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  #1  
Old 05-14-2019, 3:37 PM
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Default What is the legality of shooting down, capturing, or otherwise disabling spy drones?

Out here in the country where I live, the tweakers and other sneak thieves are using them to scope out people's property for things to steal, as are the gangs that do home invasion robberies.

Also the Mexican drug cartels are using them to locate and get detailed information on the marijuana grows which they then rob - they don't hesitate to resort to an exceptional amount of violence and sometimes even murder.

I've also heard the pedophiles are using them to spy on children, and various other sex offenders are also using them to stalk and observe people.

So if one of these intrusive and invasive things was flying around somebody's property peeking into things that are none of anybody's business and the home owner opened up on it with a 10 gauge magnum goose gun, would there be a problem with this?


What about sending another drone up to take the spy drone down, with something like cords or light chains hanging down to foul the invader's propeller/s?
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Last edited by Marcus von W.; 05-16-2019 at 4:10 PM..
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2019, 3:43 PM
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Check your local ordinances regarding discharging a firearm - unless you’re deep in the country it will probably result in the LE showing up and some problems.

You can probably take one of the drones down with those super powerful water super soakers or a paintball gun, less risk of running afoul of the law.

If it’s flying over your property then it’s likely considered trespassing but again check your local ordinances regarding air space.


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Old 05-14-2019, 3:43 PM
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It is against the law to down any aircraft, including drones.
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Old 05-14-2019, 3:49 PM
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One thing to remember, if you shoot it down there is a very good chance that the camera on the drone is watching you do the dirty deed.

LEO shows up and drone owners some entertainment.
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Old 05-14-2019, 3:51 PM
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You'll likely get charged with destruction of property at the very least
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:03 PM
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You can build an electronic device for for $40-200 (depends on effective range) that will scramble your drones electronics and cause it to fall like a rock. Just be sure to use it on your own drone only.
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:10 PM
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The faa will see you put in federal prison. If you do it keep your yap shut. I posted on this and some drone flyer/lover got his panties in a bunch over it. They mfg depleted uranium drone rounds for shotgun. Hevi shot works fine as well.
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:18 PM
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I think I'd compromise. Maybe take a shot at it and miss (on purpose) after you've spent plenty of time getting a bead on it and letting the operator see what's coming. I don't think you've broken any laws yet created a deterrent against further incursions.

IANAL but welcome qualified legal opinions.
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Old 05-14-2019, 4:37 PM
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Article: https://mycaliforniadefenseattorney....-flying-house/

Quote:
California has enacted a specific law that applies to trespassing drones. Section 1708.8 of the Civil Code makes a drone operator responsible for a civil trespass when the drone enters someone’s airspace without the owner’s permission for the purpose of taking pictures or making a recording of private activity, provided that taking the picture or making the recording would be offensive to a reasonable person.

The remedy for a violation of section 1708.8 includes a civil fine and an award of damages, including the possibility of punitive damages. The property owner will need to locate the drone operator and bring a lawsuit to collect damages.
Summary: shooting them down is a bad idea.

http://michellawyers.com/california-...ne-intrusions/
Quote:
(3) Help is on the way. Do not resort to “self-help” remedies. Don’t do something stupid – like damage or destroy an offending drone. Let the lawmakers catch up with technology. Who knows what your new local ordinance may say, it may allow some “self-help” method to protect yourself, loved ones, and property from drone snooping.
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Last edited by Librarian; 05-14-2019 at 4:39 PM..
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2019, 4:41 PM
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#1 you dont own the airspace over your house.
#2 Drones over .55lbs need to be registered with the FAA and considered "Aircraft"
#3 Drones can be very pricey.

So IF you can shoot on your property..... shooting an expensive FAA registered aircraft flying in legal airspace is prolly a dumb idea at best.

Case law has shown the shooter has to pay for the drone. Before there were cases lawyers were very fearfull as on paper.... its the same as shooting at a plane.
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Old 05-14-2019, 6:21 PM
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I haven't researched this but does anyone know offhand if the laws about pointing a laser at aircraft apply to drones and if a good laser would damage the camera?
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  #12  
Old 05-14-2019, 9:17 PM
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It would definitely land you in jail if you were caught. You would have at least federal charges brought against you by the FAA not to mention lawsuits from the drone owner. My long range drone (fixed wing) which I don't really fly anymore now that fun is illegal cost over $8,000 to build so if you blew that out of the sky you better believe your new name is defendant.

Last edited by 1320Fastback; 05-14-2019 at 9:21 PM..
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2019, 9:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BONECUTTER View Post
#1 you dont own the airspace over your house.
#2 Drones over .55lbs need to be registered with the FAA and considered "Aircraft"
#3 Drones can be very pricey.

So IF you can shoot on your property..... shooting an expensive FAA registered aircraft flying in legal airspace is prolly a dumb idea at best.

Case law has shown the shooter has to pay for the drone. Before there were cases lawyers were very fearfull as on paper.... its the same as shooting at a plane.
What he said.
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Old 05-14-2019, 9:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRICKSTER View Post
I haven't researched this but does anyone know offhand if the laws about pointing a laser at aircraft apply to drones and if a good laser would damage the camera?
Under Federal laws...

Drones that weight more than .55lbs are considered aircraft, so it is a Federal felony to aim/point a laser at it. [18 USC 39A]

Drones that weight less than .55lbs are not considered aircraft, so it would not violate Federal laws to aim/point a laser at it.

Under CA laws...

For the purposes of aim/pointing a laser at an "aircraft", an "aircraft" is a device "intended for and capable of transporting persons through the airspace".

So, it would not apply to unmanned drones.


Therefore...

If the drone weighs .55lbs or more, then it's a Federal felony to discharge a laser at it.

If the drone weighs less than .55lbs, then it's does not violate Federal or CA laws to discharge a laser at it.




18 USC 39A
(a)Offense.—
Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
(b)Laser Pointer Defined.—
As used in this section, the term “laser pointer” means any device designed or used to amplify electromagnetic radiation by stimulated emission that emits a beam designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object.
(c)Exceptions.—This section does not prohibit aiming a beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or the flight path of such an aircraft, by—
(1) an authorized individual in the conduct of research and development or flight test operations conducted by an aircraft manufacturer, the Federal Aviation Administration, or any other person authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct such research and development or flight test operations;
(2) members or elements of the Department of Defense or Department of Homeland Security acting in an official capacity for the purpose of research, development, operations, testing, or training; or
(3) by an individual using a laser emergency signaling device to send an emergency distress signal.
(d)Authority To Establish Additional Exceptions by Regulation.—
The Attorney General, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, may provide by regulation, after public notice and comment, such additional exceptions to this section as may be necessary and appropriate. The Attorney General shall provide written notification of any proposed regulations under this section to the Committees on the Judiciary of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives, not less than 90 days before such regulations become final.

Penal Code 247.5
Any person who willfully and maliciously discharges a laser at an aircraft, whether in motion or in flight, while occupied, is guilty of a violation of this section, which shall be punishable as either a misdemeanor by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year or by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000), or a felony by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 for 16 months, two years, or three years, or by a fine of two thousand dollars ($2,000). This section does not apply to the conduct of laser development activity by or on behalf of the United States Armed Forces.
As used in this section, “aircraft” means any contrivance intended for and capable of transporting persons through the airspace.
As used in this section, “laser” means a device that utilizes the natural oscillations of atoms or molecules between energy levels for generating coherent electromagnetic radiation in the ultraviolet, visible, or infrared region of the spectrum, and when discharged exceeds one milliwatt continuous wave.

Penal Code 248
Any person who, with the intent to interfere with the operation of an aircraft, willfully shines a light or other bright device, of an intensity capable of impairing the operation of an aircraft, at an aircraft, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment.
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Last edited by Quiet; 05-14-2019 at 9:46 PM..
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  #15  
Old 05-15-2019, 9:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musick View Post
You can build an electronic device for for $40-200 (depends on effective range) that will scramble your drones electronics and cause it to fall like a rock. Just be sure to use it on your own drone only.
And face a $10,000 per use fine from the FCC.
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Old 05-15-2019, 9:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet View Post
Under Federal laws...

Drones that weight more than .55lbs are considered aircraft, so it is a Federal felony to aim/point a laser at it. [18 USC 39A]

Drones that weight less than .55lbs are not considered aircraft, so it would not violate Federal laws to aim/point a laser at it.
Sorry, weight has nothing to do with it. All the 0.55 pound weight matters is for registration. ALL sUAS (drones) are considered aircraft by the FAA.
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Old 05-15-2019, 10:36 AM
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How Big? LOL
Attached Images
File Type: jpg image001.jpg (5.6 KB, 75 views)
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:05 AM
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Everyone makes good points here, but do the rules really apply if it's in the context of the cartels with the drones? I mean, of course they do, but the cartels aren't gonna go to the cops, they're certainly not going to file a case in civil court.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
You can pretty much count on Librarian to give the correct answer.

Take photos and track down the owner. Call the Sheriff and charge the owner with trespassing.
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:28 AM
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So, a tweaker or gang banger is going to register with the FAA? And call the sheriff to file a report?
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Old 05-15-2019, 11:40 AM
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All this drone talk reminds me of the good days. Here's one of mine during a sunset flight in Oceanside. This particular one is a twin engined fixed wing and shows both the HD video as well as the OSD that I actually see while flying.

https://youtu.be/EBqlrHInRi0
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musick View Post
You can build an electronic device for for $40-200 (depends on effective range) that will scramble your drones electronics and cause it to fall like a rock. Just be sure to use it on your own drone only.
Might run afoul of the FCC, since radio waves are being 'broadcast' to disable the drone. So far, I like the concept of a counter-drone to disable the other drone.

From Michel & Associates link referenced by Librarian above:
Quote:
Also, who’s to say that you lost control of your drone when some other drone was snooping over your property and had a small collision. Accidents will happen.

Last edited by aBrowningfan; 05-15-2019 at 1:43 PM.. Reason: Added quote from Michel & Associates earlier link
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aBrowningfan View Post
Might run afoul of the FCC, since radio waves are being 'broadcast' to disable the drone. So far, I like the concept of a counter-drone to disable the other drone.

From Michel & Associates link referenced by Librarian above:
Get a cheap $29 drone that is disposable just for this.
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Old 05-15-2019, 1:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mshill View Post
Get a cheap $29 drone that is disposable just for this.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:13 AM
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Drones are supposed to respect GPS geofences as proscribed by the FAA as part of any TFR or permanent no-fly zone. There was talk of being able to add your own address to drone-restricted airspace at one point. I don't have a convenient link ATM, but I haven't heard anything about it for a while.

Regardless, if someone buys the right drone, it's programming won't respect the NFZs anyway.

How is a CA homeowner supposed to track down the drone owner? FAA requires the registration to be readily seen. Can anyone attest to being able to get that number and look it up to find the owner?

In a just world, it should be legal to capture an unregistered drone, or disable it.
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:34 PM
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What do you do if the registration on the drone comes back to Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera in Sinaloa, Mexico?

Will the sheriff arrest him for trespassing?

Can I sue him in small claims court here in Riverside County?

If I kill, capture, or disable El Chapo's drone, will he have me arrested and sue me?
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Old 05-16-2019, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FresnoRob View Post
Take photos and track down the owner. Call the Sheriff and charge the owner with trespassing.
Quote:
Section 1708.8 of the Civil Code makes a drone operator responsible for a civil trespass when the drone enters someone’s airspace without the owner’s permission for the purpose of taking pictures or making a recording of private activity, provided that taking the picture or making the recording would be offensive to a reasonable person.
No crime is committed if they are just flying over your property. Even if they recorded you while say mowing your lawn. Recording you sunbathing would be a crime.
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Old 05-16-2019, 1:04 PM
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Buy yourself a drone, then practice flying it.

Then when you see the bad guys drone when it is above your property..... just accidently crash into it. Then its just another aircraft crash. You can say that the MCAS system on your drone went bad and caused it to accelerate in a vertical direction. After all with nearly 400 dead after two such aircraft crashes no one from Boeing is being held criminally reposnible. Would they even bother for just a drone.

Alternatively I have seen on the telee where hawks and raptors have been trained by special security forces to grab and down drones. You could always disguise your drone as a hawk so the camera on the bad guys drone will only see and make them think it was a bird of prey.

Just sayin.....
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Old 05-16-2019, 1:52 PM
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If that drone is carrying a camera,,,, odds are,,, total the weigh over .55 pound ??
So ground to air defenses are a no no.
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Tankhatch View Post
If that drone is carrying a camera,,,, odds are,,, total the weigh over .55 pound ??
So ground to air defenses are a no no.
Only if it sees you doing it.....

'come in Ion Control'................'ah our first catch of the day'.......
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Old 05-17-2019, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
Buy yourself a drone, then practice flying it.

Then when you see the bad guys drone when it is above your property..... just accidently crash into it. Then its just another aircraft crash. You can say that the MCAS system on your drone went bad and caused it to accelerate in a vertical direction. After all with nearly 400 dead after two such aircraft crashes no one from Boeing is being held criminally reposnible. Would they even bother for just a drone.

Alternatively I have seen on the telee where hawks and raptors have been trained by special security forces to grab and down drones. You could always disguise your drone as a hawk so the camera on the bad guys drone will only see and make them think it was a bird of prey.

Just sayin.....
I have been wondering about attaching (with magnets) a net to your drone and then flying your drone with net into the offending drone. The net should cause the offending drone's props to seize up and the drone would then crash. The magnets would allow the seized-up offending drone to fall free of your drone and your drone can be made ready for the next offender.
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Old 05-17-2019, 3:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
Buy yourself a drone, then practice flying it.

Then when you see the bad guys drone when it is above your property..... just accidently crash into it.
You will still be kept liable for destroying a private property, won't you?
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Old 05-17-2019, 3:24 PM
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You will still be kept liable for destroying a private property, won't you?
Where/what is the proof that 'you' destroyed private property?
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Old 05-17-2019, 3:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FrankMo View Post
Almost every poll shows Trump losing very badly, yet poeple still believe some conspiracy. The party p[icked the weakest candidate so they have to own that.
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  #35  
Old 05-17-2019, 9:47 PM
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https://www.insideedition.com/man-ar...sing-dog-51100

https://dronedj.com/2018/11/19/man-s...ighbors-drone/

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/83893851-157.html
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  #36  
Old 05-18-2019, 9:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riderr View Post
You will still be kept liable for destroying a private property, won't you?
I've been flying RC airplanes for almost 20 years and Mid Airs do happen. With smaller airplanes usually there is no disagreements and hand shakes and laughter settle the matter BUT with large scale airplanes people have ended up suing one another. I'd imagine if you wilfully destroyed another person's property you might end up in court.
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Old 05-18-2019, 2:32 PM
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I too have been an active RC guy, including giant scale, for over 50 years. I do not ever recall anyone suing another person over a midair. Any details? I spent the last 20+ years in Orange County, FWIW. I was also an AMA Associate VP and likely would have heard of something like that.
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Old 05-18-2019, 2:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xerxes View Post
Buy yourself a drone, then practice flying it.

Then when you see the bad guys drone when it is above your property..... just accidently crash into it. Then its just another aircraft crash. You can say that the MCAS system on your drone went bad and caused it to accelerate in a vertical direction. After all with nearly 400 dead after two such aircraft crashes no one from Boeing is being held criminally reposnible. Would they even bother for just a drone.

Alternatively I have seen on the telee where hawks and raptors have been trained by special security forces to grab and down drones. You could always disguise your drone as a hawk so the camera on the bad guys drone will only see and make them think it was a bird of prey.

Just sayin.....
Train your cat to do the same thing. Or ostrich or rat....

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Old 05-18-2019, 3:27 PM
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Lots of real estate dudes are now using drones to get diferent images of properties for sale...

Harmless but annoying.
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Old 05-18-2019, 3:31 PM
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LOts of posts on this you think op would have tried search.
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