Thursday, February 09, 2012

Ground control to Officer HAL...

So the aerial photography and news helicopter businesses are fixing to take a hit when the FAA rewrites the rules for drones in US airspace.

Pilots at small flying clubs are going to have fewer chances to build hours lugging shutterbugs around and more ex-.mil helicopter pilots are going to go begging for work when the Morning Traffic Copter goes remote control (of course, ex-.mil drone pilots will have new career fields opened to them.)

What, you expected me to discuss the civil liberties angle of law enforcement agencies flying drones?

Look, they're already up there in manned helicopters thermal imaging your house, looking for the grow lights; sampling the air to find the residue from your meth lab; taking hi-res photos of your pea patch to find the dope plants, and now you expect me to get all shocked that they'll be doing this by remote control?

You asked for this, Mr. & Mrs. Patriotic American, and you deserve to get it good and hard.


UPDATE: People are still talking about what fed.gov is going to do with drones. Forget fed.gov; they're the least of your worries. What's your city.gov going to do when a year-'round remote-control eye in the sky is cheaper than a day's rental for a Bell Jet Ranger? Remember: Government at every level is strapped for cash and looking for cows to milk. Got a building permit for that shed? Is your woodpile up to code?
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36 comments:

Jay G said...

Cue calls of "but if you have nothing to hide..."

Tam said...

"Cue calls of "but if you have nothing to hide...""

...then they'll have the wrong address on the warrant when they shoot your dog, instead of the right one.

RevGreg said...

Yesterday's "Quote of the Day" from The Other View Blog seems apropos here...

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Greg in Allston said...

"You asked for this, Mr. & Mrs. Patriotic American, and you deserve to get it good and hard."

Amen, Sister. Unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for this, aside from the huge traffic management headache it implies, so long as I get to mount a AAA Cannon on my roof.

Preferably automated and slaved to a radar.

Or I get my own hunter-killer drone. I mean home surveillance drone that accidentally ran into your police one.

RobertM said...

On the upside people are going to feel a whole hell of a lot less guilty about taking a pot shot at an unmanned drone.

Anonymous said...

Two words: proximity fuses.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Why did I just have a flashback to a vision of Michael Biehn ducking under rubble as something flies over with a searchlight?



On a lighter note, my "secret blurry word" thing to post a comment was "buletri", an appropriate one given the nature of this blog and more appropriately, the subject matter.

Pakkinpoppa said...

Eef voo haff nuffink doo heid, vatt eez zee pwabwem weef zees, jah?"

If I had a dollar for every time somebody said, "well, if you're not doing anything wrong..." I'd have a big pile of dollars.

Ever read "Lacey and his Friends" by David Drake? Most people haven't, but the scenario portrayed seems more prevalent every day that passes.

New capchka...humen. I heard a song on the radio I liked, and was humen along with it.

Ken said...

So is it Ron Paul, Sweet Meteor of Death, Cthulhu, or Kobayashi Maru in November? Still planning to write in Ron Paul, but willing to listen to pitches from the other three.

Anonymous said...

Need RX to give us a recipe for home made jam.

Terry T
Florida

BGMiller said...

Ken,

Vote Cthulu.
Why settle for a lesser evil?


*Shamelessly stolen from somewhere on teh interwebz. I forget where though so attribution will have to wait.

BGM

Lewis said...

Damn, RobertM beat me to it.

Greg in Allston said...

Terry T,

I'm sure that some of the clever little rascals out there will be diligently working in their kitchens on some wonderful recipes.

Farm.Dad said...

Looking at what is out there and likely to be fielded at any one point I think the answer is a tight choke and 4 buck . Now if enough folks will just come up with the right question ....

mariner said...

Get real.

Those things are too small and quiet to be seen or heard, and fly too high to be hit with common small arms if seen or heard.

Kristopher said...

Vote Skynet in 2012!

Chris said...

Tam, always a pleasure when you quote Mencken in a good cause.

Will said...

mariner:

they have to come down to earth sometime for fuel/charge. Think of how the usaaf dealt with the problem with the Me-262. When low on airspeed, altitude, and fuel...

Stretch said...

This month's R/C Modeler magazine has article on a scale P-47 with a TWELVE FEET wingspan. Should be able to mount enough ordinance to bring down any drone the Podunk PD puts up. Arms race anyone?

Anonymous said...

For every measure there are several countermeasures. Millions of false positives would be another one. -- Lyle

Anonymous said...

Someone is gonna make a mint selling high intensity infrared LED Christmas lights.

Temnota said...

Remember, the little buggers have transmitters, and even if they encrypt the data so you can't read it, you can still hear it and triangulate the source.

That is true for both the drone and its control station. The bird your local statists are flying won't use a satellite link. Got target?

wv: "bewatin" - Go ahead and launch that drone, I'll bewatin.

Justthisguy said...

As an old model airplane guy, who has lost many chuck gliders in thermals, I say bring it! I was reading over at Sipsey Street how ordinary folks can have their very own autonomous drones for $500 or so.

Hell, Maynard Hill flew a model airplane across the Atlantic Ocean a few years back!

Welshman said...

I understand what you are saying about state and local government, but it is always a mistake to 'forget the feds' in times such as these. I am warning about ALL government oppression--federal, state, local, right down to the county planning commissions. All of them have gotten out of hand and have become quite dangerous.

Chris said...

You are a RPF terrorist. :-)

CIII

staghounds said...

I know a farmer in Somerset who had a horse that was injured and had to be put down. So he dug a hole, hit Dobbin in the head, and buried him.

All within the confines of his own farm, out of view of any road or anyone else's property.

A few weeks later, along came the Police Officer with the citation for unlawful disposal of livestock.

Eye in the sky.

Justthisguy said...

Stag, how much does camouflage netting go for on Ebay or Craigslist these days? Shoot, shovel, and shut up is getting more and more difficult.

I'm a gonna go now, and read more of my recently-discovered favorite WebComic, Freefall, whose main female character bears a very disturbing resemblance to Miss X, aside from the fur and the tail.

Ritchie said...

http://aeroquad.com/

Anonymous said...

Or I get my own hunter-killer drone.

An anti-drone homing missile would be nice...

Larry said...

Famous last words: "Well, if you aren't doing anything wrong you have nothing to worry about!"

Sets my teeth on edge every time I hear it. Good and hard indeed.

Larry said...

Almost missed this one...

FarmDad...what caliber for drones?

Anonymous said...

My first reaction when I heard about local gov getting these things was a story a friend of mine told me about the gal who built a little roof over part of her back yard so she could sunbathe topless without the local spray pilot seeing her (yeah, really. Not the brightest bulb, but anyway.) My second reaction was to think about planting a flower bed in the back yard that says "sod off" or "Mapp vs. Ohio".

LittleRed1

Ecurb said...

@Justthisguy: Just discovered? You've got one heck of an archive binge coming.

We've already taken to using camo-nets around here. Google maps updates surprisingly often, and we know local.gov checks it like a permitting-issue piggybank.

Chas Clifton said...

Here is one example of a small, non-governmental drone being shot down.

dustydog said...

Just means people will wait for bad weather to kill and rob each other.