Attorneys for a Kentucky resident, filed the first federal lawsuit regarding the rights of drone operators versus property owners in the United States District Court of Western Kentucky. The suit asks the court to “define clearly the rights of aircraft operators and property owners” as they relate to unmanned aircraft.
Last year, a Kentucky man, picked up his shot gun and disposed of a drone flying over his property. The shooter was charged with criminal mischief when he shot down the drone, but claimed the drone was spying on his family. After hearing testimony, the judge ruled in favor of the shooter saying, “He had a right to shoot at the drone, and I’m going to dismiss the charge.”
The battle lines are being drawn between drone operators and property owners. If the drone operator in this is in fact found to have been spying, you'd better believe the lawsuit settlement will hit "north" of 6 figures.
The outcome of this case will be significant. Where does private property airspace end and controlled airspace begin? The FAA controls all airspace to the surface, but that doesn't mean you can fly your drone right outside someone's bedroom window. We believe the outcome of this case will "shake-up" airspace laws and "legal clearance/avoidance from people/buildings" in a very critical way. We will update this blog as the case progresses through the court system.