Legal means to bring down a drone?

This evening I was paddling my canoe on a local city lake when a quadcoptor drone appeared out of nowhere and dropped down to a level of about 30 feet and hovered over me recording me. I so wanted to bring it down.

The way distant remote operator chose not to respond to my gestures to bring it down close enough to swat it with my paddle.

I thought I recorded it on my phone, but apparently didn’t start the video, bummer. The thing hovered as I took my dry bag off my belt to get my phone out to record it and stayed there a couple minutes while I thought I was recording it.

This thing was probably over me for around five minutes all together - it returned about 4 times. In between those times, it would disappear for a few minutes and be out of sight and out of hearing. It could go straight up until it was no longer visible.

I did call the local police while it was hovering and they said that it probably wasn’t illegal and I told them that I didn’t like the harassment and considered shooting it down. They advised me not to do that and asked if I had a means with me to do so and I told them no, that I don’t possess one.

After I was off the water and had the boat and gear stowed away, it was after dark and no sign of a drone.

I drove around the park and talked to a few people to see if they saw who was operating it and nobody did. One guy was watching the entire event while eating dinner and said that it would go out of sight to the south and out of sight to the north and never landed near the park where we were. He was hoping that it would get close enough for me to bring it down with my paddle.

So, some relatively benign approaches that I thought of after I was off the water and talking to that guy are:

  1. One of those net canons used for capturing birds or other game at close range.
  2. Paintball gun.
  3. A hand full of gravel - it was close enough to throw something at it
  4. Sling shot with some soft modeling clay as ammo.
  5. 900 lumen flashlight shined in the camera.
  6. High power super soaker of some king.

    Any other suggestions for a legal means to bring down a drone or foil it’s attempts to video record you?

Maybe a sling shot…
light weight and easy to carry. Your ammo would be a ball of whatever with a ribbon or string attached. Shoot above the craft.

You get that string anywhere near the down draft of the rotor blades, the bugger is coming down.

How do I know? My quad copter has gotten too close to the Spanish Moss too many times! LOL!


You’ll need…
…a falconer’s license and one well-trained Philippine Monkey Eating Eagle (preferably with its own Hero helmet cam). But then again, that might set you back a few composite hull acquisitions, what with that weekly purchase of the 40-pounder Purina Greasey Grimey Gopher Guts/Chopped-Up Monkey Meat.

Perhaps as a cheaper “bird” of prey alternative you might enlist one of those resident adolescent rocket scientists in the local chapter of the Wernher von Braun Little Achievers to mock you up an Estes-fired, scale replica of a Sparrow missile. However, this may raise a few eyebrows down at the nearby Homeland Security offices, and you’ll find yourself a “person of interest” in a much more rapid fashion than from a few hundred hits on some quadrocopter jockey’s YouTube postings.

Yeah, better stick with that SuperSoaker notion and a well aimed ire.

You could try casting a fishing line into it.

SkyWall 100

– Last Updated: Sep-20-16 10:14 PM EST –

Might fit in your canoe, but certainly not in a kayak unless it was mounted on the deck. Sure would attract attention.

I wonder if there's a handheld water cannon that would do the trick.

Since there's now some regulation by the FAA, maybe there are other options.

I'd be ticked off too. That's a major invasion of privacy.

Cool. Maybe several ribbons trailing :slight_smile:

Ooh, ooh, I like the first option.

Great idea, I need a fishing license
and then I’m ready to hunt low flying drones that are harassing me and invading my privacy.

Not legal but…

The FAA ruled this year drones are aircraft and the same federal laws making it illegal to shoot down 747’s apply to you smacking a quad copter with your paddle.

Laser flares
Just don’t try it near the runways of an airport. I suspect you could damage the camera or the drone guidance if it got close enough.

That needs to change.

Bright light + frisbee or tennis ball
or fishing lure with long streamers.

The high intensity flood or spot light alone might be enough to deter them, or at least greatly degrade their video.

Their line of thinking
Treat them like airplanes then all the airplane rules apply, pilots liscense, visible identification, registration, flight path restrictions.

But yeah, before they got involved it was legal some places, not in others.

I wonder what silly string would do?

This drone wasn’t following FAA rules.
They don’t allow flying 30 feet up over a city park or hovering over and harassing citizens.

A couple weekends ago I was on the University of Illinois campus and someone was flying a quadcopter between closely packed buildings. I’m sure that the FAA doesn’t allow that, either.

Jam their signal
I haven’t touched an RC model airplane in decades but back when I did the cardinal sin when flying near others was to turn on your transmitter if it was operating on the same frequency as that being used by another flier who was in the air. It would scramble his signal. The reliever in the model in the air would be receiving two transmitter signals. It was called “shooting down” another flyer. In such cases one hoped the out of control model didn’t hit someone or some thing, and some were quit big enough to be dangerous. Bad for the sport, you know.

But that does suggest something, does it not?

Times have changed with regard to narrow banding of frequencies for RC, but in principal it shouldn’t be too hard to alter an RC transmitter (and they’re cheap these days) to operate through a number of frequencies in the 2.4 gig range. Hit the right one and you’ll “shoot 'em down”. I can’t see why a person buzzing or spying on you with a drone should have any more legal right to turn on a radio transmitter than you do.

Pocket Fisherman by Ronco
Comes with a practice casting weight. You could provide the drone operator with footage of your casting practice.

Heck, you could even fish with it! :wink:

See you on the water,


The Connection, Inc.

Hyde Park, NY

Potato Gun
plus practicing with it is a hoot.

Number Six!
Some king’s super soaker!

it doesn’t have to