How do you handle the curious public?

Just watched this YouTube video.

The guy has some interesting points to make about members of the public who approach you with questions while you’re trying to fly your drone safely.

Clearly it’s about situations in America but has anyone here had such an experience and how did you handle them - particularly any potentially aggressive encounters? Leave a comment below and help your fellow members deal with any situations that might happen to them.

Friendly people: Take hands off sticks to stop it, tell them briefly “it stays still when you take your hands off the controls, but I can’t talk and fly, so hang on a second and when I land it, we can chat”

Aggressive people: Take hands off sticks, tell them calmly “The Civil Aviation Authority make the rules for flying, and their rules are simply ‘stay more than 50 metres away from people and buildings’ which I’m doing; it’s no different to a hot air balloon or paraglider…”

People accusing you of spying: “It’s like spying with your mobile phone on something 200 hundred feet away; everything is a tiny dot, so don’t’ worry… I assure you, I’m interested in landscape, not you or your car / garden / whatever…”

Thankfully I’ve only ever had friendly people, but it’s good to be ready for anything…
Ian in London


I had a dog walker ask me about it so took hands off and showed him the controller and then the drone after landing explained the limitations of the camera and drone he seems really interested. Not had a problemwiith aggressive people yet. But if you explain in simple terms most would be ok with it.

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Thought about this just the other day, A chap (whom had a penchant for Burberry) came wandering over quizzing me… fortunately he had his g/f, child, buggy and related paraphernalia with him so i reasoned he wasn’t looking to nick anything - asked if i could land it so his boy (2 yr old) could see. Lots of oohs and ahhs from child and when asked if it was expensive i downplayed the value. Probably a bit judgemental on my part but better to be safe than sorry!

My missus did ask what i would have done if someone came trying to nick it… I said i’d give them a close up view - 40mph of bladed terror zooming at your head ought to put most scallies off!

In all seriousness though - has anyone had any “near misses” with people with, less than, good intentions?

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I’ve had a few curious people approach me.
Generally just after a chat.

One was a retired photographer and he knew it was the Mavic straight away. He had been researching it, think the chat and demo sold it to him.

I’m normally flying well away from people so not had an issue.

Me too.

Drone rule #1 … fly so you don’t get noticed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ah, so you employ the old Jedi mind-trick - “nothing to see here, move on”. :smiley:


Hide in the undergrowth - no high viz for you …

Could be misconstrued … :stuck_out_tongue:

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I try and keep myself to myself when flying. Anybody does approach, generally they’re just curious and full of questions. Best to interact and be as polite and friendly as possible, and they tend to leave you alone.

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Most of time time I tend to fly in remote, isolated places. Mainly because I don’t want random members of the public getting in the way of my photos :smiley:

That said, I’ve been approached a bunch of times, mainly from people who are simply curious. I always offer to show them the screen and they’re always fascinated by it :+1:

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I’ve only had vaguely interested idle curiosity so far, most people seem to keep their distance, though children are more forward in wanting a look

Funniest comment, last year, before take-off, was (you have to imagine this said with a shudder) “that’s one of those drone things isn’t it, horrible things, looks like a spider”

Did make me wonder how big her bath was…

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Some wraps could accentuate that impact, too! … eyes and things … :stuck_out_tongue:

Your from Wigan and you fly alone (no pies involved) WOW

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Most of time time I tend to fly in remote, isolated places. Mainly because I don’t want random members of the public eating my :pie:


Either she has never seen a spider :spider: can’t count legs or she has an entirely new species in her bath with four legs. :clown_face: