There’s a Drone Flying Over My House - What Do I Do?
As we emerge further from the national lockdown, there will no doubt be an increase in the number of drones flying above us in the sky. Whether they are flying commercially or for pleasure they are becoming a common feature in the skies of Britain.
But what happens when a drone flies to close for comfort? What happens when drone noise becomes a disturbance? What happens when I think they are filming me?
Know your rights and what to do when you see a drone flying over your house.
What To Do When A Drone Is Flying Over Your House
Firstly, don’t panic - whilst it could at first be annoying or frustrating when you notice a drone flying near or around your house, but you need to understand and respect the context of the situation and why they could be there.
Make contact with the pilot. If you happen to be near the pilot, go over and say hello. It's critical that you wait until the drone has landed before engaging with the pilot, as interacting with a pilot while they are flying is both unlawful and potentially dangerous. When you can see that the craft has landed, most operators will be happy to tell you everything you need to know about the situation.
If it's a commercial operation, they won't infringe any rules because their livelihood is at stake and they are hired on their ability to fly lawfully and safely. If the operator is a Drone Safe Registered pilot, they will be carrying their Drone Safe Operator ID to prove they are an approved operator as well as having their Flyer & Operator ID. The majority of hobbyists will be flying in line with the Drone Code and should be more than happy to discuss it with you.
The Operator Won’t Stop Flying Unlawfully - What Can I Do?
Call the police if you truly believe the drone is causing harm or being flown illegally. If the pilot is flying unlawfully without due reason or authority then you are fully within your rights to contact the police via 101. This is the non-emergency police number who can take all of the necessary details and investigate if appropriate.
For commercial drone pilots, it is often necessary to contact the local authority to make suitable arrangements such as road-closures or other restrictions of access particularly in sensitive areas such as near airports or other protected public structures, so there's a strong chance the police will already be aware of the situation and can assure you. You can be reassured by Drone Safe Registered pilots as they are all fully insured for the jobs they take and have the expertise to complete the job safely.
The vast majority of pilots are operating safely and legally both in terms of where they are flying and what they are filming. At Drone Safe Store, when we sell drones, we offer and promote safe flying and ensure that new pilots have all the knowledge they need to fly safely and legally.
It is important to remember that it is illegal to interfere with a craft in any way or try to bring it down nor can you engage with a pilot while they are flying.
If you witness any drone miss-use, you can report it to the CAA.
Knowing The Law:
When flying a drone, a minimum horizontal distance of 50 metres must be maintained between a drone and people , places, vessels or structures that don't fall under the pilot’s control. So if you haven’t been briefed that a drone flight will be taking place and the drone is less than 50 meters away from you, then the law might well have been broken.
Pilots must also maintain a distance of at least 150 metres from residential, recreational, commercial, and industrial zones. This includes cities/towns, villages and housing estates
The rule on minimum distances to people is different when flying small drones and model aircraft that are below 250g, this includes DJI's Mini 2 . Whilst you can fly closer to people than 50m and fly over them lawfully, it is still good courtesy to inform them.
If you’re flying a drone that’s between 250g and 500g, you can fly closer to people than 50m, but you must not intentionally fly over them.
If in doubt, refer directly to the CAA, the The UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Remember, you must never put people in danger.
If you want to hire a commercial Drone Pilot, visit Drone Safe Register, the UK’s largest network of professional, safe and insured commercial drone operators. Drone Safe Register connects you with the best in the business.