In a war between drone and hose, there is one defined winner. But was the aircraft pilot foraying privacy, or are the firefighters guilt-ridden of damaging his chattel?
As aircraft become more inexhaustible, people are beginning to drift into two camps: those that cherish them and those (like this chimp) that think they’re privacy-usurping, hazardous irritants. Predict which side a group of firefighters from upstate New York pitched their tent.
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As the firefighters from Montgomery and Coldenham in New York were striving to douse a house that was on fire on June 4, an indigenous man by name John Thompson decided to pilot a drone over the theater to film the proceedings. The firefighters condoned the drone for about 10 minutes, then set up their fire hose at it in what appears to be like infuriation. They spurt another blast its way about a minute later.
Thompson says that his drone is now broken and demands the fire company to pay for a new one at the sum of $2,200. (On a side note, the drone looks like a DJI Phantom 2 Vision, which really costs about $1,000.)
Taking a different look at the argument, however, local police are probing if Thompson went against any laws, according to a news report on News 12 Hudson Valley. The station also recounts that “off camera,” the local district attorney said that “unlawfully surveilling someone with a drone is illegal, but public events are generally allowed to be (filmed).”
The debate about who’s wrong and who’s right in this situation has naturally taken to Thompson’s Facebook page. “If the press is allowed to film a fire call, I have the same right to do this. Look for the law that says I can’t,” posts Thompson.
“I will say one thing: if my house were to burn and I saw that drone above my property, it wouldn’t be there very long,” says Facebook user Mike Townsend in the comments. “I do not want my house being recorded if it’s on fire or for whatever reason by some drone.”
It’s a dodgy debate and one that is only going to accentuate as our friends, neighbors, the police, and even Amazon get the ability to invade our personal airspace.
Was Thompson’s video a solid piece of citizen journalism (it is well-filmed), or was it a blatant invasion of the homeowner’s privacy? On whose side are you pitching your tent?