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Police Drones - impersonation?

Davros007

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Out of interest...
Many jurisdictions worldwide are now utilising police drones to help with minimising police exposure to COVID19 through remote enforcement.
In particular Australia, but interested elsewhere too:
What laws are there about fitting drones with red and blue flashing lights? It’s illegal in Australia to impersonate a police car or emergency vehicle - what about drones?
I got some red and green firehouse strobes that are awesome - but if I got a blue one instead of the green, and ‘assisted’ (flew past and seemed intimidating) to clear up some unauthorised gatherings that breach lockdown (not using a PA or flying at night) I wonder where I’d stand? Or “worse” if I did tell people over a PA to go home but did NOT say I was police? (Note I have no intention of doing so - but has the law ‘caught up’ with this??). Interested to know peoples’ knowledge.
I guess it also just interests me that after this virus debacle is over, will we see new “police drone” laws?
 
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Flycaster

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I would think that you would still be classified as " impersonating a peace officer" either by flashing lights, or using any other means to convey to the others that you are an acting peace officer, which your not, would be "frowned" upon.
Be smart, and just call the local Peace Officers and let them handle it.
 

Davros007

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I would think that you would still be classified as " impersonating a peace officer" either by flashing lights, or using any other means to convey to the others that you are an acting peace officer, which your not, would be "frowned" upon.
Be smart, and just call the local Peace Officers and let them handle it.
I’m not intending to do it! But someone will - wondering what, from the perspective of “a lawyer they have hired to defend themselves”, the argument would be, and would it hold water? Is a drone yet classified as a police vehicle, for example?
Certainly not questioning that it would be ethically wrong to confuse people! But if I was to skin mine up with a black and blue look, some kinda whacky star and red and blue lights- nothing saying “police”, and fly along a beach, for example, could I be charged (yet - I’m sure it will come! If I can think of it, someone is doing it!)?
On the flip side, does one have to obey a police drone? How do you know it’s real!? Not just talking COVID19 here.
 
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Peter Hughes

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I’m not intending to do it! But someone will - wondering what, from the perspective of “a lawyer they have hired to defend themselves”, the argument would be, and would it hold water? Is a drone yet classified as a police vehicle, for example?
Certainly not questioning that it would be ethically wrong to confuse people! But if I was to skin mine up with a black and blue look, some kinda whacky star and red and blue lights- nothing saying “police”, and fly along a beach, for example, could I be charged (yet - I’m sure it will come! If I can think of it, someone is doing it!)?
On the flip side, does one have to obey a police drone? How do you know it’s real!? Not just talking COVID19 here.
Some halfwit has already done something like this in NY..he flew his Mavic Enterprise down the Hudson River and told everyone not to break the Social Distance rules.

Can’t remember exactly what words he used but they did give the impression it was an official announcement. Both the FAA and Police are investigating and the feeling is he’s in deep do,do.
 

Thomas B

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Some halfwit has already done something like this in NY..he flew his Mavic Enterprise down the Hudson River and told everyone not to break the Social Distance rules.

Can’t remember exactly what words he used but they did give the impression it was an official announcement. Both the FAA and Police are investigating and the feeling is he’s in deep do,do.
Yep, read that one. Guess the moral is let publicly charged officials do official work.
 
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MAvic_South_Oz

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What laws are there about fitting drones with red and blue flashing lights? It’s illegal in Australia to impersonate a police car or emergency vehicle - what about drones?
I was interested in the ARCII public series by Firehouse Technology, just to give me a different light for the back of the M1P.
(Have had 2 orders via the US, but you have to order through someone there to forward over, or possibly you can get through ebay.)

Decided to avoid the Blue / Red, and to go the Red / White option . . . and to be honest I wouldn't bother with this again, I'd just go for white.

They are bright overall, but the white leds are the brightest of all the other coloured ones.
This is them flashing alternatively . . .

IMG_4590.JPG IMG_4586.jpg

You can really see how much brighter the white are.
 
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Thomas B

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I went with white at rears and a red and a green on the front arms in standard aircraft manner as I wanted to be able to visually determine my drones orientation. Check out the vid of the ARC XLs red and green below in daylight.... had to reduce aperture to cut down on burnout.. check the ground blow the drone.
 
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Davros007

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I was interested in the ARCII public series by Firehouse Technology, just to give me a different light for the back of the M1P.
(Have had 2 orders via the US, but you have to order through someone there to forward over, or possibly you can get through ebay.)

Decided to avoid the Blue / Red, and to go the Red / White option . . . and to be honest I wouldn't bother with this again, I'd just go for white.

They are bright overall, but the white leds are the brightest of all the other coloured ones.
This is them flashing alternatively . . .

View attachment 98494 View attachment 98493

You can really see how much brighter the white are.
Yep! Bright!
Tested my red green white out yesterday. Confirm a single white arcii against a forest background in the late arvo was visible 1500m. And enough to look down and back up. The red green not as bright as I’ve read- but still extend the vlos.
The red blue would cause a stir if misused!
 

Davros007

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Some halfwit has already done something like this in NY..he flew his Mavic Enterprise down the Hudson River and told everyone not to break the Social Distance rules.

Can’t remember exactly what words he used but they did give the impression it was an official announcement. Both the FAA and Police are investigating and the feeling is he’s in deep do,do.
Be interested in the outcome! The law does need to be on board with this if they want anyone to ‘do as the drone says’...
 

Meta4

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if I got a blue one instead of the green, and ‘assisted’ (flew past and seemed intimidating) to clear up some unauthorised gatherings that breach lockdown (not using a PA or flying at night) I wonder where I’d stand?
You'd stand a good chance of having someone knock your drone out of the air for being annoying.
People don't need drone flyers to assist with their understanding of rules.
And if you were brought to the attention of CASA, there's a high probability that they would be unimpressed as well.

Here's the NY incident mentioned earlier: FAA investigating mystery drone telling New Yorkers to socially distance
 

Davros007

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You'd stand a good chance of having someone knock your drone out of the air for being annoying.
And if you were brought to the attention of CASA, there's a high probability that they would be unimpressed as well.
Yes I wonder what CASA would do (“FAA” in Australia)? There are rules around aircraft lighting, maybe they could get you on these? But they don’t make any rules about impersonation as far as I know. Unsure what rules there are say, for someone flying a vintage WWII aircraft with airforce markings?
And how would it get ‘knocked out of the air’? I don’t think our police use EMP in general, and if you were not breaking a law, then they would be open to a lawsuit,
It seems so far there’s no actual law anyone knows about... I’ll inquire!
 

Davros007

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How close you flew to people is likely to be their first concern

Sticks, rocks, items of clothing etc are very effective and easily accessible.
Yep - but not if you’re 30m away as per CASA...
I’m not meaning some turkey ‘buzzing’ people! Just someone who simply wants to intimidate and control using red and blue lights. Hovering. Watching... watching... Or worse - someone using a PA to tell public to do something. Just came to mind with COVID19 stuff - many would just obey a red and blue flashing drone telling them to go home - what if it was telling them to “move to the subway immediately” or similar? I for one would not have a clue what an official police drone looks like, or (on the receiving end) the consequences if I give it the middle finger salute and wander off!
Just interested! Not out to try this out. But I bet it’s something more often in the news soon - as per the tool mentioned earlier in the thread (good intentions though!).
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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But they don’t make any rules about impersonation as far as I know. Unsure what rules there are say, for someone flying a vintage WWII aircraft with airforce markings?
CASA wouldn't be fussed about lighting, lighting isn't even a requirement here for the average hobbyist, we can't fly past that sunset hour . . . is it half hour or an an hour after sunset ? Not sure.
I've flown to pretty much until almost dark.

Not sure what commercial pilots would need if a waiver to fly for some reason was granted, most likely the red / green and white in the usual drone / aircraft navigation pattern.

The red / blue lights would be a Police matter, I'm sure.
A bit like flashing a badge / gun / using red & blue lights while in a motor vehicle, or pulling someone over pretending to be a LEO.

I think if you flew blue alone you'd be ok, if you have one red / one blue it might be dodgy.

The article and video @Meta4 linked to in post #10, was a drone channel doing a stunt with an M2E, it was on youtube, and it was in other threads on the forum, but can't find it now.
 

Davros007

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CASA wouldn't be fussed about lighting, lighting isn't even a requirement here for the average hobbyist, we can't fly past that sunset hour . . . is it half hour or an an hour after sunset ? Not sure.
I've flown to pretty much until almost dark.

Not sure what commercial pilots would need if a waiver to fly for some reason was granted, most likely the red / green and white in the usual drone / aircraft navigation pattern.

The red / blue lights would be a Police matter, I'm sure.
A bit like flashing a badge / gun / using red & blue lights while in a motor vehicle, or pulling someone over pretending to be a LEO.

I think if you flew blue alone you'd be ok, if you have one red / one blue it might be dodgy.

The article and video @Meta4 linked to in post #10, was a drone channel doing a stunt with an M2E, it was on youtube, and it was in other threads on the forum, but can't find it now.
Ha. Disappeared when it became “popular” I guess! Could have been kinda funny... but in the long run will give drones a bad name again...
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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Ha. Disappeared when it became “popular” I guess! Could have been kinda funny... but in the long run will give drones a bad name again...
Possibly because FAA began an investigation, but suppose the damage had already been done.
Think it was a permanent no fly zone, they should have known better.

This is the incident, though I'm not sure it was the drone channel I originally saw it on.


I'm not sure it this was the other side of the drone, could be looks like similar Hudson River location.

 

Davros007

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Possibly because FAA began an investigation, but suppose the damage had already been done.
Think it was a permanent no fly zone, they should have known better.

This is the incident, though I'm not sure it was the drone channel I originally saw it on.


I'm not sure it this was the other side of the drone, could be looks like similar Hudson River location.

Interesting! A bit over the top but I guess he has the right idea! Just not entirely wise approach! Especially if a NFZ...
 

Davros007

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I was interested in the ARCII public series by Firehouse Technology, just to give me a different light for the back of the M1P.
(Have had 2 orders via the US, but you have to order through someone there to forward over, or possibly you can get through ebay.)

Decided to avoid the Blue / Red, and to go the Red / White option . . . and to be honest I wouldn't bother with this again, I'd just go for white.

They are bright overall, but the white leds are the brightest of all the other coloured ones.
This is them flashing alternatively . . .

View attachment 98494 View attachment 98493

You can really see how much brighter the white are.
On your thought - yep, eBay was how I went.
 

MAvic_South_Oz

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On your thought - yep, eBay was how I went.
Funny they will ship from that point of purchase, but not the main website.
It is totally against airline rules to put any lipo, even as small as the Dual or ARCII, in with freight in the hold.

Ah well, I have plenty of them now, including some extras should any Aussie / NZ drone pilots wish to purchase any.
My idea was getting enough to make the shipping hassle worthwhile.
 
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