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Got yelled at and threatened today

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blurred55

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I was flying at a very large, undeveloped empty field here in Florida with some trees. Its been empty for years. It borders a neighborhood and an apartment community which I stayed away from. Keep in mind there is no one around in this big undeveloped field except me and a little, unused road going through the edge of it. I'm flying around 150-300 feet.

I'm about 20 minutes into my flight on my 2nd battery and about to wrap it up when a car comes flying down the road. Its a man probably in his late 50's to early 60's, New York accent, and starts yelling out his window about me "spying on him" with my drone. He then pulls out his phone and starts recording me. The guy is totally going berserk, hands waving, etc. I told him I'm not doing anything wrong and am within the law. He says what I'm doing is illegal, that I'm not allowed to fly here, and keeps saying I am spying on him and his wife. At this point I'm just ignoring him. Then he says he is calling the cops.

At that point, I already landed and just packed it up and walked away. He was sitting in the car on the phone (I guess to the police). I had a conference call and didn't have time to sit around and talk to the police and this raving lunatic or to be made to show the police my entire video to prove myself innocent.

Guess that spot is ruined because this nutjob will be harassing me every time. Its getting harder and harder to find spots to fly. What is wrong with some people? Do they not have anything better to do? I'm guessing he saw my drone in the distance from his apartment and thought I must be spying in his windows with my ultra zoom X-Ray Mavic Pro lens.
 
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blurred55

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If I was me flying the drone, I would only tell him that i am leaving now and ignore everything else crazy he said and then leave as quick as you can. Never confront or escalate the situation.

Yeah I didn't want to escalate the situation and especially did not want to get involved with the cops and this guys delusional accusations

It just blows my mind on how on how so many people are so hostile to this hobby
 

macoman

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Yeah I didn't want to escalate the situation and especially did not want to get involved with the police and this guys delusional accusations

It just blows my mind on how on how so many people are so hostile to this hobby
So far I have not yet got any crazy mind lost individual like that because I usually fly away from civilization... Like in empty fields of the forrest, mountains or rivers. Also public parks that allow drones in. I only got approach by curious people asking questions about the machine. I always welcome them and even show then my tablet and the functions.
 

BD0G

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I fly with pepper spray clipped to my flight bag. If anyone approaches me in a hostile manner - I say in a clear and concise manner " If you approach me you will be sprayed" If they state they are calling the cops I encourage them to do so and inform them I will wait and not to approach me. I then continue to fly while positioning the camera and recording the person that has approached me in a hostile manner. Never land near the person and attempt to retrieve your drone.

There have been instances in which some of these nutjobs have grabbed one's drone and either broken it or thrown it in a body of water. If I am low battery I walk away from the person while bringing the Mavic lower and flying in the direction that I am walking and when I am sure they are not very close to it I land.

Since I am legally flying I have no need to scurry off like a kitchen cockroach when the lights are turned on.
 

blurred55

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So far I have not yet got any crazy mind lost individual like that because I usually fly away from civilization... Like in empty fields of the forrest, mountains or rivers. Also public parks that allow drones in. I only got approach by curious people asking questions about the machine. I always welcome them and even show then my tablet and the functions.

Unfortunately I'm hours away from places like that. South Florida sucks for flying :(

I still try to find the most empty areas I can. I don't want to disturb people. Hence why I liked this big open field as its far enough away that people can't hear or really see it. Except for this crazy individual.

I can't wait to move. Its way too crowded down here. I can't really stand the type of people around here either. Lots of retiree busybodies who like to complain about everything. People seem much friendlier in the other southern states.
 

macoman

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Unfortunately I'm hours away from places like that. South Florida sucks for flying :(

I still try to find the most empty areas I can. I don't want to disturb people. Hence why I liked this big open field as its far enough away that people can't hear or really see it. Except for this crazy individual.

I can't wait to move. Its way too crowded down here. I can't really stand the type of people around here either. Lots of retiree busybodies who like to complain about everything. People seem much friendlier in the other southern states.
If you are in South Florida you are close to the Everglades National Park and there should be an area that you can fly without issues. I know that national parks is a no flying zone but I said close to it.
 

MrRobville

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Just painting this picture in my head that this guy was on the lookout the entire day, and when he spotted a little black dot in the distance, he unleashed his fury and went through the effort to go out, take the car, drive a mile over, just for the sake of acting out his dominance upon some poor bloke. :p

Just remember, you only had to deal with that guy for a few minutes. He has to deal with himself for his entire life.
 

Irish-apple

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I usually bring a Hurley with me totally legal to say I was playing hurling also after the flight .. nut job approaches hes warned 2 times he dont ever remember the 3rd time lol. crazy people looking for something to complain about pal .. forget em images.jpeg
 

MavicMo

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It's come to the point I always wear my Gopro Session on my hat and start recording when someone comes up to me. It used to be to get a "third person" shot of the drone if I was having issues, but now it's to "protect" myself from idiots.
 

Thwyllo

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If the OP wanted to fly there again, and assuming he wasn't 'spying', it might have helped to pull up the flight track screen and ask him to point out where his house was on the map relative to where the drone flew...
 
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MrRobville

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If the OP wanted to fly there again, and assuming he wasn't 'spying', it might have helped to pull up the flight track screen and ask him to point out where his house was on the map relative to where the drone flew...
Top tip: never get your expensive equipment close to a raging lunatic.

These kinds of people have no intention at all to have a decent and mature conversation with you. There's a topic around somewhere, where one threw a pilot's Mavic Pro into the Hawaii ocean after he felt being spied on.

Just tell them that if you intended to spy on them you would've bought a 700X optical zoom lens and not an airborne grassmower.
 

Thwyllo

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Top tip: never get your expensive equipment close to a raging lunatic.

Just tell them that if you intended to spy on them you would've bought a 700X optical zoom lens and not an airborne grassmower.

Or one of them there Nikon P900 things that the YouTube tinfoil hatters use to 'prove' that all passenger jets actually travel at only 30mph and the world is 600 miles in diameter.... :eek:
 

blurred55

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If you are in South Florida you are close to the Everglades National Park and there should be an area that you can fly without issues. I know that national parks is a no flying zone but I said close to it.

That is still nearly 2 hours away from me. I'm not near Miami.
 
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andydownunder

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Our rapidly advancing technological society creates a certain paranoia within some people. It is easy for those vulnerable to feel they are being targeted. As irrational as it may be, they are convinced they are being watched. It is sad as I often fly around scenic areas where there are scattered people at a distance. I am not interested in (or focussing on) them but only the natural beauty of the surroundings. If only they could appreciate and understand what it is we are actually viewing. All you can do is keep cool, protect yourself and move on.
 

BD0G

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Lots of paranoid people out there that feel that they own the world around them. Just always be prepared and try and judge the persons demeanor by thier approach , body language , tone of voice , etc.
 
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Mossiback

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Assuming it is legal to fly there, go to the police station that has jurisdiction, explain the situation, and try to get a letter from them stating that it is not illegal. Go ahead and fly and hand a copy to the nut-job if he comes out again.

The chances of this being successful are probably small, but it is worth a shot.
 

ac0j

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I feel like if you were close enough for him to hear or see the drone, you may have been too close.
We don't all have the same definition of too close for comfort. Non drone owners will not be comfortable if they can see the drone, because they figure if they can see it, it can see them. Which isn't untrue. It doesn't matter to most people if you are getting detailed images of them, they don't want you taking ANY images of them at all.
 
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