Yellow journalism runs amok with another Drone Drama, getting it wrong, again:

The San Francisco Chronicle (a notorious hack-blatt with an accuracy record roughly that of the National Enquirer) has stolen re-posted a story and video clip from something called "Business Insider" (is that an allusion to illegal stock trading, or what?) under the headline

It Looks Like Raging Hockey Fans Destroyed An LAPD Drone Last Night

The video clearly shows a plain vanilla Phantom (or clone), stupidly piloted low over the crowd by someone who I will bet my Pixhawk is about as far from being an LAPD member as is Justin Beiber. As for the drone, LAPD has a pair of yet undeployed Draganflyer X6's, a gift from Seattle PD who were prevented by the Luddites of that notoriously tech-shy region from using them.

Here's the link to this POS: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/It-Looks-Like-Raging-Hockey-Fans-Destroyed-An-5553028.php

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  • I really think that we are going to need to start trying to actually extend our reach and help educate both the public and the new casual quadcopter users.

    If we don't, we are going to suffer from even more ill advised, rules, regulations and laws designed to eliminate the problem.

    On my dronesarefun site I have put in a printable page designed to be used as a handout when we are flying in public.

    It both describes our efforts to fly responsibly and respectfully of others privacy and gives introductory information for people who are interested.

    It isn't much but its a start, and if you are so inclined I'd very much appreciate it if you would take a look and let me know what you think I could say better (keeping in mind that I want to keep the total number of words to about whats there so as to not lose peoples attention completely).


    Best Regards,


  • The sad thing is we will most likely see increasing number of incidents like this. As multirotors become more popular and cheaper to buy, we'll get a slew of people with no idea of what they're doing flying in precarious situations like this. Just watch the latest and previous Parrot adverts, they show some guy just having fun at the beach with their Parrot and controlling so easy, while a previous advert showed someone flying a Parrot thru halls in a University or building if I recall correctly. Stuff like that makes it look like these craft are easy to fly, harmless and fun. Unfortunately, for every conscientious multirotor enthusiast there are 2, or 5, or 10 potentially dumb pilots waiting to add to the drone incidents list 

  • Merci Swift :)

  • I also note from photos of the phantom  drone involved  that its battery indicating nav/orientation lights were duct taped over for reduced night time visibility from the ground or for no excess light in the flight video and may have contributed to low flight /possible RTL/autoland  behaviour because of low battery charge data NOT being available to the pilot no matter who was flying same visually.



    Photos: LA Kings fans take down drone out of the air
    LA Kings fans take down drone out of the air<!--more-->
  • The other possibility is an ill advised attempt by news media or their agents or independent reports to get action shots. 

    and given the LAtimes.com reporting of same it now seems more than one drone(paper reported several) was hovering outside the arena.. just that one managed to be downed..


    ps kind of funny that my very first mk 1 eyeball view of a phantom vision 1 was as it was removed from a local PD   officers trunk  at the vendor.. he was one of the very first customers of a local vendor for same.

  • the other comment is that while you and I, @Oliver, are well aware of the shortcomings of a civilian design such as a Phantom Vision quad(TX  AA battery holder, funky autopilot, blade loss failure mode at 9.8m/s**2, freaky encrypted battery controller comms to FC etc ad nauseam) as opposed to a y6/x8 or other multibladed copter that can survive  certain component malfunctions without dead drops into the middle of a crowd,

    the individual officers purchasing such devices only see the supposed advantage that it will give them and NOT so much the safety issues. ie the above with the local commander was 1 week after the release of the PV1 and LONG before the no airports modification was made to the firmware.

    And the forensics guys wanting these for overhead shots at murder scenes are even worse :)

    and given LEO indemnification they will be and are being pressed into service no matter how ill advised at present, this is the reality happening in my area and others.(and Peter Sachs Esq area as well it seems.)


    ps I was also advised by a local  monterey county CHP motorcycle officer of the CHP officer(his partner) carrying a DJI 800 in his trunk for  also for "support", he spotted my drone on the front seat, this was nov 2013 on side of the highway when he needed to chat with me about my speed :) so yes individual officers ARE employing these..

  • if  the LA Sheriffs Dept was present and they do  operate under totally different guidelines and legal strictures than LAPD(county vs city)  they are another possibility.

    they got yelled at before for fixed wind drones  by the FAA and now that the legal sitrep has "clarified" may be experimenting again.

    Still another possibility  here is a friend or consultant to the department or individual officers/commanders  was present  and casually requested to provide support.. that scenario has happened already at fire scenes(just ask Peter Sachs Esq) and other accident scenes.

    And flying so low?? the day I saw a local commander getting his phantom vision 1 serviced it was for the laughable DJI encrypted battery  connection malfunctioning and causing early landing and low performance of the same quad..They were attempting to fix it with an ink eraser on the contacts and finally swapped out his PV battery with a new one.

    This testing was happening right next to the ****** airport in SJ in an industrial area  and 101/880 were overflown with supposedly trained and experienced model heli pilots working at a local vendor.(oct 2013)

    Low battery, inadequate preflight  and disaster after takeoff explains that fairly handily without any deliberate attempts at low overflight .. and its(there WAS a riot going on!) KIND of a high pressure scenario for MOST civilian drone pilots to operate in without practice it would be completely natural to flub the preflight checklist if indeed there was any existing for that pilot whether actual LEO or not...

    Another comment on police vs "governing authority" policies and procedures.. while the LA city council and Public may wring their hands about "drone policy" until dept regs are promulgated said city/county policy doesnt exist for the officer on the line and even then there may be exceptions to same in state and county law/regulation/case law that allow an individual  officer use to slide by(exigent circumstances).

             I deal in reality not the party line


    ps http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-06-19-la-drone_x.htm

    Sheriff to test drone for crimefighting - USATODAY.com
    The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is testing an unmanned, remote-controlled surveillance plane. Depending on the outcome of the tests, the…
  • Operating a quad so low over such a dense crowd seems totally irresponsible.

    One thing struck me:
    I've been scrolling down comments under the article on sfgate.
    I'm amazed by the extremely high proportion of violent anti-drones comments.
    "Take them all down" seems to be pretty common and accepted opinion.
    Again, I can understand people being annoyed by invading or irresponsible use of drones/UAVs/RC crafts.
    (Those who fly drones without consideration for safety or privacy really harm our hobby and give credit to the haters.)

    I'm afraid we may be facing tough times and maybe expensive gear losses in the next months.
    Even the ones (as most of us in the DIYD community) who built their craft with heart and fly it respecting safety and privacy rules (and/or common sense).

    Really hope I'm wrong.

    Least we can do is explaining our hobby, how drones/UAVs can benefit the society and be ambassadors of a responsible use.
    (Well, that last part was pretty obvious...)


    PS: Not lecturing anyone here. I "may" have broken a few rules myself ;)
    But I'm trying to be as respectful of laws and others as possible.
    Not saying I've not annoyed a few neighbors with the buzzing sound of hovering quad, never unintentionally recorded someone I didn't intended to (thanks GoPro wide angle ;-) ), not contemplated flying long range...
    But I would never intentionally act in a way people would think I'm putting them or their property at risk or disrespecting their privacy (like hovering over people sunbathing on a beach)

  • Admin

    Gentlemen, let's keep this discussion civil and eliminate the "name calling" and "bating" or it will be necessary to close this thread.


    TCIII Admin 

  • @oliver(troll).. no I wont identify the department.. and rest assured I DO work with a lot of local PD in the bay area and have noted this issue growing.. as a troll you are obviously misinformed about what goes on down here where I have contacts... and yes individual officers are NOT robots and will use whaetver advantage they can absent individual dept standing orders.. and VERY few depts have official policies regarding drones and the ones that DO.. have policies about dept owned drones.. not individual officers property.. And its OBVIOUS you have NEVER been friends or worked with a local PD.. as this stuff goes on all the time...

           what a tool..


        as for the rest go soak your head as usual troll

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