Went flying today to try out my new anafi thermal and took off with no-one around within 50 metres, then a stupid dog ran towards my drone at 40 feet and started barking at the drone, then the owner encroached within 15 metres of me to say I was flying illegally and it was her following the dog that made her nearer to me so I tried to land the drone to keep the peace but the bloody dog was trying to grab it, so she starts screaming at me. I say control your dog and I will land it so she starts to write in a notebook saying she was going to report me ---- for what? Sometimes you just cant win with these jobsworth
I wouldn’t be surprised if the same person is happy to let her dog off the lead and run loose in public areas, free to bound up to whoever it likes and for the subject of the dog’s attention to be told “Don’t worry, he/she’s very friendly”.
Sounds like a tricky situation, particularly if the person in question wasn’t willing to control the dog. I’m sure if you had tried to land the drone and the dog had been injured then not many people would be willing to hear your side of the story.
I think I would have been very reluctant to land with both the dog and its owner in close proximity. I maybe wrong in saying this but surely that fact she was interfering/distracting the pilot of a drone in flight is against the law or just downright dangerous at the very least.
Was this somewhere dogs would be expected to be under control? I’d say the dog owner had some responsibility to control their dog around other people especially as it was acting aggressively to the drone. That would then allow you not to hurt the dog on landing if it tried to grab a drone in flight.
Dangerous maybe. It’s not against the law though (for details see Myth #5 at Graham Degg’s blog). Legally the responsibility is entirely on the pilot to ensure they can make the flight safely. That includes ensuring no uninvolved persons will stray within the separation distance, and that the pilot can remain free from distraction.
This came up on one of the Facebook groups. Even if the dog was out of control, that doesn’t absolve the pilot of their absolute responsibility to be able to conduct the flight safely. Both parties can be legally in the wrong, but the dog owner probably has a better argument if they say that the dog had never seen a drone before, so they couldn’t have expected how it would behave. Whereas the pilot will find it tough to argue that you won’t encounter dogs off lead in a park.
Some parks are covered by a PSPO requiring dogs to be kept on lead. The pilot might have a better argument if that was the case.
Of course the reality of all this is that the chances of it ever going “legal” are next to nothing anyway
Not that I have the answer to this, but what concerns me is at the time of take off you have an empty field your drone is in the distance and this were to happen I go back to the time of take off it was safe to make the flight
If I had enough battery power left, rather than try to land the drone with an excitable dog nearby I would have been inclined to fly it up and well away and hover. Then point out to the lady that the drone was in a legal position and ask her to continue with her walk, promising to land the drone as soon as she was well clear of the landing point.
I’ve not had any issues and I certainly don’t know the answers.
I would always be as un-confrontational as possible BUT confident in what I say. Being close to 17 stone and just short of 6ft I know I can look threatening so always try and downplay it.
BS baffles brains as they say.
In the above scenario pointing out the dog was acting aggressively and that if the Police were involved it could classed as out of control and a threat to the public which could mean it being confiscated and put down.
Then ask for the dog to be put on a lead and therefore under control.
Ask her to move away to 150 metres, BE SPECIFIC that that is the legally required separation needed.
(no need to explain legally needed by the pilot!).
Once she has moved away land the drone, put it safely away then ask her to discuss her concerns.
Aggressive reaction will always escalate the situation unless you are 7ft tall, 23 stone and carrying a sawn off shotgun!
I always tend to fly with SWMBO so it is easier to converse with members of the public as we tend not to fly at the same time.
Thanks @kvetner for clearing that one up. I have heard both sides of that argument so wasn’t quite sure. It really does put the responsibility on the pilot to make sure all situations in the air and on the ground are covered. Never had this happen to me but will be more mindful about it from now on.
Looks like there’s some practice hand catching in the near future for you maybe.
Sounds like no matter what you do though ‘Karen’ would always be moaning.
Did you have an incident / log number from the police? I’ve found when flying in potential areas where ‘Karen’s’ hide round corners, placing a call to the police prior to flying & then quoting the incident number to ‘Karen’ it takes the wind out of their sails. Giving them the satisfaction of thinking they’re right isn’t part of my mentality.
Fortunately the dialogs I’ve had in potential conflict types of situations have all ended positively
It’s the main reason I’m finding it difficult to get some of the city centre shots that I want. It’s all very well flying in A1 and happily above buildings and people, but it’s difficult finding a location where I know the TOAL can be done without people causing bother, and where I still have good VLOS.