This video is circulating in the FPV Racing community, and should be required viewing for anyone considering flying in a public space…
A group of FPV pilots were flying at an AMA RC field after a race. One fellows quad lost signal and did what it was supposed to do – dropped to the ground. Unfortunately, a woman walking nearby decided she had been ‘attacked’ by the drone and almost killed, so she stole the drone and tried to hide it from the pilots. The pilots had an RSSI fix on the drone, so they knew she was carrying it. She became argumentative, combative, and ultimately hysterical, threatening the pilots.
The GoPro was running the entire time, and recorded what happened.
Without this recording, it would be the pilots word against her. But even without this, this is the world all pilots must understand we’re living in. People distrust drones, and have unreasoning hatred toward them. Pilots must understand that people will lie to our faces, steal our equipment, and attack us, no matter how careful we are.
These pilots did exactly the right thing. Remained calm, recorded everything, did not threaten or confront other than wanting their equipment back. They brought in the police who immediately understood the woman was not being reasonable, and the encounter ended peacefully.
Remember – people are people. No matter how in the wrong they may be, do not argue, do not confront, and make sure you’re covered. Before flying in any area, no matter how ‘safe’ it may seem, make sure you have your AMA membership, FCC registration, and understand all the flight restrictions and permitting that are applicable.
And always, when the opportunity arises, educate. Talk with people, show them what we’re doing. Nine times out of ten, one experience with FPV goggles will do far more than an argument shouted across a park will ever do.