Drones are the latest rage in recreation, but for non-participants drones can be dangerous, an irritation or a threat. Therefore, unmanned aircraft are being regulated. The Federal Aviation Administration requires the registration of all but the smallest drones. Tennessee and several other states have laws specifically banning the use of drones to harass hunters. In many city and state parks flying drones are forbidden; the same goes for the entire National Park Service.
How big is this problem? In the first 30 days of online registration in 2015, the FAA registered almost 300,000 unmanned aircraft. The FAA is still in the process of creating a regulatory framework for drone use in public spaces.
What about wildlife? Are animals bothered by drones flying nearby? Studies show that they are, and in some cases extremely agitated. Birds will quickly leave their resting and feeding areas and will stop mating rituals when so threatened. Startled nesting birds are likely to break their eggs. Wading birds large and small will scatter.
In Minnesota a 2015 study of black bears showed that unmanned aircraft caused the bears’ heart rates to increase by 400 percent; and one bear was roused from hibernation prematurely by a drone.
Drone defense. Would you believe an anti-drone weapon? This is no joke and not a toy. A British company has unveiled a bazooka that's designed specifically to catch small unmanned aircraft. The “SkyWall 100” is a drone-netting device that can snatch them out of the air. It is a pneumatically powered, shoulder-fired gun with a digital sighting system and a range of 100 yards. The single-shot gun can be loaded and reloaded in about eight seconds.
The SkyWall 100 is designed not to destroy the tiny aircraft. It captures them in a deployed net and parachutes them safely to earth. It is the brainchild of OpenWorks Engineering. Get more information – or order yours – at their website www.openworksengineering.com/Skywall.