Help with Drone confrontation

Seen this from Geeksvana, thought the pdf download links might be handy to some :sunglasses::+1:t2:


As your man says, the vast majority of interactions with the public are friendly, just people showing an interest. If nothing else the printed out *.pdfs should give the very occasional Mr Angry enough distraction to occupy him while you calmly hover or land and pack away before putting your point of view.


I love the suggestion of dealing with a confrontation by responding “I’m sorry, I’m not able to talk right now…”

The obvious follow up would be that “your self righteous anger is very important to us so please leave a message we’ll respond as soon as we give a toss”…

Still… tazer…?


Loved this: Ranger Tries to stop me Flying My Drone Over a Loch. - YouTube

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I had my first negative interaction last week after 2.5 years. Youngish chap sat on a bench, it’s dusk and he’s there with his dog and bike leaning against a wall. Take off about 50 yards away, fly out over the beach and start walking along the promenade towards him. Drone has lit strobes which he told me hurt his eyes and he said the dog was scared of the noise. It hadn’t flinched in all the time I could see it, eyes closed head on his lap. I apologized and flew away from them.

An hour later a bike went past at speed with dog trying to keep up. Must have been him again, can’t think of anyone else I’d met that evening who’d shout fuck off you twat as they cycled past.

Although rare (ive had maybe 3 issues in about 7 years of use) my general template now if someone comes up is an initial response of "For reference im conducting a legal flight in and will be complete in about ".
At that point id also start at least audio recording on a mobile device in case it turns nasty.

At that point i’d try to ignore the person if possible. If they stomp and yell about calling the police i ask them to please do so and the issue can be sorted out.

Any threats to me and/or drone should be recorded by that point to submit to the police if they try anything.

Usually though i find after stating its a legal flight under whatever category and any documentation will be given to a relevant authority for inspection if required they just give up and walk off.

Just make sure you are allowed to be flying there first though.

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Hi all

Ok,say you have found a spot which seems a good safe location & out of harms way etc,
Done what checks you can at the time to see if or who owns the land we’re you are but can’t find anything,so you fly your drone & then out of nowhere you are approached with what I’ve called it “ some confrontation ok “ so you land your drone first for safety then engage in a conversation with the person / persons,if they are saying they own the land or it’s someone else’s private property & you have no right to be there,do I you or we just take there word for it pack up & move on,or do we ask to see some sort of proof in what there saying is true ? The only reason I ask this for people maybe like myself & others who are looking for new places to TOAL from,then obviously if what your doing is well within your rights or law but someone does not like drones & does not like what your doing & just trying to ruin your day & move you on.
How is that approached by us amicable,I hope this is not a silly question but anyone can say look mate move on I own that land or whatever,as we can prove our certificates or test or our flyer operator I D can’t we.So do the jo public have to prove anything in return.


Very few people carry deeds to their land around with them.

If not researched beforehand, apologise and move on, or argue the toss, it all depends on your appetite for confrontation.

Just get and out fly, too many people are over thinking this

Post moved here to one of many threads on the same subject

Not looking for the confrontation or argument for sure.
I new no one be walking around with there deeds as such & your comment appreciated & taken in.

For me, it would be a polite apology to start with. Then, depending on the tone of the conversation, I would try and enter a conversation with a view to getting routine permission to fly at that location - maybe by offering a few photos to the land owner :man_shrugging:
Nothing ventured nothing gained …

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@Jhdee yes that sounds like a fair & compromising offer if all fails,Yepp sorry sir or madam enjoy your day & move on !

Had a sort of similar deal but with a security guard recently. Apparently I’d ventured into an area I shouldn’t be. As I’m quite polite in these situations, after all the guy thinks he is just doing his job then I landed, packed up, and proceeded to leave whilst being ‘escorted’

Unfortunately the guard was in no mood to listen to me to explain how and why I’d managed to get to where I was and that there was literally nothing to say that I couldn’t be there from the way I had got there and how they could prevent this happening again if indeed people were not supposed to be there with some simple signage.

He was having none of it and then started to go down some very strainge route that I was belittling him and just because I was better educated and all sorts. (If only he knew, but at this point I knew I was onto a loser so it just wasn’t worth talking anymore)

Trespassing is civil at the end of the day. If you’re asked to leave, just leave. Only if you refuse to leave or cause criminal damage will the police get involved.

You can always do a land property search query for £7. For the amount of searches you’ll probably do a year, I’m sure it’s cheaper than a sub to DronePrep for example! :wink:

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The thing is as well, in many cases, where there’s no barrier nor sign to prevent you from entering the land, you’re on the land under the legalese term “as of right” which means with an implied permission to be there, or no implied objection from the landowner. Being on land “by right”, however, means with explicit permission from the landowner whether by signage or written/verbal communication or other explicit means. Public rights of way are often established after a statutory period of public “as of right” use, as a statutory by right permission to use the land after that point.

If you’re on land “as of right”, or using it for a purpose “as of right” like flying a drone (there’s no no drones signs for example), you’re still not technically a trespasser until asked to leave.

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And try and get the police out to help you out, it’s near impossible. Unless you can get the magic words into the phone call, alarm, harass, distress.

I’ve never had a bad confrontation with someone but did have a bystander come up to me, who clearly thought I shouldn’t by flying there.

A quick statement like this worked wonders :grinning:

I have authorisation from the government’s Civil Aviation Authority to fly here under the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Regulations.

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Tell them you are working for the local council planning committee, photographing the area for (depending on your mood) a housing estate, landfill or solar farm.

Karen and Ken then head for Facebook/Nextdoor


Amen that :pray:t2:

I told a story about a brief drone confrontation with a local in the treasure hunt challenge thread recently, from when I was photographing Norton Water Tower in Runcorn.

Guy just simply tried to assert to me that I shouldn’t be doing it and I simply held my ground and was assertive that I could. He buggered off pretty quickly. It’s all about your tone, body language, and how you present yourself.

Don’t be defensive, don’t go on the back foot. You’re not doing anything illegal. Simply stay confidently assertive.

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I’d also add, “tell them to hurry up as I’ll only be flying here for another hour or so”.


I know this really wont help people caught in this situation, but I’m afraid I’m quite short tempered. My wife also thinks I’m bipolar which I dont think helps very much. The answer you’d get from me will entirely depend on the way you ask and phrase your question. You’ll either get Gordon ramsay on steroids or giles brandreth on happy pills :pill: I always try to be nice, honest. But sometimes people ask really stupid questions and say really stupid things. :roll_eyes:

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