Imagine this: Two guys on a beach, sipping margaritas and baring their souls to each other. After a while, they decide to spend some time flying their drones around, leaving smoke trails in the sky. We aren’t certain what all these guys may have been doing prior to testing out their drones, but Kevin Henderson was kind enough to upload a video of the confrontation for the rest of us to play armchair expert.
Henderson, who was staying on Bon Secour Beach in Orange Beach, Alabama in April, met a guy from Missouri who was staying in the same building. The two of them went out to fly their drones (the 21st-century version of taking your dog out) on what appears to be a virtually empty public beach in front of the condo. Henderson says that he had just taken off to film the UAV of the other gentleman who was filming his wife and kid…kinda like a relaxed BTS video.
Almost immediately after takeoff, a man confronted Henderson and his friend about flying their drones, stating that FAA regulations forbid it at that location, calling it “restricted airspace.” The man, who claimed to be an employee of the condo building (while dressed like a teenage jock heading to the mall) yet refused to identify himself, kept repeating that they had “been told,” threatening to have them kicked out and call the police. According to the guy, the beach belonged to Summerchase Condominium and specified which poles in the sand marked the “no-fly zone.”
According to Henderson, the area is not restricted airspace, “and safe flight is NOT prohibited by the FAA.” Despite doubting the man’s claims to working for the condo complex, Henderson admits that, if true, the guy did have a right to “restrict take off and landings from the property.” With that in mind, Henderson moved outside of the “restricted airspace” for future flights, just to be safe.
Now, assuming the guy was full of feces, this is just another case of some random stranger freaking out at the sight of a drone. One has to wonder if this was sort of thing happened frequently with the invention of the automobile…
[Emotionally Distressed Angry Man on Beach Confronts Drone Pilots | Kevin Henderson]