Drone activity

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone and also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle and a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard.

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nrm
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by nrm » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:56 pm

The law says buildings as approved in your Ops Manual!!!!!!!!


1) No RPA shall be operated within a lateral distance of 50m from any structure or building, unless-
(a) the operator is a holder of an ROC and the operation has been approved by the Director in their operations manual; or
(b) permission is obtained from the owner of such structure or building.

A lot of this things will return to launch site if comms are lost, or if only enough battery life shows up in order to get home. Falling out of the sky is not likely to happen, unless it is brought down.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by IcarusZulu » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:05 pm

Just my 2c...
Contact some of the guys in the FPV Drone groups there is a SA group https://www.facebook.com/groups/403655489793878/ and JHB group https://www.facebook.com/groups/1758660221112972/about/. Maybe you could get one of them to follow the drone home to its owner then take it up with them.

Edit!
Another option is get the FPV or another drone connected to 5m strong fishing gut connected to a cloths peg below the drone. Then fly it over the offending drone bringing it down.
Last edited by IcarusZulu on Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by C2H5OH » Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:29 pm

Lood wrote:Just my opinion, but I'm very sure that when a drone's engines stop, it can only fall one way and that's straight down. I'm certainly not going to bring it down any other place, except over my own yard.
Just as I don't know who is invading my privacy, he'll never know what happened to his drone...

In the times we're living in, and even more so in South Africa, I simply can't give the drone operator the benefit of the doubt. It might very well be a crime syndicate, using the drone to gain info for a possible robbery from my home, or maybe looking for pretty girls, like my daughter, to kidnap for human trafficing. Call my speculation far fetched, but that's reality.

I have nothing for any drone to look at, so if I find it continuously hovering over my home, without my permission, I'll deal with it, quietly, but severely. Luckily I live on a farm, so chances of being bothered by this nuisance are just about nil. :D


Hi lood, thing is the engine might not necessarily stop, there is no predicting what might happen should it be hit by a bullet/pellet.
In the case of an air rifle - probably nothing but a crack, unless it hits a prop, in which case the thing will spin out of control, on a farm no problem, but in a built up area it even a short distance it could travel before the pilot has time to react and hit the kill switch could be enough to cause considerable collateral damages, which is the very reason the rules are that private individuals are flat out banned from operating within 50 lateral meters of people, roads, and structures.

The OP asked what are his rights. No matter what anyone of us would do, or feel about the matter, I just think it would be poor advise to tell someone they should or are in their right to shoot UAVs out of the sky if they think its trespassing. And that's my concern/opinion. Its setting the person up for liability for whatever happens next.

And as an RPAS pilot myself, I also don't want to be setting across the room trying to explain to a CAA board why my RPA suddenly spun out of control and caused a 5 car pileup on a road, in the event some cowboy next door to a site I'm inspecting, thinks its operating illegally and decides to throw something at it, or god forbid actually shoots it - ignoring that firing a weapon even an air-rifle in a built up area is a criminal offence. (Which is why I wear a bright yellow safety jacket with the words DRONE PILOT written on it - so hopefully said cowboy will have words with me first. [it also says do not disturb... so maybe counter productive...])

Maybe its a silly comparison but as a firearm owner I know what the law says, yet. If a group, visibly armed or not, tried to break into my house in the night , I swear to the heavens I will not hesitate to shoot first ask questions later. But if someone were to ask on the gunsite forum if they have the right to do so, my answer would be an obvious no. Now I was under the impression this is an aviation forum, not a 'angry residents association' so I'm surprised that anyone here would think its a fine idea (except maybe disgruntled helicopter pilots who may see them as a threat to their income) to advise shooting an (unmanned)AIRCRAFT out of the sky [even if we feel we would do so ourselves if we're being honest]. Random public with similar privacy concerns, may come across these while googling what recourse they have, and think the comments here are well informed opinion of the aviation community and that the law may be on their side.

As for drones, secretly yes if it it was blatantly operating on my property looking like its filming my kids, I'd do what I can to down the thing if I can do so without it crashing on my neighbors car, or at least make it obvious to the person flying it that their face is going to meet pavement if I find them. But its still the case of - do so at your own discretion - I would not advise.

That net launcher idea seems great though - as a bonus you get a free drone.
Last edited by C2H5OH on Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by Charlie Kilo » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:10 pm

Rotor kop wrote:
Peblehead wrote:Discharge any gun pellet or .22 can put you on the wrong side of the Law.

That said I think what Marius is saying is more 12 gauge .... :lol:
If it was me, I would cast a fishing line if you have a small bass Rod with lead sinker it will destroy itself and you simply reel it in,

Then at cash converts get new props and a transmitter and you have a drone..... I mean it's not like the owner can report it missing because he has broken every law.


Have some fun with it, but a middle age man in a speedo? Sir, with respect no person should be subjected to that :twisted:
Lets understand each other right from the start go 8) anyone flies an insect into/over my house is anyway breaking the law, in this case 2 wrongs will make a right :lol: :twisted:
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by 747TDR » Wed Jan 17, 2018 6:26 pm

Richard, you're probably the last person on here I'd want to see getting into k@k for shooting down a drone.

There are other avenues to explore. You could go the legal route and approach the SAPS, for what's it's worth, and open a case against the guy. It will at least make them aware of the issue and will put them in a better position to do something about it when more info is gathered. If your kids are underage, the chance of help increases dramatically.

If possible, head to your local station and speak to the officer in charge who deals with woman and child abuse (again, possibly only realistic if they are underage). All stations generally have them, and they are generally women, so an understanding ear might be found.

Failing that, head to China Mall, buy the biggest but cheapest RC heli or drone you can find, charge it up, and have it waiting. Only launch when you have eyes on the drone and when it over your own yard with no threat to property or people. Then fly smack bang into it. As previous posters have said, the SD or micro SD will have info which can trace back to the guilty party. Use it and fill criminal charges, regardless of what may or may not be found on the card. Your word about his/her actions given in evidence would be enough.

If you go with option 2, please catch it all on camera for us.

As a drone owner/operator myself, it's usually hurts to see them crash, but I would take great joy in seeing that particular one meeting its end.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by C2H5OH » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:04 pm

nrm wrote:The law says buildings as approved in your Ops Manual!!!!!!!!


1) No RPA shall be operated within a lateral distance of 50m from any structure or building, unless-
(a) the operator is a holder of an ROC and the operation has been approved by the Director in their operations manual; or
(b) permission is obtained from the owner of such structure or building.

A lot of this things will return to launch site if comms are lost, or if only enough battery life shows up in order to get home. Falling out of the sky is not likely to happen, unless it is brought down.
As underscored, the regulations say operation not building.
The operations manual is the manual which the operator draws up to define the processes they will undertake for various types of operations, its not the op spec that is put together as part of the flight pack for every flight.

My understanding is the SACAA inspects and approves that manual and then also tests/inspects the operators ability/compliance in following it. If their operations may require operating within 50m of buildings, public roads, and most commonly within 10km of an airfield etc. , each of those exceptions must be applied for and the SACAA will have to determine the operators ability to operate in such conditions while taking reasonable precautions as must be described in the ops manual, if all is above board the exception is noted on the ROC certificate. My understanding is that the ROC holder then will not require permission from property owners to operate in the air within 50 lateral meters of a building (assuming of course they do have the permission from the owner of were they took off/land from & is the focus of the operation) - and that as far as the SACAA is concerned - if the SACAA has approved the operator to perform such operations - they should not come after you.

However - that being said just because the SACAA has approved it - doesn't necessarily mean a blatant disregard for local-by laws or private property. I would think permission should still be sought from owners if you have to fly directly over their property line or local municipality if over roads / public spaces - regardless of what the ROC says, to avoid complications of being prosecuted by other authorities.

The issue that is a grey area is how high above ones property is considered private property. In common laws its understood to mean high as the heavens, and to the greatest depths of the earth. But in practice there are many examples where this has been disputed. (For instance you have no right to cut down telephone lines that cross the perimeter of your property... nor can one charge airplanes that happen to travel over your farm for trespassing). Limited exceptions need to be made for fair use of the airspace.
So for RPAS that is something that would still have to be tested in court.

My view is that at some point, RPAS / UAVs will very soon be operating in the same manner & for the same purposes as manned aviation.
(like Cargo planes) While small multi-rotor drones are now already doing many of the things helicopters are used for.
In that light it makes sense that they should share some of the same protections as manned aviation in regards to traveling over private land. After all an ROC has to jump through the same hoops as a commercial aircraft charter. So as far as the law is concerned is an unmanned aircraft, not then... well, an aircraft?
Last edited by C2H5OH on Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:32 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by paulw » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:50 pm

747TDR wrote: Failing that, head to China Mall, buy the biggest but cheapest RC heli or drone you can find, charge it up, and have it waiting. Only launch when you have eyes on the drone and when it over your own yard with no threat to property or people. Then fly smack bang into it. As previous posters have said, the SD or micro SD will have info which can trace back to the guilty party. Use it and fill criminal charges, regardless of what may or may not be found on the card. Your word about his/her actions given in evidence would be enough.
Alternatively use your own drone to follow the other drone and see where he is based.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by henkhugo » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Depending how high it is you might be able to cast a heavy sinker connected to a strong line and bring it in.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by Mauler » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:01 pm

Richard, there is already something of a precedent set last year over this issue.

There was a rather major dispute between neighbours which reached something akin to the old feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys.

Part of the matter was that he apparently was flying his drone over his neighbours' properties and taking photos. The neighbours, in a gated community near Grand Central, took issue over this mostly because of privacy concerns but also made complaints to CAA and the SAPS regarding the several contraventions of part 101 that such actions would entail.

The upshot of it all was that CAA's enforcement officer took the decision that CAA would not deal with it as a criminal matter, but would deal with it as an "administrative action" matter. She delegated it to another official, who informed the residents: "Kindly note that the enforcement case was concluded and an action was taken against the offender, unfortunately we cannot divulge on the type of action taken."

The Community Policing Forum responded: "Action was taken against the perpetrator. He was contacted and warned that if there is another complaint he would be arrested and charged."

In addition, one of the neighbours approached the Randburg Magistrates' Court and was granted a protection order against the alleged offender. In order to give reasons why the protection order should not be made permanent, there were several appearances and postponements in court where evidence was led and cross-examined. The neighbour subpoenaed the CAA to testify as to the apparently lenient and secretive manner in which CAA had dealt with the complaints.

However, the matter was settled in mid-November last year. Although I'm not certain about details about the settlement, it seems that the parties agreed to pay their own (probably not insubstantial) costs and that it be made an order of court and the offender refrain from any more droning in the community.

I wouldn't recommend taking shots at the drone though. There are laws prohibiting using even air guns in the suburbs and the courts tend to take a dim view of people taking the law into their own hands. Rather try find the perp and take similar steps to the above.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by Goffel » Sat Jan 20, 2018 2:51 pm

A case going on now involving the towns Magistrate, Prosecutor and a policeman.

Two of them, (with others), were having a braai, with much booze and music blaring.......the other, (a neighbour from down the road), got peeed off at the noise and music and sent his drone up to get proof of public disturbance.

Dronk and offended at the invasion of privacy, one hauled out a shotgun and blasted the drone out of the sky.

Thankfully this is now being handled by the courts to sort out.
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by Triaan » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:05 pm

Goffel wrote:A case going on now involving the towns Magistrate, Prosecutor and a policeman.

Two of them, (with others), were having a braai, with much booze and music blaring.......the other, (a neighbour from down the road), got peeed off at the noise and music and sent his drone up to get proof of public disturbance.

Dronk and offended at the invasion of privacy, one hauled out a shotgun and blasted the drone out of the sky.

Thankfully this is now being handled by the courts to sort out.
Well..In that case there is no dispute, I'm all for the drone pilot =D> =D>
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Re: Drone activity

Unread post by Mauler » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:43 am

Goffel wrote:Dronk and offended at the invasion of privacy, one hauled out a shotgun and blasted the drone out of the sky.

Thankfully this is now being handled by the courts to sort out.
This should be a good one. Drunk in control of a firearm, firing it in the suburbs and a drone pilot flying illegally. Hopefully they all end up in jail.

As I advised an AvCommer yesterday, maintaining good relationships with your neighbours is essential to happiness.

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