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For all those over zealous people out there:

Before you decide to shoot that drone out of your backyard, there are a few important things you need to know.

First of all, damaging any flying robot is a federal crime. It doesn’t matter if it’s crashing your pool party or watching you in your skivvies through the skylight in your master bath.

“In my legal opinion,” says Peter Sachs, a Connecticut attorney and publisher of Drone Law Journal, “it is never okay to shoot at a drone, shoot down a drone, or otherwise damage, destroy or disable a drone, or attempt to do so. Doing so is a federal crime.”

Here’s the thing. You might view a drone as many things: Creepy. Loud. Annoying. Scary. A sophisticated robot. A really cool toy. Target practice.

But in the eyes of the law, a drone is a full-fledged aircraft, and deserves the same kind of respect. Here’s what federal law (18 USC § 32) has to say:
 
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For all those over zealous people out there:

Before you decide to shoot that drone out of your backyard, there are a few important things you need to know.

First of all, damaging any flying robot is a federal crime. It doesn’t matter if it’s crashing your pool party or watching you in your skivvies through the skylight in your master bath.

“In my legal opinion,” says Peter Sachs, a Connecticut attorney and publisher of Drone Law Journal, “it is never okay to shoot at a drone, shoot down a drone, or otherwise damage, destroy or disable a drone, or attempt to do so. Doing so is a federal crime.”

Here’s the thing. You might view a drone as many things: Creepy. Loud. Annoying. Scary. A sophisticated robot. A really cool toy. Target practice.

But in the eyes of the law, a drone is a full-fledged aircraft, and deserves the same kind of respect. Here’s what federal law (18 USC § 32) has to say:
I think this is more of a grey area. Our quads are not registered with the FAA with call numbers such as seen on the tails of light aircraft. Some make the argument that since they are not so registered they are not in fact full fledged aircraft.
 
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I think this is more of a grey area. Our quads are not registered with the FAA with call numbers such as seen on the tails of light aircraft. Some make the argument that since they are not so registered they are not in fact full fledged aircraft.
As much as i don't like it, I see the point. Is it still considered an aircraft if you use it as a hobby? Hmmm. But then again, are you allowed to break someone's camera if they happen to catch a picture of you?
 
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I think this is more of a grey area. Our quads are not registered with the FAA with call numbers such as seen on the tails of light aircraft. Some make the argument that since they are not so registered they are not in fact full fledged aircraft.
Here is the FAA's Interpretation of the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (PDF):

http://www.faa.gov/uas/media/model_aircraft_spec_rule.pdf

Seemingly relevant excerpts:

"Historically, the FAA has considered model aircraft to be aircraft that fall within the
statutory and regulatory definitions of an aircraft, as they are contrivances or devices that are “invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.” See 49 USC 40102 and 14 CFR 1.1. As aircraft, these devices generally are subject to FAA oversight and enforcement."

and

"In Section 336, Congress confirmed the FAA’s long-standing position that model aircraft are aircraft. Under the terms of the Act, a model aircraft is defined as “an unmanned aircraft” that is “(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere; (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.” P.L. 112-95, section 336(c). Congress’ intention to define model aircraft as aircraft is further established by section 331(8) of the Act, which defines an unmanned aircraft as “an aircraft that is operated without the possibility of direct human intervention from within or on the aircraft.”"

mTp
 
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Thank you very much for the information. I was wondering how they viewed the hobby side of it. I was assuming (yes, I know what that gets me), that they really didn't care about anything flying under 400 ft. Now I'm a little more educated. The thing that annoys me is when low flying aircraft (always news Helicopters) fly into my flight area way under 400 feet. I have had that happen to me 5 times already. I just had that happen to me yesterday. I always manage to hear them in plenty of time, so there's never even any type of remote close call. I fly about 15 miles from the nearest airport. I fly responsibly always follow the rules. I would understand that law enforcement or medivac units had to fly low, but it's always the news media. Sometimes, if I didn't land quickly I could theoretically fly over them and still be under 400 ft. I know that they're covering traffic where several major interstates intersect nearby, but it's not like they don't have cameras that can count nose hairs from 1000 ft up. I know it seems petty, it's not like I lose sleep over it, it's just the principle of it. What if a heli crashed into a quad flying recreationally at 250 ft? I'm sure that somehow the quad would be at fault.
 

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Thank you very much for the information. I was wondering how they viewed the hobby side of it. I was assuming (yes, I know what that gets me), that they really didn't care about anything flying under 400 ft. Now I'm a little more educated. The thing that annoys me is when low flying aircraft (always news Helicopters) fly into my flight area way under 400 feet. I have had that happen to me 5 times already. I just had that happen to me yesterday. I always manage to hear them in plenty of time, so there's never even any type of remote close call. I fly about 15 miles from the nearest airport. I fly responsibly always follow the rules. I would understand that law enforcement or medivac units had to fly low, but it's always the news media. Sometimes, if I didn't land quickly I could theoretically fly over them and still be under 400 ft. I know that they're covering traffic where several major interstates intersect nearby, but it's not like they don't have cameras that can count nose hairs from 1000 ft up. I know it seems petty, it's not like I lose sleep over it, it's just the principle of it. What if a heli crashed into a quad flying recreationally at 250 ft? I'm sure that somehow the quad would be at fault.
The Quad (and read that as YOU being the operator) would ALWAYS be at fault as aircraft carrying souls take precedence over unmanned vehicles - ALWAYS.
Helicopters can fly from surface to whatever height they are cleared for and you should always be on the lookout for them.
This is where situational awareness comes in and as you have pointed out, you hear them first before you see them and are able to take evasive action.
This is where personally, I do not agree with long range FPV flying since if your aircraft is over a mile away from you with nothing more than 94 degree field of view and no aural information you basically have zero SA in the event of an air incursion.
 
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I had never thought about that in FPV flight. I had always wanted to be really good at it for FPV racing. Then again that is an extremely low altitude, well monitored event that barely breaks 30 feet.
If a multirotor pilot were to be deaf, he would need some sort of audio spotter? Very obvious point Editor, I can't beleive I missed it. Thanks.
 
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Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.


Just for reference, helicopters may operate at any altitude if the operation is conducted without hazard to person or property on the surface.
If you hear a helicopter getting close, please put your quad on the ground.
 
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I rarely find a need to climb above 200ft. However, I do announce my presence, altitude, and duration, just to cover my arse. I think the majority of cases we see in the news are purely irresponsible operators/hobbyist that should consider other peoples privacy and safety. Im not a fan of these long range, out of LOS pilots, there is just too much that can go wrong.
 
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Mostly, helicopters dont usually fly lower than about 3-400' agl, it makes to much noise and you loose the "happy wave" from people on the ground. However i have made many off airport landings for various resons, so you should be prepared to get out of the way, it is likely the heli pilot will not see your uav. For the most part, the freq i'm on is the local AP or area traffic. I agree with highrpm955, long range out of LOS is asking for trouble.
 
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I think this is more of a grey area. Our quads are not registered with the FAA with call numbers such as seen on the tails of light aircraft. Some make the argument that since they are not so registered they are not in fact full fledged aircraft.
If you are working under a 333 they are required. All of my aircraft have N numbers.
 
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Thank you very much for the information. I was wondering how they viewed the hobby side of it. I was assuming (yes, I know what that gets me), that they really didn't care about anything flying under 400 ft. Now I'm a little more educated. The thing that annoys me is when low flying aircraft (always news Helicopters) fly into my flight area way under 400 feet. I have had that happen to me 5 times already. I just had that happen to me yesterday. I always manage to hear them in plenty of time, so there's never even any type of remote close call. I fly about 15 miles from the nearest airport. I fly responsibly always follow the rules. I would understand that law enforcement or medivac units had to fly low, but it's always the news media. Sometimes, if I didn't land quickly I could theoretically fly over them and still be under 400 ft. I know that they're covering traffic where several major interstates intersect nearby, but it's not like they don't have cameras that can count nose hairs from 1000 ft up. I know it seems petty, it's not like I lose sleep over it, it's just the principle of it. What if a heli crashed into a quad flying recreationally at 250 ft? I'm sure that somehow the quad would be at fault.
Yes they most likely would. As a helicopter pilot I can assure you that below 400' is not 'your space' or reserved for UAS in any sense. It is your responsibility to avoid manned aircraft at all times. That is why you are required to keep your aircraft in sight at all times. Too many drone pilots incorrectly believe that because the FAA asks them to remain under 400' that this area is now 'our airspace'. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of all pilots to safely navigate and share the NAS. Understand that the manned aircraft you think is encroaching on your play time could be directed to be there for any number of law enforcement or life saving reasons and not necessarily just ENG.
 
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Yes they most likely would. As a helicopter pilot I can assure you that below 400' is not 'your space' or reserved for UAS in any sense. It is your responsibility to avoid manned aircraft at all times. That is why you are required to keep your aircraft in sight at all times. Too many drone pilots incorrectly believe that because the FAA asks them to remain under 400' that this area is now 'our airspace'. It is our responsibility and the responsibility of all pilots to safely navigate and share the NAS. Understand that the manned aircraft you think is encroaching on your play time could be directed to be there for any number of law enforcement or life saving reasons and not necessarily just ENG.
You're absolutely right, I have no interest in having any type of conflict with anyone or any aircraft over this, and I clearly understand about being directed to our through the air space as I said in an earlier post. I was under that impression that under 400-500 wasn't typical flight characteristics of helicopters. I could reasonably assume that these news and traffic helicopters were going to an area over 6nm away to a major highway intersection with heavy traffic. I have no claim to airspace, even over my own property.
 
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When I fly, I treat the airspace like I own it, (and even tell others that I do, "it's mine" I say).
But just like waterways, there are rules/rights, and I always know what's happening around me, I always will instantly land if any low flying manned aircraft were around, or any wildlife that could come into contact with my crafts were sighted, but when there is nothing around, I fly wherever the flip I want, and I fly like I own the sky. It's wonderful. You should see me fly, a smile will come across your face! :)
 
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