'It would be impractical for the development of air travel for individual landowners to own all the space above them, therefore legislators established a public easement in the airspace above 500 ft in order to prevent claims of trespassing.'
Considering that for a year in the sixties helicopters were my lifeline as I walked around in the jungle in Viet Nam, I'm surprised how much I've come to hate the sound of them when they fly over my property.
I haven't been bothered by drones, yet, though I can foresee it happening. I can see myself feeling quite put-out if one was hovering over my backyard for any length of time. Though I lost interest in weapons about 1970, I might make an exception for something that sounds like a gnat.
"Considering that for a year in the sixties helicopters were my lifeline as I walked around in the jungle in Viet Nam, I'm surprised how much I've come to hate the sound of them when they fly over my property."
Low flying aircraft can be a real nuisance. As a kid my parents house was right under the glide path for aircraft landing at Cleveland Hopkins airport. Years later when my wife and I bought a house in a rural area South of Cleveland, for a few years we ended up under the glide path for aircraft landing at Hopkins when the wind was blowing in an odd direction. But for the past 20 years, about twice a Summer, I get strafed with the Goodyear Blimp leaving Akron and heading West. <sheesh>
Anyway, my point is, if you've never heard a quad or hex copter, there is no way you would mistake it for anything remotely sounding like a helicopter. They sound much more like a hive of wasps. A 20 foot diameter hive of wasps. That's why video taken with a drone is almost always accompanied with a music track; to replaced the irritating buzzing of the props.
I keep an Ericson sailboat up in Friday Harbor (the extreme NW tip of the USA) and I go up there from time to time to escape and to fix boat-type things. A few weeks ago I was sitting in the cockpit with a beer and Oreo cookies, admiring the lingering sunset, when I heard a drone approaching. Surprisingly loud and sounded just like a bumblebee. Never got closer than maybe 30 feet away, but aside from my curiosity about the remarkable technology that allows such a stable platform it was kind of irritating. Don't think I would have shot at it, though.
From what I've read the guy who shot the drone used a load of itty-bitty pellets. I can't imagine those pellets doing much harm falling to earth a hundred feet away. Not like shooting a bullet up into the air.
You are confusing unregulated with uncontrolled airspace. There is no unregulated airspace in the USA but controlled airspace generally begins at 500 ft because ATC radar is unreliable at low altitudes. The FAA regulates airspace from the ground to 60,000 ft. when anything leaves the ground the flight is governed by FAA rules exclusively. Controlled airspace is that where ATC can provide radar coverage and separation of participating aircraft. That is aircraft on an IFR flight plan and VFR aircraft with a transponder requesting ATC services. That typically happens at 500 ft because below that ATC radar coverage is unreliable.
The answer to the question of how much airspace do you own is answered in the 1946 case U.S. vs. Causby, the Supreme Court said landowners have exclusive right of airspace surrounding their property. In part, the decision says “The landowner owns at least as much of the space above the ground as the can occupy or use in connection with the land”.
The SCOTUS decision of last century is still good. Navigable airspace is an undefined term. Drones are navigating in the NAS, so that would make it navigable airspace even though it is in uncontrolled airspace.
So, an overflight of 100 ft or even 50 ft over your typical home is probably not trespass. If you stop to watch the teenage daughter sunbathing nude, then you are likely violating trespass laws regardless of your altitude. We don't need a definition of how much airspace does the homeowner own because there are already plenty of state and local laws covering trespass - we don't need any more rules. These laws are technology agnostic, meaning that it doesn't matter if you're using a drone or a camera on a pole. Trespass is trespass.
Shooting down a drone would likely violate weapon discharge ordinances and would also be a violation of 18 U.S. Code § 32 - 'Destruction of aircraft or aircraft facilities'. Shooting at a drone 200ft up is not protecting anything. Period. Unless the drone shoots first.
Nothing new here. Armed drones have been around for quit some time. The only issues about this drone (if it's real), are the legality of who is doing the shooting, and the reliability and safety of the gun platform. Federal law stipulates that you must be 21 or older to own a handgun. But there are no laws regarding how a gun must be handled while it's being used. Many target shooters use rifle or pistol rests when they shoot at the range or on their own property. Mechanically, there's little difference between firing a weapon mounted on a drone or mounted on a gun mount; with the exception of course that the drone is more maneuverable. The hysteria surrounding this video seems to be far out of proportion with the reality (if it's real) of the situation.
i can assure you that some ***** will mount a gun to a drone (and i don't doubt the fact it's been and being done already)
You're right. It was on Good Morning America a couple of weeks ago--someone shooting a gun from a drone. It seems that every week or so there is a segment about drones getting into flight paths of commercial jetliners during approach or last week firefighting aircraft in California. In fact, this morning on GMA, there were reports of 2 incidents at JFK. Drones are really neat and the video from some that I've seen is truly amazing. But these ****heads are doing their best to ensure that there will be tighter regulation in the future which will only affect those using them responsibly in the first place. Pretty sad.
"i have every intention of shooting anything that flies above my house that doesn't fall within the statutory regulations"
If that's true, and you live in an urban area like the idiot who fired a gun into the air several times to bring down the drone, maybe we'll see pictures of you being booked by the police on charges of "WANTON ENDANGERMENT-1ST DEGREE". Firing a weapon into the air within the city limits of Louisville, Kentucky is about the d.u.m.b.e.s.t. thing I've ever heard of. William Meridith Arrest Record
Different states and cities have different rules. In general, no shooting within X feet of someone else's occupied house/business. I even contacted the sheriff and even though I can legally defend myself with a firearm against a violent attacker, I'm still breaking the law & can get arrested for firing my gun withing X feet of another occupied dwelling. So, legally, if my neighbor was using a drone to spy on my daughter changing through her windows and taking video, I can get arrested if I shoot it down even though he was breaking the law because I'm to close to my neighbors.
As this example shows, the person firing the weapon will be the issue, not the violation of privacy.
Firing a weapon into the air within the city limits of Louisville, Kentucky is about the d.u.m.b.e.s.t. thing I've ever heard of.
No. People in Texas are even dumber. I grew up in Houston and used to visit my mom during Christmas until her passing. On New Year's Eve, you could always hear lots of gunfire around midnight, even an occasional burst from an automatic weapon. Tragically, a little 3 year girl lost her life from a bullet from her dad's gun returning to earth. Perhaps her death was punishment enough, but one can only hope that he's still locked up for his crime--stupidity or not. Completely senseless--like so many things you see today.