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Georgia man accused of shooting, damaging workers' $15K drone

FiLiNuX

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Quick search showed me that in 2018 (possibly earlier) Georgia Transmission was utilizing DJI Inspire (1) drones and well equipped DJI Matrice drones as well. Georgia Transmission is now utilizing their UAV fleet more then ever for diagnostics, surveying, etc etc. I am sure a technology company that size, and with that size budget, is constantly upgrading with drones costing tens of thousands of dollars. They have a nice short video showing how they utilize UAV's and they also are using submersibles.
As far as the naughty neighbor I doubt the FTA would become involved. If he is a felon from previous events it would be the state of Georgia that would charge him with Weapons Under Disability for touching a gun which almost always leads to prison time. Just because the state is the only one who has charged him at this point does not mean that Federal charges will not be brought at a later date via request from the FAA regarding the aircraft aspect. We hear about drone shooting a lot so I am off to "learn myself" about what the actual law is on shooting a registered drone.
 

Thomas B

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Quick search showed me that in 2018 (possibly earlier) Georgia Transmission was utilizing DJI Inspire (1) drones and well equipped DJI Matrice drones as well. Georgia Transmission is now utilizing their UAV fleet more then ever for diagnostics, surveying, etc etc. I am sure a technology company that size, and with that size budget, is constantly upgrading with drones costing tens of thousands of dollars. They have a nice short video showing how they utilize UAV's and they also are using submersibles.
As far as the naughty neighbor I doubt the FTA would become involved. If he is a felon from previous events it would be the state of Georgia that would charge him with Weapons Under Disability for touching a gun which almost always leads to prison time. Just because the state is the only one who has charged him at this point does not mean that Federal charges will not be brought at a later date via request from the FAA regarding the aircraft aspect. We hear about drone shooting a lot so I am off to "learn myself" about what the actual law is on shooting a registered drone.
Federal statute and FAA consider drones to be aircraft. So this person could face the same charges from FAA as they would if they shot down a full size aircraft.
 

FiLiNuX

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Federal statute and FAA consider drones to be aircraft. So this person could face the same charges from FAA as they would if they shot down a full size aircraft.
Thanks Thomas!! This is the kind of information that needs to get out in the mainstream more. People who shoot drones out of the air are not masters of good decision making but perhaps knowing the severity of the repercussions of their actions would make some reconsider. You would think SOMEONE at the FAA would have to see stories such as this one and take action on it.
 

Daver$23

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Just one more opinion here which may not be popular. It is NOT okay to shoot at a drone. It should be taken seriously by the authorities and penalties should apply. But not the same as a manned aircraft. There is quite a difference between damage to personal property and attempts to physically harm a person. Isn't there?
 

BigAl07

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Just one more opinion here which may not be popular. It is NOT okay to shoot at a drone. It should be taken seriously by the authorities and penalties should apply. But not the same as a manned aircraft. There is quite a difference between damage to personal property and attempts to physically harm a person. Isn't there?
Yes VERY much so. This is also why when a UAS Shooting is reported to the FAA (and they are DEFINTELY reported to the FAA the vast majority of the times) the FAA will investigate and if it has sufficient need it will get turned over to the DOJ. From there they will take over the investigation and determine how to proceed (If proceed). Most of the time the conclusion is more of along the lines of, "This is a good time for education" rather than strict fines/penalties. Keep in mind in the BIG picture a back woods goofball shooting a consumer/ProSumer UAS down isn't very high on the DOJ's list of issues to handle.
 

vindibona1

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If you haven't noticed, people are just nuts these days. I believe the apocalypse is closer than we think. .
 
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From our local newspaper:


Georgia man accused of shooting, damaging workers' $15K drone


A Newnan man was arrested after police said he fired shots and damaged a crew’s $15,000 drone while they were using it to photograph their work Friday.

Coweta County sheriff’s deputies said they were dispatched about 12:10 p.m. to the 60 block of Fuller Gordon Road, where two employees for Georgia Transmission said they were working on towers and power lines when 35-year-old Edward Neil Pope shot at the drone they were using.

According to a police report, the employees told Pope beforehand they would be working in the area, which he said he understood.

While flying the drone, one of the workers said he heard three shots. When the drone landed, they saw two gunshots had destroyed the device’s $600 battery. The landing gear was also shot at least once, the police report indicated. They told deputies they were unsure whether only the landing gear would need to be replaced or the entire drone, which they said is worth $15,000.

When one of the employees returned to his vehicle, he heard another gunshot and pellets hitting a nearby tree and the top of his truck, authorities said. The workers confronted Pope, who denied shooting the drone, the police report stated. The employees then called police when they saw a long shotgun in one of the cars in Pope’s yard, authorities said.

Deputies said when they failed to contact Pope, they spoke to his neighbors who told them they’ve had issues with the man harassing family members and also placing spike strips in the street.

Around 5 p.m., deputies said they made contact with Pope, who denied shooting the drone although authorities said there were two eyewitnesses, the police report said.

Pope was eventually arrested after a brief struggle and sent to the Coweta County jail, authorities said. He was charged with reckless conduct and criminal damage to property in the second degree.
One can only hope they prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law....and maybe the Fed's(faa) get involved
 

Ray Dunakin

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Lol, but I think it has more to do with mental illness than anti-drone
Frankly I think the anti-drone folks all have a screw loose.
 

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Prosecution in the big scheme of things comes down to a big component of total cost (hours, staff, etc.) and as @BigAl07 indicated, it is 100% an FAA violation & Federal crime; but micro importance and minimal impact on public & media. To charge or even judge it's prosecution value by tossing into a Grand Jury assessment... all equate to big loss in time and costs for the Govt to pursue a person that would probably be defended with mental justifications and receive minimal damage or might even reap benefit by receiving Govt benefits if assessed mentally incapable.

To this day, all the sUAV shootings, all federal crimes under FAA law... not one has received any action for DOJ to follow-up and pursure... no justification to use the DOJ services... cost to Tax Payer. Or so viewed by the decision makers. A few have received State or local LEO fines... even those are rare.

For the FAA law to be taken seriously and to create precedence to base future offensives; will require personal harm to occur in some fashion. Until then, it's an empty scare tactic you can toss at a agitated individual.
 
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Earthman

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I understood that a professional drone operates under the Federal Aviation Authority rules, if this same person took pot shots at a private aircraft or commercial plane would the charges be so relatively insignificant .
it strikes me that the FAA should be all over this case, however I don’t see there name even mentioned?
All UAVs subject to the FAAs regulations are considered aircraft and the same penalties apply to shooting such a UAV as a 747. The shooter’s life should be a lot more complicated now.
 
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FiLiNuX

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Thomas B

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FiLiNuX

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Per original post #1 by OP....
Bit of confusion I think. I believe AlaskanGuy & Itsneedtoknow were asking what Harle83s friend does with his decked out Inspire 2 that generated enough income to cover the cost of it.
 

Thomas B

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Bit of confusion I think. I believe AlaskanGuy & Itsneedtoknow were asking what Harle83s friend does with his decked out Inspire 2 that generated enough income to cover the cost of it.
You are correct..,, I had some intestinal gas escape from my brain on that one. Thanks for setting me straight.
 

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