong, the reason I'm flying, and what are the rules and regulations. Sometimes the person just doesn't want to cooperate, in this case I just leave, because there is no point in arguing with someone like that, really. If we - as a drone community try to spread good words about drones to people that hate them now, that try to blame you just for flying over their house, and try to form a positive mindset about the topic, maybe we can minimize drone hate!

So... what's YOUR opinion about this? Do you agree or disagree? I would be happy to hear your point of view!

A message to the mods: If you find this thread inappropriate, please contact me directly before deleting, I'm happy to resolve any issues and disagreements. Just don't delete this anonymously, please. Thanks!
 
Only had my DJI Mini 2 for 2 weeks now so noob but this is a concern of mine too. Maybe this thread has some ideas Stealth Flying Neighborhood - probably best to launch and fly in areas where there aren't people to begin with.
 
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probably best to launch and fly in areas where there aren't people to begin with.
Yeah, but during the summer here on the island there are people everywhere, especially near the beaches, and the best spots to film with a drone. And I also try to be transparent about the fact that I'm the one who is flying, because what I noticed is that if people know who is flying, they will be more confident because if they have a problem, they know who to refer to, but if I'm hiding there in the back of a street, if someone who hates drones actually finds me, they will be much more upset about the situation and will also blame me of hiding (yes, that actually happened to me twice).
 
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I do have a different approach, one that has worked really well for me.
I never try to win the Argument , but I what I do is Frame the Situation in a way that gives me the edge after years of Confrontations.

The first thing I say to them no matter what non sense there saying is I AM WELL AWARE , than the next thing they say if you know this why are you flying.

My response is always the Same : I am flying this area to see if its an acceptable area for Search an Rescue with a drone. This changes things quickly. This takes care of 9 out 10 encounters as it catches them off guard .

I than go into the Number of sats I am connected to, the speed that i can fly and just have a merry time with it.

I also let them know I will be flying in Different Weather Environments as well as with heavy winds.

My only exception is the Cops , if they ask me to stop flying because they are getting reports , I finish the flight and land and walk away to fly another day.

I also find that flying from inside of my car has really isolated the people that come up to me at the pier. It helps if your drone looks like a search and Rescue drone as well.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water , and Search and Rescue.
Screen-Shot-2019-01-05-at-8-22-43-PM-5c31592e8ba85-2000x1335.png
 
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Never worried me either, as long as I'm flying legally that's all that matters.
Had a few come up interested and intrigued, so hovered and showed them the controller and views and so far never had anyone moan yet......but there is always a first.
 
@Yaros I would suggest that people who deliberately fly drones in areas where they provoke confrontation help promote "drone hate".

I suspect most folks would have concerns about voyeurs taking photos or video at the beach and I would not be at all surprised if they have legal protection against it, especially if women and or children are topless or nude. Even more so when the camera is a 'spying drone' and its potential is likely over estimated.
If women have got their boy friend or hubby with them then, to be honest, I think you run the risk of getting clobbered, aka Will Smith and Tom Hanks.
Ditto parents protecting kids who are running around naked. I don't know if that still happens but when I was a kid it was quite common for toddlers to be naked on non nude beaches.
Do you think you could walk along a beach with kids, naked or not, and scantily clad women about whilst obviously pointing a camera at them without being accosted?
Have a look in you tube for "perverts at Bondi Beach" you will find quite a few Bondi Rescue videos that show confrontations concerning cameras and women where memory cards have been forcibly destroyed and or police called with the 'photographer' being arrested.
BTW Bondi Rescue is an interesting channel even if it is harrowing at times, it also shows some favourable usage of drones. Though I would suggest much greater usage could be made of them for 'spotting' (sharks and people in suspected trouble) purposes.

I have flown from the odd carpark or two and if there were people about I asked if they had any objections BEFORE I even set up, this was with a P3 and M2P, so not small 'sneaky' drones, and prior to the 150m rule etc. I was quite happy to show them what the camera was capable of and in fact I volunteered to show them what it was capable of. None of them, including those with kids had any objection to my flying. If they had had an objection I wouldn't have flown.
In fact at one car park the kids had a ball playing under the drone, I sent the video of that to the parents.
Yes I have used a DSLR at a beach but it was tripod mounted with a long lens aimed at surfers and I would have been prepared to show the photos captured.

What can we do?
Fly with the thought/s in mind that others may object and that they have rights and expectations too, i.e. consider them before yourself.
Personally if was was concerned about the risk of a confrontation but really wanted to capture a scene I would screen capture what the drone can see so you have an instant replay available for any one who has such concerns and be prepared to show them as best you can the actual video.
But, in general, I would avoid areas where you expect a confrontation to take place.
 
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Good morning to all-
Perhaps it's just the places I choose to fly, but I have never had any confrontations with people concerning my drone flying. the only ones who noticed I was doing something came and asked if I was flying a drone and when I showed them the controller and the screen, they were quite satisfied and interested. Most said, "I have got to get me one of those!"
The only beach flying I do is very early in the mooring to get sunrise shots and I don't fly over people on the beach.
I can see where those who are limited to flying in metropolitan areas might have problems- there are people around who will find fault with ANYTHING, and drones are easy targets for ignorant people to find as something to b---- about.
And those who accuse us fliers of being "perverts"- well, according to my old college psychology courses, that's a thing called "displacement" where a person with a problem applies that problem to someone else. we see this sort of thing all the time in politics, by the way.

you all be safe and keep well- Ed
 
It is private public beaches I'm talking
Oops, my mistake there 😑
Yea sometimes I just make stupid mistakes while typing 😂
Not going to blame anyone for this one, probably just me...
 
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Doesn't bother me as I know I am legally flying. Was flying in the middle of a field last year and a man approached me with his daughter and stated that "all you drone flyers are perverts" and walked away 🤣🤣🤣

So he brings his daughter over to be closer to someone he thinks is a pervert ?
There's a rocket scientist for you, lol.

@Yaros . . . try building support for drones on some sort of social media, this might slowly take care of the local aspects of negativity, but it might take some time.

If there are facebook / instagram type Mallorca pages, join up to ones that seem busy, lots of members, start by posting aerial photos, nice panoramas of sunrises, sunsets etc.
Slowly feel in really short video clips of a similar nature.

You can logically counter negativity in such an environment, concerns etc, be proactive.

Tourists objections are harder to approach the same way, you'd have to build a website of such for tourism / tourist information, and use the same types of photos / video to build the trust of drones and what they REALLY are used for.

Sometimes you can just be unlucky with your location, local temperaments, visitors that want peace & quiet (that could be a problems at popular beaches).

I haven't had a single issue with this sort of thing in over 5 years, hopefully that will not happen eventually, but I have my repertoire of responses in mind for if / when it does.
 
I haven't had a single issue with this sort of thing in over 5 years, hopefully that will not happen eventually, but I have my repertoire of responses in mind for if / when it does.
Hope I never have to encounter this either. Maybe when you go out in a public place now, you can fully equip yourself in full PPE gear, face shield, mask etc - maybe they'd be less likely to approach you in this current climate :D
 
Hope I never have to encounter this either. Maybe when you go out in a public place now, you can fully equip yourself in full PPE gear, face shield, mask etc - maybe they'd be less likely to approach you in this current climate :D

And cough.
A lot !!
😷 🤢
 
I have only had one non-positive encounter and that was at a park where a man approached me and informed me that drones were prohibited at this particular park. He knew this because he flies drones and had the police approach him in a friendly way when flying at this park. Sure enough, there was a rather inconspicuous sign in the parking lot stating the no-drone policy. So really it was a fellow drone pilot doing me a favor.

Other than that, I've just had people ask me questions out of curiosity. Just yesterday, a group of 6 people were watching my fly over a lake and applauded when I brought the drone in and hand caught it :D Once I landed it they asked me a whole host of technical questions along with questions about rules and regs. I suspect at least one of them will be getting themselves a drone shortly.

I like @MAvic_South_Oz 's suggestion of posting clips on local social media so people can see what it is that you are really doing...just capturing the gorgeous landscapes. I did this reluctantly in our town's facebook page with pictures from our local park where a new football field was installed. It's a spirited community so I half expected some people to complain about my flying a drone around the park. Quite the opposite happened as I got loads of positive feedback. People really enjoyed the shots. Shots from that flight were eventually shared on the mayor's page. One shot was included in the town's municipal calendar. The board of education used aerial shots I took of a new baseball field at the high school when promoting the opening ceremony for it.

I think many people don't realize how much drones are used today. TV, movies, commercials, real estate listings...the list goes on and on. I get to say "drone shot" many times when watching TV with my family!


One last comment. I have witnessed people flying like jerks at parks. By this, I mean hovering over people only 20, maybe 30 feet in the air. It's obvious that the drone is there and it's obvious that they are just trying to be annoying. Don't fly like a jerk and most people won't even notice your drone in the air. Not suggesting that the OP was doing this...just point this out as a way to help avoid confrontations.
 
I do have a different approach, one that has worked really well for me.
I never try to win the Argument , but I what I do is Frame the Situation in a way that gives me the edge after years of Confrontations.

The first thing I say to them no matter what non sense there saying is I AM WELL AWARE , than the next thing they say if you know this why are you flying.

My response is always the Same : I am flying this area to see if its an acceptable area for Search an Rescue with a drone. This changes things quickly. This takes care of 9 out 10 encounters as it catches them off guard .

I than go into the Number of sats I am connected to, the speed that i can fly and just have a merry time with it.

I also let them know I will be flying in Different Weather Environments as well as with heavy winds.

My only exception is the Cops , if they ask me to stop flying because they are getting reports , I finish the flight and land and walk away to fly another day.

I also find that flying from inside of my car has really isolated the people that come up to me at the pier. It helps if your drone looks like a search and Rescue drone as well.

Phantomrain.org
Gear to fly in the Rain. Land on the Water , and Search and Rescue.
View attachment 151154
@Phantom, I like that answer, and truthfully it's kind of where I mightlook after 107. I live in a small community and I've been doing Some Practice up and down my Street. So one day a "Lady" kinda came out and gave me some grief. So I said give me 5 minutes. I went home got my
Study Guides for 107, showed her pics and vid on my tab, assured her I could not "SEE in her windows" After 10 minutes, LOL she was ready to by a Drone. Another neighbor who I need to do a
"Flyover" to shoot some ponds, I knocked and showed him drones and some pics. I knew he was going to be OK, but umm, this is Fla, and well some people may just think its a
"Clay Pidgeon" Pull Bang. I guess what I'm trying to say if you "Ask/show/ tell/educate people it really opens peoples eyes.
 
@Yaros I would suggest that people who deliberately fly drones in areas where they provoke confrontation help promote "drone hate".

I suspect most folks would have concerns about voyeurs taking photos or video at the beach and I would not be at all surprised if they have legal protection against it, especially if women and or children are topless or nude. Even more so when the camera is a 'spying drone' and its potential is likely over estimated.
If women have got their boy friend or hubby with them then, to be honest, I think you run the risk of getting clobbered, aka Will Smith and Tom Hanks.
Ditto parents protecting kids who are running around naked. I don't know if that still happens but when I was a kid it was quite common for toddlers to be naked on non nude beaches.
Do you think you could walk along a beach with kids, naked or not, and scantily clad women about whilst obviously pointing a camera at them without being accosted?
Have a look in you tube for "perverts at Bondi Beach" you will find quite a few Bondi Rescue videos that show confrontations concerning cameras and women where memory cards have been forcibly destroyed and or police called with the 'photographer' being arrested.
BTW Bondi Rescue is an interesting channel even if it is harrowing at times, it also shows some favourable usage of drones. Though I would suggest much greater usage could be made of them for 'spotting' (sharks and people in suspected trouble) purposes.

I have flown from the odd carpark or two and if there were people about I asked if they had any objections BEFORE I even set up, this was with a P3 and M2P, so not small 'sneaky' drones, and prior to the 150m rule etc. I was quite happy to show them what the camera was capable of and in fact I volunteered to show them what it was capable of. None of them, including those with kids had any objection to my flying. If they had had an objection I wouldn't have flown.
In fact at one car park the kids had a ball playing under the drone, I sent the video of that to the parents.
Yes I have used a DSLR at a beach but it was tripod mounted with a long lens aimed at surfers and I would have been prepared to show the photos captured.

What can we do?
Fly with the thought/s in mind that others may object and that they have rights and expectations too, i.e. consider them before yourself.
Personally if was was concerned about the risk of a confrontation but really wanted to capture a scene I would screen capture what the drone can see so you have an instant replay available for any one who has such concerns and be prepared to show them as best you can the actual video.
But, in general, I would avoid areas where you expect a confrontation to take place.
I photographed at Bondi back in 2019 when I visited Sydney. I can see how this would happen. A crowded place and wandering around it taking pictures of women could cause some ruckus. I'm very discrete, use a small mirrorless at the beach and try not to focus on any particular person... the key is to look like you are taking shots of the ocean :)
 
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DJI should start a referral program with DJI user's page to showcase their drone's photo/videos etc :D
I'm using a Bwine F7, have you heard of it. I love it. I have a Mavic Mini Combo Package that was on AMAZON listed for $ 425. but did anyone ever look below "listed price," it says "Other Prices" so I saw one package for Get ready $ 125? LOL It said
"Slight cosmetic (Brand new) Box damage. I'll be damned if I can see a scratch. Anyway, the Bwine is 3 axis gimble 4K and the only drawback is it's kind of big. Usually about
$ 475, but Constantly $ 75-100 off.
How do I add pics to my posts?
 
I've only been approached once where someone asked me not to fly and that was at a private art installation called Opus 40 in Saugerties, NY. I obliged because while there were no signs I was taking off and landing on their property, which while open to the public is not public land.
Other than that, only had curious people approach asking questions or gawking.

Few hints:
1) Where a reflective vest, even go as far as have one made with your logo if you have one with "UAV Pilot - Do Not Distrub While Drone in Flight" or something to that effect.
2) Get a lanyard and hang your 107 license around your neck (if no 107, make some sort of official looking ID).
3) Get a rubber cone or two and put them around your takeoff/landing zone.

These things make people think you are doing something official and keeps most of the Karens/Kevins at bay.
 
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