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Activists' Drone Shot Out of the Sky For Fourth Time 733

Posted by samzenpus
from the and-stay-down dept.
garymortimer writes "Photos provided by the animal rights group show the multicopter smoking on the ground, with its lithium polymer battery supply smoldering. Another photo shows the drone's video camera smashed. The drone, dubbed 'Angel,' was a Cinestar 8 octocopter estimated at $4,000. This wasn't the first time SHARK has been shot out of the sky. This is the fourth drone that the group has lost while investigating pigeon shootings. One drone landed on club property, and is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit."
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Activists' Drone Shot Out of the Sky For Fourth Time

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  • by nurb432 (527695) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:22PM (#42032495) Homepage Journal

    If you fly a drone over my land, ill shoot it down too. Its an invasion of my privacy and borderline trespassing.

    • by night_flyer (453866) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:25PM (#42032543) Homepage

      its not even borderline trespassing, your property includes the space above your property

    • by schlachter (862210) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:27PM (#42032557)

      at any altitude?
      what about public airspace?

      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:37PM (#42032713)

        In 1926 the U.S. Congress passed the Air Commerce Act, which declared that the "navigable air space" of the U.S. was a public highway, open to all citizens. Navigable air space was defined as the sky above "the minimum safe altitudes of flight" as determined by federal regulators — typically 500 to 1,000 feet above the ground.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          This assumes people are travelling and not spying.

          California IIRC has passed laws about helicopters hanging around stars' houses, or tried to anyway.

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:48PM (#42032877)

        at any altitude? what about public airspace?

        This issue is well-established in law. Ever seen those balloon rides or events? They tend to land on private property. In fact, it's pretty much inevitable. You know what happens? Nothing. The police don't show up. The land owner doesn't shoot the balloons out of the sky. Strangely, people seem to act civilized (shocking, I know). On occasion, the balloon chase vehicle and pilot need to pay for property damage, because they do land in crop fields from time to time, but this is well-understood by all parties to be the cost of doing business -- hand shakes resolve these issues more than lawsuits.

        Then you have animal rights activists. They take a position not supported by law (pidgeon shoots are legal) and then fly a loud mini-copter with surveillance gear over an area filled with dozens to hundreds of sharpshooters who disagree with their position. And they then acted shocked and dismayed when their toys get shot down and the police do nothing. News flash: The police don't have to investigate any crime. They have broad discretion. Know why? Because your neighbors dropping the bass at 2am may not be as important as the shots fired call four blocks away. And just about everything is more important than some inflammatory political activists pissing off their neighbors on purpose to try and make something that's legal now illegal tomorrow. If I'm a police officer, I'm going to be dragging my ass responding to any call you make, if I respond at all... because you're being a nuisance. This is like insulting the girl hanging off Mike Tyson's arm. Dude, you're gonna lose.

        • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:54PM (#42032995)

          >> your neighbors dropping the bass at 2am

          Isn't that animal abuse too?

          • >> your neighbors dropping the bass at 2am
            >Isn't that animal abuse too?

            Only if the neighbors survive the first shots you fire.
        • by tompaulco (629533) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:58PM (#42033869) Homepage Journal
          And just about everything is more important than some inflammatory political activists pissing off their neighbors on purpose to try and make something that's legal now illegal tomorrow.
          How is spying on somebody who is obeying the law supposed to help make the activity illegal? Shouldn't they be spending all that time writing their congresscritters? Of course, the answer is "no", because what they are trying to do is paint the shooters in a bad light. Poke, Poke, Poke, Poke, Poke... Wham "Ow mommy, he hit me!" Then post a slashdot article and presto! Instant support for your position.
          • How is spying on somebody who is obeying the law supposed to help make the activity illegal?

            Apparently by showing how inhumane a turkey shoot is (figuratively).

            Shouldn't they be spending all that time writing their congresscritters?

            It's not for you or I to judge how a person chooses to excercise their first amendment freedoms.

            . Poke, Poke, Poke, Poke, Poke... Wham "Ow mommy, he hit me!" Then post a slashdot article and presto! Instant support for your position.

            A review of the comments so far seems to suggest very little support either for their political position or their method of surveillance. Perhaps they believe negative publicity is still better than no publicity.

        • Traditionally a balloon pilot carried a cold bottle of a nice sparkling wine to give to the landowner. Ballooning started in France, so I'd guess that was to keep the landowner from surrendering after being invaded by air.

          The fact that balloon owners tend to pay for damages (as they are usually loaded and have a valuable balloon they need to get off the land) keeps lawsuits down. I'd be surprised if they didn't happen anyhow. They have some control of where they land, but shit happens. I've seen them hun

        • by tragedy (27079)

          On occasion, the balloon chase vehicle and pilot need to pay for property damage, because they do land in crop fields from time to time, but this is well-understood by all parties to be the cost of doing business -- hand shakes resolve these issues more than lawsuits.

          I've heard, although it may not be true, that the origin of the term "buying the farm" was from the early days of aviation when emergency landings in farmer's fields were common. Aviators were naturally expected to pay for the damages. If they crashed, they would be figuratively causing enough damage to need to "buy the farm". Posthumously, of course.

    • Ah but law enforcement wants to be able to fly a drone over your property without a warrant any time they want. So not allowing these guys to do it would be a bad precedent.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rjr162 (69736)

      Right from the FAA (and seeing how this "drone" is setup, I'd have to guess it would fall under the Helicopter section)

      This is the FAR
      If you're interested, shown below is Title 14, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 91.119 of the
      General Operating and Flight Rules which specifically prohibits low-flying aircraft.
      91.119 Minimum safe altitudes; general
      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 uni

  • >> This is the fourth drone that the group has lost while investigating pigeon shootings

    Bert, is that you?

  • by Revotron (1115029) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:27PM (#42032551)
    Let's see here... an animal rights group flying a camera drone over private property full of gun-loving people they happen to have pissed off... yeah, um, how else would that turn out?

    Need I remind the tree-huggers that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results? Or maybe they're getting the exact result they really want - lots of publicity for the low, low price of $4000 a pop.
    • Maybe they're scientists [xkcd.com].

    • This is a pretty good publicity stunt if your intended market would be those who are easily swayed that the hunters are doing something illegal. And the craft can probably be recovered and repaired, so you are not out the full 4k.
    • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:55PM (#42033005) Journal

      Indeed. It kinda reminds me of this [glossynews.com].

    • Dangerous practice (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Narrowband (2602733) on Monday November 19, 2012 @10:25PM (#42035575)
      One other fact nobody has mentioned is that by flying this over people, PETA is also violating several provisions of the code of conduct established b the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) intended to help keep the public safe. Model helicopters in the $4K range are no-joke dangerous if they hit someone. This sort of activity (especially using a helicopter to harass people) puts at risk the rights of geeks everywhere to build and fly model aircraft, by encouraging legislators and bureaucrats to pass new laws and regulations.

      AMA code [modelaircraft.org]

      If any of the PETA people doing this are AMA members, I hope they have their memberships revoked...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:27PM (#42032561)

    They're using drones to investigate people that are good at shooting things that are flying in the air - seriously?

    • Re:wait... what? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BenJeremy (181303) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:31PM (#42032631)

      They are actually using the drones to harass the hunters by scaring the birds they are hunting.

      The drones are just a tactic to disrupt the hunters. These things should be shot down, and the idiots that keep sending them in should be arrested and thrown in jail.

      • Re:wait... what? (Score:4, Informative)

        by scot4875 (542869) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:04PM (#42033113) Homepage

        The drones are just a tactic to disrupt the hunters.

        "Hunters" should be in quotes everywhere it's used in relation to this article. These people are as about as much of a "hunter" as a clay pigeon shooter is. It's kind of pathetic, really.

        --Jeremy

  • Were standard rounds shot into the sky?

    • by BlueStrat (756137) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:46PM (#42032835)

      Were standard rounds shot into the sky?

      What makes you think the shooters would need anything more than birdshot for a flying bit of ABS plastic, nylon, and a lithium battery and a couple of PCB boards? If you could hit it, a single BB or pellet from a decent-quality air rifle or a "wrist-rocket"-type slingshot could take one of those quad-rotor R/C models out.

      If the hunters were smart, they'd get themselves a net-gun and capture these things mostly intact, then sell them on Ebay to finance more live pigeon shoots while loudly and publicly crediting this animal rights group for helping sponsor them.

      Strat

  • by blogagog (1223986) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:29PM (#42032591)
    This group sneaking cameras into others' private property should be arrested for being peeping Toms.
  • Pull!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    From reading TFA I don't know what they're complaining about - they were able to make a nuisance of themsleves over private property for most of the day. That it took so long for the drone to be shot down tends to indicate that otherwise the antics of the drone operators are not having that much of an impact and they are desperate to get their aircraft shot down for the publicity.

    Once an activist group get themselves a contrived title, they think they're a supreme deity....

  • by cfulton (543949) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:33PM (#42032649)
    I love animals too. But, pigeon shootings? The town council in most small towns would buy the shells if you would kill the pigeons that flock to the town square. Sorry about their little toy helicopter, but you get what you deserve.
    • by cfulton (543949) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:35PM (#42032677)
      Just looked it up on in my hunters guide:

      Pigeons, also known as rock doves or rock pigeons, are classified as a pest species, not a game species, and can be shot year-round.

      What exactly are they complaining about. Sounds like lawful activity to me.

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        They are breeding pigeons in captivity for the sole purpose of killing them with seconds of releasing them. may be lawful, but sounds pretty awful.
    • by Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:41PM (#42032767)

      The 'hunters', and I use that word loosely, seem to be growing pigeons in cages and releasing them from crates, whereupon they are shot by people standing a few yards away. 'Canned hunting' they call it. Idiot rednecks I call it.

      • Yea, canned hunts suck. But to each their own. It's still not illegal... in fact, that makes it even more legal because they're "property" and not wildlife. This groups free to lobby their congressmen to get the law changed. That's assuming he doesn't pull out a shotgun as well.
  • So who's bright idea was it to choose a robot flying thing as the weapon of choice against a bunch of rednecks with guns who enjoy shooting at flying things... hey if we send up enough robots they will eventually run out of ammo and have to leave the pigeons alone!

    As the Cat from Red Dwarf would say... I know this game, its called gun and pigeon, and there is only one way to win... don't be the pigeon... well unless you believe those lying cartoons.

  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:48PM (#42032869)
    So, let me get this right, people who are both trespassing and spying get mad that their "drone" gets shot down? There's nothing legitimate about using a "drone" like this. Just because someone happens to be an "activist" doesn't mean they get a free pass to spy on people and trespass on their property.
  • by ilsaloving (1534307) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:49PM (#42032891)

    “the predictable outrage generated by gruesome videos showing captive pigeons getting released from wooden crates, attempting to fly away, only to get blasted within seconds by a shooter who’s apparently only a few yards away, reinforces both the ethical stance and the financial status of animal activists who want to ban not just canned hunting but much of animal agriculture,” read an editorial in the Drovers CattleNetwork, a beef industry news periodical."

    In other words, they're not killing pests. They are doing absolutely nothing to improve the environment. They are purposely breeding these birds in captivity, then releasing and redmisting them, for the sole purpose of their own entertainment.

    I'm sorry, but these arn't hunters. They're 5 year olds in grown up redneck bodies who are too stupid to figure out the controls on an X-Box.

    • Sorry, but many of the birds are captured.

    • by Arker (91948)

      I'm sorry, but these arn't hunters.

      You know what, I absolutely agree.

      But what they are doing is still perfectly legal, and the idiots that are harassing them are even bigger idiots than they are. Flying a surveillance drone over private property, knowing that the owner is armed and does not consent, is dumb. Crying about it when they inevitably and properly blow your stupid drone out of the air is great though. It would serve Steve Hindi right if they shot him instead of his toy. Not that I would encourage

    • Without commenting on the activity, I'll give my experience with this... When I was on the farm, groups of guys used to some around with giant nets and ask to capture all the pigeons in our barn. Theyd hang the net from the roof and spook the birds, causing them to fly across the barn into the net and be captured. We always let them, as it saved us the trouble of poisoning the disease infested things before they crapped all over everything.

      Anyway, the hunters said they used the birds to train their dogs f

  • Uh, right. (Score:5, Informative)

    by bmo (77928) on Monday November 19, 2012 @06:53PM (#42032969)

    FTFA

    >âoeSHARK used the drone to successfully videotape illegal animal abuse committed at the pigeon shoot for nearly the entire day,â

    No they didn't.

    Pigeon shooting is legal.

    http://bensalem.patch.com/articles/da-dismisses-pigeon-shoot-citations [patch.com]

    âoeThe shooting of pigeons in Pennsylvania is unquestionably legal,â the release stated. Efforts by Seeton and others to persuade the Pennsylvania General Assembly to ban pigeon shooting failed as recently as December 2011.

    The DAâ(TM)s office agreed however that efforts must be made to ensure that animals wounded but not killed by shotgun are humanely killed. Gun clubs must conduct a complete search of their property and adjacent areas for the purpose of retrieving wounded birds at the end of the pigeon shoot.

    And good luck getting pigeon shooting banned in PA, or any other kind of shooting and hunting. The first day of deer season is a state holiday, for instance.

    --
    BMO

  • by Nexion (1064) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:22PM (#42033351)

    If I fly a drone in my neighbor girl's backyard who likes to sunbathe in the nude is that OK? Oh wait, that is obviously private property and makes me a peeping tom. Hmmm, can I fly a drone over the fence into a nudist colony then and take pictures there? Hmm... still seems wrong huh? Is it not wrong if everyone had clothes on? I mean, until I started trespassing I didn't know one way or the other.

    People like this group disgust me. Likely as much as anyone who eats meat disgusts this rabid group of vegan hippies who have nothing better to do then attempt to dictate to some hunters that they shouldn't kill a bunch of rats with wings. What also disgusts me is that anyone would farm grow such vermin (outside of medical testing), but that is another discussion entirely.

  • by IonOtter (629215) on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:36PM (#42033543) Homepage

    In TFA, they are complaining that the sheriff isn't doing anything about their $4000 drone getting shot down.

    Maybe the officers are being generous, and considering $4000 in damage a painful enough lesson. After all, they *could* just arrest them for interfering with a legal hunt. [animallaw.info]

  • Skill (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @07:39PM (#42033577)

    Lost in the discussion of legality and ethics is a simple question: what kind of pussy needs pigeons released from a box at short range to score a kill? Why not just shoot them in the box and call yourself an accomplished sportsman?

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