FAA to Town: Please Don’t Shoot Down Drones

thumb_tritoninflight3_1The Federal Aviation Administration felt the need to issue a statement Friday asking the general public not to shoot at drones flying over head as a small Colorado town is considering an ordinance urging townsfolk to shoot down unmanned aerial vehicles.

“Shooting at an unmanned aircraft could result in criminal or civil liability, just as would firing at a manned airplane,” the statement from the FAA read.

Officials from Deer Trail, Colo., are thinking about issuing $25 hunting licenses to shoot down drones. The town would even go further and award $100 to someone with a license who could provide proof that he shot down the drone.

FAA officials didn’t wait long to put a stop to that. The FAA pointed out Friday that it’s their job to determine who or what is allowed to fly over Deer Trail.

Phillip Steel of Deer Trail wrote the proposal and received 28 signatures on his petition. He said the hunters would target small civilian drones in fear the government was collecting surveillance on Deer Trail citizens.

He didn’t seem too worried about the FAA’s stance on his proposal.

“The FAA doesn’t have the power to make a law,” he told the Associated Press.

77 Comments on "FAA to Town: Please Don’t Shoot Down Drones"

  1. USS ENTERPRISE | July 22, 2013 at 6:46 pm | Reply

    How can a town, pass as an ordinance, the ability for anyone to SHOOT DOWN PLANES? Not everyone can tell the difference between a manned and unmanned aircraft. This is ridiculous!

    And for all you that are about to spurt out your constitutional rights, are you REALLY saying that SHOOTING DOWN AIRCRAFT is something you are entitled to?

  2. To be fair, the FAA is regulatory agency, not a legislative body. Unless it is written in US or state law, their regulations are more suggestions, technically. Good luck with your personal finances while you defend yourself in court for the rest of your life though.

    Did I miss something? Did the SCOTUS affirm a second amendment right to MANPADS? How will anyone shoot down an aircraft with small arms, when they are out of range pretty much the entire time except take off and landing?

    Also, slight paranoia. I doubt big brother has much interest in Dear Trail Colorado. The IRS might, though.

  3. This will make American want to shoot drones down even more now LOL!!!!!!!!!

  4. Good lord, those people are friggin stupid. Hopefully, they won't try shoot down the bigger ones that could actually crash and kill someone. Neverminds all those bullets missing and landing god knows where.

  5. HAHAHAHA This is hillarious. Im so glad i live in the UK. You yankies really need to get a grip.

    At least you last 2 commentors seem to have some perspective.

    Have a nice day y'all

    I hope a drone doesnt fall on your head ;)

  6. This is really funny. The drones will be at altitudes that make the town ordinance useless. This is the prevailing atitude of alot of people out west, no government surveilance or interference allowed. It's a western tradition, that's why they went west.

  7. Time to buy a .50 cal.

  8. There were two drones flying over Charleston Harbor during my last visit there. One was an octocopter and the other was some sort of pusher flying wing design about 6 feet across.

    I could have taken out both with a good deer rifle as they flew over the Marina. So, these smaller drones could be shot down pretty easily. But, let's face it – I never would have even seen a Global Hawk or a Predator.

  9. Not sure why the good people of Deer Trail are so upset with drones. The FAA has been working to integrate drones into the national airspace system for a while. My fear is that someone will mistake a Cessna/Piper/Grumman American/etc for a drone and kill a family on vacation. Would they shoot at a manned survaillance aircraft?

  10. Drones can shoot back. And should.

  11. Proposed: An Ordinance Concerning Ordnance Directed at Aerial Craft

  12. When you beg the government to do something like manage your healthcare or gun control they assume and rightfully so that you are happy with government intervention into your lives. The government certainly doesn't see any of these items as being different and neither do I. So why not enjoy your 32oz cup of government in your life. After all you asked for it.

  13. Shooting into the air is just asking for trouble anyways

  14. If they would fly these things over south Chicago maybe we could think about making it a part of America again.

  15. I own guns and a lot of them, And I do believe in my constitutional rights to do so within the law. That law does not include taking down aircraft , manned or Not. That would cause a extreme hazard to people on the ground and for what? Who really gives a crap what these people are doing here unless they are really doing something wrong and in that case maybe they should be watched. And I seriously doubt these people would even have to have the capacity to even know if a drown was in the area much less take one down. Its freaking wacko's like this that jeopardize 2nd amendment for all of us non wacko's

  16. Where are the bullets going to land? Most likely no where near a human or anything of value. You do realize that we are talking about a deer trail right? But in general your a pussy fuck the police and like it or not you lazy Americans a storm is coming and it will be the young generations that’s kicks your asses out! Maybe not a revolution but a civil war

  17. You brits need not worry about us ,you have problems of your own.Islam is turning your country into a Muslim state.We got this!Protect your soldiers!

  18. The problem is not with the drones, but with the Federal Government Administration's penchant to collect all information that it can collect without following the law and obtaining a court order from a ourt that we can appeal to to prevent or revoke the permission to spy on us.

  19. Great! Be an Ace in your own backyard.

  20. How do you cook 'em???

  21. Nothing better to practice with than that of a moving target in the sky. Lasers help also.

  22. Ain'tLifeGreat! | July 23, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Reply

    While flying my rented Piper J-3 as a young teen, I spotted a naked fat lady sun-bathing behind a fence in her backyard. Scared the crap out of me. Except when on final approach, I never look down anymore. :-)

  23. Unless the shooter can positively identify the drone as a drone, they are "playing with fire" to try and shoot it down, as it could be a small passenger plane with people on board. My other issue with this is DO THESE SHOOTERS actually KNOW where the bullets they are firing into the air are going when they start their downward trajectory? Is it possible they will be hitting people whom they DO NOT know, just because it seems like a good idea to shoot at drones?

  24. I've more than once witnessed a bare miss of a manned plane by rocket club enthusiasts, despite logging a FAA flight plan for their activity. Seems to me that missiles would be more effective than guns. Just sayin'. : \

  25. I will be naked in my backyard tomorrow at 12:03pm . FLY OVER COME AND GET ME. Lets see if I show up in the news. most of you freaking people are crazy and have no idea and you need too get a life oh, wait that's why you are worried about this. I would post my phone number for the Govt. to get me but it would problely be one of you wacko' s that called.

  26. Drones will now be armed and able to counter any attempt at a shoot down. They will need to do this autonomously and so it will be inevitable that they become self aware and start to do their own thing….

    Now talk about unintended consequences….. LOL

  27. No one seems to be able to answer one simple. Were will all those rounds that are fired into the sky at a "drone" land? I can answer it, this 4th of July found several spent rounds in the street gutter, the bed of my pick-up & a couple lodged in the roof of my house. It costs me a couple of thousand dollars a year to have my roof repaired.

    You gun nuts are your own worst enemy, when it concerns gun control. If those laws get passed, they will hurt those of us who use our weapons responsibly the most. When those drones fall from the sky and crash into someone's house or car or into the play set in the back yard where their kids were playing and kills some kids, then there will be an out cry to take the weapons away from us.

    As-salaamu 'alaikum
    Et secundum diversitatem unitatis pro scientiam
    LPN/ret, HM2c(FMF)/USN, Sgt/USAR, ACM/olc, CWVet, VNeVet, GWVet

  28. WOW !!! What a country!!

  29. Has anyone told these town folk that these drones can/could carry Hellfire missiles? We been using these drones to take out the talaban for years. So you sure you want to bring a pea shooter to this fight?Because most likely these "drones" are re-purposed/over-stocked MQ-9 Reaper drones which have the capability to carry missiles.

  30. Hmm, this would be a really funny story if it wasn't true!!! I can picture a bunch of DA rednecks with rifles taking target practice on drones, they are lauging and having a great time untill the drone crashes into an elementry school, and sets it ablaze.

    Or how about that rifle bullet that comes down and takes out a wife or kid…Even to put that type of information out to the public should be criminal..

  31. I understand that people are afraid and upset that comments were made to use the drones to “spy” on Americans. The outlash that has come from these statements are huge. I however think people have forgotten all the good that drones can do. Remember the 5 yr old little boy on Ky that was saved after he was kidnapped and taken underground, it was a drone that finally gave the accruate view for authorities to help. Drones keep more of our pilots and soliders safe since they do not have to fly into an area and get shot down and soliders don’t have to get in a shot out since they also don’t need to be there.

    Let’s resonably think about this…really shooting an aircraft, manned or unmanned, down is not a good idea and should be illegal. All anyone is thinking of is negative but if someone should go ahead and do this has anyone thought of the lives that can be lost or injured when that big thing in the sky comes crashing to earth. Be smart people, personally I think this is completely ridiculous that people wanted to do this much less they had to be told they will go to jail if they did. What happened to folks with common sense anymore? Think touchy feely country and don’t do this because it will hurt someone’s feeling, or don’t watch what I am doing, give illegal immagrants a free ride…this is what is bringing our country down. As for the drones…spy away because if someone is so worried about being watched then they probably should be watched more closely, those doing nothing wrong should not care.

  32. elmondohummus | July 24, 2013 at 9:30 am | Reply

    Everyone's posting such serious comments. Where's the fun? I, for one just want to know more about a community where the local government thinks the citizenry has the firepower to shoot down a drone. :D

    Old hunter: "Yep… I got these here Afghan-Soviet-war era Stingers for a discount. Works great for huntin' geese…"
    Other hunter: "I need to get me some of those. These WWII era Bofors guns just tear the geese up somethin' awful."

  33. Craig A. Moore | July 24, 2013 at 9:39 am | Reply

    When PETA and HSUS start flying the little ones over farms, ranches, feedlots and HUNTERS a lot of you are going to change your minds on where drones can and do fly.

  34. Are you depressed by drones? Harassed by hovercopters? Don't be afraid, because now there's 'Mr. Sidewinder'! Made with the same high technology used by the Israeli Air Defense Force, Mr. Sidewinder is guaranteed to take out every drone, every time! Never be bothered by unwanted drone snooping again! And if you act now, we'll double yoour order! Yes, that's two, count 'em, two Mr. Sidewinders for the low price of only $56,000!

  35. I believe the ordinance states that only shotguns can be used to shoot at the drones. Bird-shot will fall from the sky, not bullets.

  36. If drones were vulnerable to most small arms fire, Afghanistan and Pakistan would be littered with UAV wreckage.

  37. Lawrence Ekdahl, | July 24, 2013 at 10:57 pm | Reply

    The question to ask is: who authorized these drones to fly over small towns and for what reason?

  38. So if a peeping tom was to take pictures of your wife undressing its OK?

  39. Purple Falcon | July 25, 2013 at 2:55 am | Reply

    Some commenters are way too serious. If it all wasn't a joke, it shoulda been. BillP has it right (How do you cook 'em???).

    Most commenters (and readers) have no clue how difficult it is to shoot down a flying object (identified or not). I visited Hanoi frequently during the Vietnam War, and they tried to get me to stay, using 57 mm and 80 mm "bullets" (not to mention ground-to-air missiles). And nary a scratch (they did get lucky with some others, once in a while) – lucky also for me, I guess, since I didn't fancy their accommodations and cuisine.

    It was a humorous proposal, that will never go anywhere officially.

  40. The FAA cannot write laws…only suggest some be written. That being said, this is a very dumb thing to do…tell the people of America not to shoot down the drones. I will say this though, if the government keeps going down the cesspool with loss of rights I know what the revolution will start with….these illegal collection devices called drones!!!
    Drones are useful..yes…very much so but to use them to collect information on everyone is wrong. I have nothing to hide but feel the gov't should not collect anything on me without me knowing about it. Drones can be used to find lost hikers, fugitives ect…

    Now seriously folks, if I were to shoot one down what website contains the information on how to cook one? baaaaahaaaaaa

  41. these people are on drugs

  42. The folks in Deer Park have a reasonable argument, The FAA technically has authority over all outdoor airspace to ground level above all private property–even where manned aircraft cannot fly safely, such as below treetop level and the airspace under your garden trellis and carport. There needs to be a modification so that private property owners own the airspace up to a reasonable safe distance above treetop level–perhaps 400 feet?–This airspace should be considered to be part of the curtilage of the property owner's "castle," whereby any of the bird-size drones or smaller should not trespass, and law enforcement should get a warrant from a judge to enter this private airspace. I think it is this low-altitude airspace and the bird-sized drones that the folks had in mind at Deer Trail, for shooting down–with a shotgun, and only in a manner that is safe for neighbors. We are not talking about surface-to-air missiles to shoot predators flying at 10,000 feet.

  43. Only criminals have something to hide. They should be investigated. Who else shoots at our drones? Taliban. They can fly over my house anytime and I might take a picture of them.

  44. I think we need to differentiate between big drones, like the predators that DHS is having reprogrammed to spot men carrying rifles and the smaller ones that can look in windows and such and are used by animal rights terrorists to harass hunters.
    The small ones can be taken down with a shotgun with minimal danger to anyone. The bigger ones though are going to require some serious work by citizen engineers to take down.

  45. Extreme comments in a a non-situational context are symptoms of fear and distrust. Our government professes to be representative, but delegates good ideas to people with the authority of the 'King' to implement them. These delegates are NOT the people. They are people with their own agendas and involved in they're own livelihood, sanctioned by a very busy government. DNR walking wherever on your land, FEDS with unlimited investigative powers, invasive trespassers protected by their 'right' to, what, exist? Should we wonder why a community would offer a bounty on 'False Eagles'. What good is delved from this surveillance, other than that the fact that they can do it- and justify the job (and the income)?

  46. No, usa… don't dispel our view that you are parochial, primitive, gun-happy dolts slowly trying to move forward into the 18th century while using the fruits of superior European technology, as made in Asia!

    Shoot at the drones for all I care, usa!
    Who's EVER going to know it was you?

    A pilot may hear bullets whizzing past his cockpit or hitting his plane and look down.
    A drone suddenly stops transmitting a video stream to the uniformed illiterate back at the bunker or spirals into the ground for 'no reason'.

    The shooter will remain safe and unknown forever.

    Keep eating them 'freedom fries' and telling yourself the dollar will be the world's reserve currency forever… BTW how are bankrupt Detroit, CA and several other major amer'oid non-work-unit habitation zones doing? Do remind me!

    I like to get all my lols in at once… it saves time!

  47. Hope the Global Hawk you shoot down doesn't land on your house, cuz you'll be homeless.

  48. country gone to pot | July 26, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Reply

    Most of you do not know that when a projectile is fired into the air and returns back down it does not have the same velocity. Which is why bullets dont kill people when fired up into the air.. I am sure some of you will try to argue the point, but just remember, physics and facts, not opnion..

    And yes, all survalence drones should be shot down, invasion of privacy

  49. LOL you guys get so heated. If you all would have bothered to follow the story from the begining….

    They mayor said, I know its against the law to pass the ordinance. They wanted to put their town on the map. Its a town of like 50 people or some crap. Simple as that, now we're all talking about it. Go figure.

  50. ok so to the people who think we can legally shoot planes, does that mean we can legally shoot/blow up military equipment? so according to your logic, i can shoot at any Humvees around? or if it only applies to things in air, can i shoot people on bogo sticks???? this makes no sense

  51. i'm 75, and think this is funny as hell. why worry about drones? they have a thousand ways to watch us if they choose. but as for shooting them down ………. HELL YES …………………………………… PULL!!!!!!!!!!

  52. They taste like chicken…

  53. I wonder what would happen if the citizens were to fly the same little four bladed electric helicopters like they're talking about over and into Area 51? After all they didn't mention that on their signs around the desert about Americans not being able to do it? They blocked off entire mountains and mountain sides that were able to have a better look down into the area. They can block regular air craft from flying over, but if you take one of these toys they aren't your regular regulated air craft, they're toys and should be technically exempt from restrictions they post around there right ? After all they're talking about taking the same ones that this is all about over our yards? I'd like to have one of those little spy helicopter or whisper glider things die out of battery power and crash on my property.

  54. It's always something…

  55. HERKEY ANDERSON | July 28, 2013 at 4:43 pm | Reply


  56. It's obvious the town does not understand the service ceilings for these drones. The Global Hawk depicted is a bit over 60,000 feet and Predators your looking at 30,000 + feet. The town has an elevation on 5,300 feet so you figure it out.
    I think its an expression of frustration that is better expressed at the polls come 2014.

  57. What goes up must come down, as in bullets.

    So the FAA should contact the towns insurance providers, I am sure that there is some way they could refuse coverage for acts of stupidity.

  58. LOL so as has been stated there is no way that they would be able to shoot down a preditor or other such drones. However it would be easy to shoot down small remote controlled flyers such as hobby planes or the ones the infantry use like the raven. Also every one is talking about shooting them with rifles and how that is a bad idea anyone ever heard of a shotgun? Not saying that its a good idea but come on…

  59. What people need to realize is that most "Drones" are hobbyists and videos are not taken of the ground, and people are not observed. If one of my multi thousand dollar aircraft get shot down by some dumb person, you better believe there will be a very violent assult follwed by a ransom to replace my destroyed aircraft. We are not spying on anyone and are just out for a little fly.

  60. shooting at a drone would be so stupid, I don't think the government would be to concerned about labeling someone who does and enemy combatant and firing back. you would also just be hitting yourself in the back pocket drones cost tax payers millions of dollars.

  61. Hmmm… sounds more like a protest against government interference in the lives of everyday folks without being invited. Surely no one seriously thinks shooting them down will do any good. Better to find the ops base and take that out. If one were so inclined……

  62. Bullets won't get them but rockets will. They can't fly through nets can they.

  63. Stop feeling so important. The government doesn't care about your monotonous day to day lives.

  64. where's deertail?
    BTW, who would want to be named after an animal's ass?

  65. Recently a Virgin Atlantic pilot caught sight of one at 3,000 feet. In a third report, there was a drone within two miles of a heavily used runway. These days, drones are exploding in civilian use, and there is no doubt in my mind that people, probably many, many people, are going to get hurt and killed because of them.

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