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Illegal to take down someone else's drone flying on own property - CAA

Radio New Zealand logo Radio New Zealand 3/01/2019
The authority said it was getting more calls from people who were unsure what to do if they spotted a drone flying overhead, and wondered if they could shoot or knock it down. © Getty The authority said it was getting more calls from people who were unsure what to do if they spotted a drone flying overhead, and wondered if they could shoot or knock it down.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) is warning anyone who takes down a drone flying over their property will be breaking the law.

The authority said it was getting more calls from people who were unsure what to do if they spotted a drone flying overhead, and wondered if they could shoot or knock it down.

But its manager of special flight operations and recreational flight information Clayton Hughes said they could not.


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"While the drone, if it's acting in breach of the rules, may be a risk, if someone else tries to take out the drone it could increase the risk as the drone could become uncontrollable, fall out of the sky and hit someone," he said.

"So you're actually adding to the risk of the breach in the first place"

Mr Hughes said people should call the police if they saw a drone flying over their property without permission. There had been one case of someone shooting at a drone which was being handled by the police, he said.

He also said anyone flying a drone should have a clear understanding of the rules before flying.

"Different councils and different authorities have different rules for flying over parks, so you need to contact the local council ... and they quite often have information for drone users."

He said you could not legally fly a drone over other people, nor could you fly above someone's property without consent.

"Authorities, especially airports, are looking at ways where they can control drones. But as I said before, the risk of trying to disrupt a drone is that you may create more risk than the drone's creating in the first place."

He encouraged anyone with questions about the use of drones to contact the CAA.


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