Just seen this on the local news (ITV Meridian South (UK))

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/story/2014-12-31/photojournalist-a...

Seems like it wasn't handled particularly well at the time, surely common sense would allow the pilot to land before getting all aggro.

The pilot claims to have CAA permission, although I can understand why there were complaints given the situation and what he was trying to record.

I wonder if he really was within the rules. Seems even with claimed permissions and training, it can still get controversial.

There is a chap near to me that is getting a lot of coverage, I think he is amerture, but still flaunting FPV guidlines flying around town.

Lets not let 2015 be the year of the idiot that ruins our hobby, not saying the people I mention are or aren't idiots, but It does seem to be becoming more common that these appear in the UK news.

Views: 1917

Comment by Stuart Brookes on January 1, 2015 at 1:48am

Some nice logical responses to the article I posted, thanks guys.

Still confused how I feel about this one, other than sad to see a negative story in the news again. It does seem that the as much as the pilot is protesting, this is mostly  as a result of his actions as far as I can tell.

It does seem like he has two friends/colleagues with him so that one FPV doubt I had initially (spotter) removed.

I think the the comments above saying just land when asked are the key to a reasonable outcome in these situations.

Hopefully these negative stories won't snow ball, and I hope all sides learn from the experiance in a logic and reasoned way rather than some knee jerk response.

Comment by Stuart Brookes on January 1, 2015 at 1:53am

I also agree I don't want to see these used for photo journalism, although no doubt inevitable. That may actually be enough for me to give up this hobby and go anti...I hope that never happens

Comment by Marius van Rijnsoever on January 1, 2015 at 3:18am

Quick transcript:

Police (while  walking towards uav operator from a great distance): "this is your final request, please bring your drone down"

UAV operator: "I will, but can not do this while you are coming at me like that, I need to control this plane"

Police: " i am arresting you for breaching the peace"

UAV operator: "Please let me bring this bloody thing down".

Police obviously have no clue the effects they could have had by their behaviour (UAV crashing into someone). They were annoyed (probably by what happened before the video started). But you should not give a final warning and then arrest the person 2 seconds after he immediately states that he will comply.

Maybe some UAV training for police officers. He would have gotten a fine for not obeying police orders, but luckily he had the video evidence that shows he wanted to comply.

Comment by Darrell Burkey on January 1, 2015 at 3:19am

I had a look at his web site and think his work is impressive. It's not like he's a paparazzi type of photographer. Aerial photos can be quite useful to the police as well as for journalists. Take note that many police departments themselves are looking at using UAVs to support their work. 

It's hard to tell what happened in this situation. If he was ignoring requests from the Police then he was just asking for trouble. 


MR60
Comment by Hugues on January 1, 2015 at 5:04am

This video clearly points out that authorities on the field (policemen, firemen, etc) need as much UAV education as operators do. The behaviour of the police in this case was extremely dangerous and could have been the cause for people or property harmful damage. They should have left the UAV operator with enough time to land his drone  in a a calm and safe manner. I would be the operator in this video, I would drag these police officers in court for willingly violating people and property safety.

Comment by Phill Scott on January 1, 2015 at 6:41am

They did.  The video starts at the final warning.  We don't see the build up, where the drone is, or how the operator behaved.  All we see is the operator filming police arrest him (whilst he is also apparently trying to land his copter?).  

I would rather those two officers were assissting at the fatal incident than having to waste most of their shift dealing with him.

Comment by Monroe King on January 1, 2015 at 6:04pm

I don't think I'd like a drone flying over filming my dead body. I don't think my family would either. This the kind of journalism that can do more harm than good.

Now if something is happening in real time that could help in an investigation of how an incident happened that would be useful. (also nearly impossible to get) But filming the aftermath should wait until there has been proper respect for the deceased.

I don't really know what the situation was but if I saw authorities approaching me I call out I'm bringing the aircraft down please stand by. The aircraft is on landing approach. I'm landing the aircraft in this vicinity please stand clear.

I'd have my spotters know what to do in this situation and have them point out the aircraft is approaching and where the LZ was. The spotters should be able to access the situation and be ready to let the pilot know the authorities are about to approach him. It's the spotters job to protect the pilot from possible interference. That is why they are there.  

Let the authorities know you have control of the aircraft.

That is how a professional would handle an incident like this.

The first thing I would do is engage RTL just in case. 

There could be an inbound helicopter or some other issue they have concern about the officers on site may not know what the situation is either. They may just be following orders themselves.

You can't possibly know in a situation like this.

Then wait for clearance if you have proper authority. If you respond in a professional manner it is much more likely you may get clearance.

This guy's reactions show he does not know what to do in this situation as a professional.

I don't care how cool or good his work is. The results of his unprofessional response to authorities speaks volumes to the world about drone operators. volumes     

Comment by Monroe King on January 1, 2015 at 6:13pm

I must add Some of the responses here are impressive to me. It appears to me more people in the drone community are taking the right stance. For a change I'm again proud to be a part of this community. For the longest time here I have been very concerned for the hobby and the commercial interest as well. It looks like some droners are beginning to give the right impression to the public and showing we have the proper respect and professionalism.

I have renewed hope in you. Thank you   

Comment by Tissy on January 3, 2015 at 7:25pm

Interesting how he is clearly operating the UAV AND managing to operate a mobile phone to capture the incident.  Don't know about other people, but I prefer to focus on the task of flying.  Perhaps more focus should've been taken on doing as he was evidently being told to do instead of filming the consequences when action is taken.  Unfortunately incidents like this put legitimate operators in a bad light.  Law is one thing you have to comply with, common sense is down to you !

Comment by Ben Norris on January 5, 2015 at 9:13am

It seems to me that he was quite clearly breaching regulations by flying too close to people and buildings.  This is shown from his own photos and comment. He also states on his twitter that he doesn't need special permission to do that because he has a BNUC but it is my understanding that that does not give you any kind of exemption from the general rules unless you have explicit permission for that flight (which he admits he did not have). Also we are told that he did not land when first asked because he believed he had permission to fly, whether he did or not he should have complied with the police instruction and then argued his case to send it back up rather than endangering people and property by forcing them to take action against him with it in the air.

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