- Read our review guidelines
Picture this; you’re out trying to have a relaxing day on the water. You’re enjoying the outdoors and the bountiful fishing, and all of a sudden you hear an annoying buzzing sound. No, it’s not a swarm of bees. It’s someone’s drone flying overhead. And immediately your peaceful day on the lake is no longer the relaxing fishing trip you had planned.
Note: we previously covered fishing drones, so yeah, us fishing folk are guilty of “polluting” the skies. We’re not against drones. If we all respect each other’s privacy and solitude….there won’t be a problem with them.
But wouldn’t it be great if you could somehow take these annoying drones out of the sky? We’ve looked into it and we can show you how to disable a drone but we do need to warn you; taking down a drone in the US is not legal and you could get in some serious trouble.
Because drones are technically regarded as aircraft, it’s illegal to take one down, just as it would be if you were to take a plane or helicopter out of the sky. With the laws from the Federal Aviation Authority, the charges for taking down a drone could be pretty hefty and could land you in jail.
Not only that, you could also get in trouble with both the state and federal police depending on how you go about attempting to sabotage a drone mid-flight. Shooting one down could result in firearms charges, reckless endangerment or criminal damage charges, among others.
While it is against the law in the US to take down a drone, here are some of the ways that people have been successful in wiping out those pesky drones from the sky.
But remember, if you’re on public land, you pretty much have no rights to privacy. The best thing you can do to stay on the right side of the law would be to ask the drone operator to kindly stop. Or call the police if it’s on your property.
There are a couple of ways you can use nets to capture a drone. One way is by using a larger drone and attaching a net to it. Then scoop up the annoying one in your net and bring it to the ground, just like how the police in Tokyo, Japan are managing the illegal drone use in the city.
Another way to use nets is to use a SkyWall 100 drone catcher. This huge launcher, developed by British engineers, works by precision targeting the drone in question and firing a capsule that releases a web-like net that surrounds the offending drone. It has a parachute that releases in order to bring the drone down to the ground safely.
Video: SkyWall100 Drone Defence System
Shooting a drone out of the sky with a gun is definitely a dangerous risk, as you could potentially injure someone, either with the shots fired or with the falling drone.
A few years ago, in Kentucky, a man was charged for shooting down a drone that was hovering over his backyard while his daughters were sunbathing. He was initially charged with discharging a firearm within city limits and felony wanton endangerment. However, the charges were dismissed by a local judge.
But don’t let that one judge’s decision fool you into thinking it’s a good idea; it’s still illegal.
Birds Of Prey
One way that you might be able to take down a drone with very few consequences is by following in the footsteps of the Dutch Police. They have been working with a company called Guard From Above in order to train eagles to catch and retrieve drones from the sky. And it seems to work.
Video: The Eagle That Chases Drones
While this would technically probably not be illegal, as the seemingly wild bird would be snatching it and not you, it’s probably not something you’re going to be able to do, unless you’re a trained falconer with some birds of prey to hand.
However, there are concerns about the safety of the birds and studies are in place to discover if there might be any risk to the birds from the spinning blades of the drones they catch.
One way of taking out a drone is to block the signal between the controller and the drone. DroneDefender is a device that can disrupt the signal and essentially send the drone back to where it came from or gently glide to the ground.
However, these devices are not available to the public, so unless you’re a federal agent, you’ll have a pretty difficult time acquiring one.
Hacking into the WiFi signal on the drone could be another way to go, but this is also highly illegal and potentially can open your network to being hacked.
We’ve “Droned On” Enough…So Let’s Wrap Up
Even though there may be several ways you can in fact take down a drone, no matter how annoying it is hovering around your head, disrupting your peace, there’s no legal way you can actually do this in the US.
So if you’re on private land and you find there’s a drone invading your property or your privacy, the only thing you can really do is call the police if you feel particularly under threat.
That being said, with more and more drones entering our skies, there could be changes in the laws in the near future, but until then it’s best to leave it to the authorities.
We hope you’ve found this somewhat entertaining and if you have any experience in taking down drones, feel free to let us know. And share this with your friends if you want to help them stay on the right side of the law.