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Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's)
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E J
(mountainwalker) - MLife

Locale: SF Bay Area & New England
Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/05/2014 15:43:35 MST Print View

Wasn't sure where to post this. Hiking in the hills above Silicon Valley, this was bound to happen sooner rather than later. Ms. EJ and I were hiking with a friend visiting from out of town in a protected nature preserve when we heard a very loud mechanical buzzing sound approaching. Sure enough, it was a 4 prop drone, and it buzzed us twice on our trail, and then flew over trails on the other side of the ridge. Definitely spooked the wildlife. I let one of our ranger friends know and he headed out to try to find the operators.

I appreciate many good uses for UAV's and have friends who are building them professionally, but they most certainly do not belong in protected natural areas for non-emergency uses (or non-research uses that do not benefit the protected area).

Matthew Perry
(bigfoot2) - F

Locale: Oregon
buzzed on the trail by Drones on 01/05/2014 17:49:41 MST Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=86021

d

spelt with a t
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/05/2014 20:16:08 MST Print View

Uck.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Jet's Also on 01/05/2014 21:32:24 MST Print View

A couple of times I've been "buzzed?" by military jets in Washington State wilderness areas. It is "drop-to-the-ground/have-a-heart-attack" frightening. They come out of nowhere, with no warning, at tree top level and are deafening.

It is similar to the Blue Angels performing on Lake Washington during Seattle Seafair. The big difference, however, is that one isn't expecting them and they are entering an otherwise quiet and peaceful environment.

Upon reflection it occurs to me that my appearance may have been a bit scary to the pilot too.

Edited by lyrad1 on 01/06/2014 08:37:13 MST.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Jet's Also on 01/05/2014 22:40:39 MST Print View

I lived under the flight path on Whidbey Island for years for NAS Whidbey....as in the final approach before the landing. Military planes for some reason just don't phase me.

Although we also watched TV with closed captioning during those years :-P

Hah........

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Jet's Also on 01/05/2014 23:50:55 MST Print View

Daryl, that sounds horrible!

Desert Dweller
(Drusilla)

Locale: Wild Wild West
Drones...Meh on 01/06/2014 01:39:34 MST Print View

We are used to it, down on the border, and they don't fly all of the time here. AV gas is expensive. Most are relatively high up. They keep us safe, watch our borders and sound like mosquitos. We have Border Patrol Helicopters for low observance and chases, and we see them all of the time too. It used to piss me off, its like living in a war zone, but now we need them HERE. The results are showing in positive ways.
The world is changing, its no longer the peaceful outback here it used to be. I'm not so sure the interior of the USA needs such observing robots, and I can see how everyone north of here is a bit rattled by drones. And really, they don't have the $$ to do much more than business, they (the government) don't give a hoot about hikers or outdoor enthusiasts. The one you heard/saw may be private and airspace rules do apply. Especially if it was a MOA area or wilderness. Sorry your hike was disturbed. Now the Air Force Jets strafing us in wilderness areas, that's another thing. Ear splitting engines around you when one has climbed for days to a peak are just obnoxious.
Besides, we have other invasive stuff that's more upsetting than drones...wait till they put sensors on every trail YOU hike on...they started doing that here in the 1990's, now you can't take a poop without them knowing.....

Edited by Drusilla on 01/06/2014 01:44:19 MST.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Drones...Meh on 01/06/2014 08:35:05 MST Print View

What you describe reminds me of the first Hunger Games movie. Drones/cameras were watching every life and death detail of the games. On the positive side the drones could also deliver life saving medicine or other small supplies.

Perhaps someday I could quit carrying my personal locator beacon? If needed I could simply summon the nearest drone and say "Go get help, Lassie."

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/07/2014 12:08:52 MST Print View

2006, before Drones were everyday conversation, helicopter and jet fighters were the deal. I was on the exposed ridge about a mile away from telescope peak, Whitney to my right, and badwater to my left, alone on the mountain, having a soul searching moment about life, career and married life.
Out of nowhere, two helicopters pop out from the valleys below, hover over me while I'm on the thin ridge, the wind from their fan blades were strong, I hugged the ground, no time to take off my pack, felt that I would be blown off the mountain. Mind you I have experienced the famous Santa Ana Winds, and the Gayle force wind before. My heart was hyper beating. my face on the ground, I see a dead frozen mouse looking at me. surreal. The helicopters leave after 30 secs, then some jet fighters pop in the sky for some Tom Cruise Top Gun movie practice dog fight.

My heart beating rapidly. The jets were at a distance now, I was shaken up. I try to calm down. My moment of zen relaxation is now fight or flight, but fight what? I think about finishing the last mile to the peak, then a hail storm with ping pong size pelting, again, out of nowhere on a blue sunny day in DeVa.

I was solo, the flight instinct kicks in. This is too weird, I run back down trail, get to the truck, the choppers, jet fighters and hail storm all gone now.

I was trying to figure out what happened, did this really happen? I didn't believe myself. my camera broke. A few days later at home I downloaded the video from the broken camera to my laptop. still surreal thinking about it.

My family has medical history of heart attacks and dementia, thought I had both!

Edited by RogerDodger on 01/07/2014 13:33:05 MST.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/07/2014 20:21:54 MST Print View

RogerDodger,

Great story.

David Olsen
(bivysack.com) - F - M

Locale: Channeled Scablands
The agency has ruled that drones may not be used for commercial purposes. on 01/10/2014 16:05:29 MST Print View

"Until then, though, Tinsley’s wonderful beach video is officially a no-no. Posting it crossed over into commercial territory. When the journalism website Poynter.org did a story about it, Tinsley called it a “gray area.” An FAA spokesman retorted"

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/jan/10/shawn-vestal-photographers-birds-eye-has-wings/

Jason G
(JasonG) - F

Locale: iceberg lake
which on 01/10/2014 17:11:15 MST Print View

EJ, just curious what OSP this happened in?

Kelly G
(KellyDT) - F
Buzzed by on 01/15/2014 22:20:22 MST Print View

" A couple of times I've been "buzzed?" by military jets in Washington State wilderness areas. It is "drop-to-the-ground/have-a-heart-attack" frightening. They come out of nowhere, with no warning, at tree top level and are deafening. "

Yep, me too. PCT north of Hyas Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington. Tree-top level, directly over the trail headed north, and the entire experience over in seconds, from first sound to final sound. Unbelievably fast.
Kelly

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/16/2014 23:26:46 MST Print View

Roger, I've been on the same trail several times. More commonly, the high flying aircraft are the jets from China Lake, and they are supposed to be flying over the Argus Range. Occasionally, they overfly the Panamint Valley, but they are not supposed to be overflying the Panamint Range, or at least not near the ridgeline. The helicopters are sometimes from Fort Irwin to the south. I've seen the helicopters down low in the Panamint Valley doing the Tom Cruise routine.

Also keep in mind that we are sometimes hypoxic up near the peak, so don't believe everything that your eyes are telling you.

--B.G.--

steven franchuk
(Surf)
"buzzed?" by military jets in Washington State wilderness areas on 01/20/2014 12:18:57 MST Print View

"A couple of times I've been "buzzed?" by military jets in Washington State wilderness areas. It is "drop-to-the-ground/have-a-heart-attack" frightening. They come out of nowhere, with no warning, at tree top level and are deafening."

What you probably saw was a training flight. Military pilots are taught to use terrain to prevent being picked up on radar. On one Hike I did years ago we set up camp after climbing most of the way out of a valley. the next day we planned on hiking over a pass to our destination.

That pass ended up being favorit for the pilots. they would fly low over the pass, bank hard, and drop down into the valley below. The first couple of flights were a surprise but later we recognized the sound of the jet a couple of minutes before. the sound was week only there for a few seconds before fading away. On the last one we heard it, started looking, he appeared, banked hard, and we were looking right into his cockpit from below. It was really cool to watch.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/20/2014 15:30:02 MST Print View

I've gotten buzzed while droning on and on with some stupid joke on the trail, is that kinda the same thing?

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/20/2014 15:40:46 MST Print View

I'm buzzed far more often by IPAs than UAVs.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/20/2014 22:57:37 MST Print View

I've been wondering if this was actually a drone. How big was it? Hint - if is was only a few feet long it was probably not a "drone", as in used to spy on you.

The whole Idea of someone going off in "search of the operator" implies it was a hobbyist. Drone operators are not standing behind a tree on the next hill. Drones are typically bigger and expensive, and they typically don't buzz the ground. They might circle thousand of feet up with their beady little eyes on you however.

If it was some guy with a radio controlled plane it might have been annoying, but not sinister, and not a civilian drone which would neither "buzz" you, nor would you likely even be as aware of, but ARE a bit sinister in my book...unless they are gently dropping my same-day amazon deliveries by parachute. Then they are OK I guess.

If you are talking about the *Open Space Preserves* up in the Santa Cruz Mountains (where I live) above Silicon Valley, these are not quite "Nature Preserves". On the other hand, not sure what the rules would be there about radio controlled plains, drone-ish or otherwise. They let in mountain bikers and they are far more annoying and destructive than drones in my book. :-)

Edited by millonas on 01/20/2014 23:20:20 MST.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/21/2014 11:01:49 MST Print View

I had one buzzing around at the winery I work for in the Santa Cruz Mountains...at first it was kind of disturbing but also interesting in a sense

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Finally happened - buzzed on the trail by Drones (UAV's) on 01/26/2014 16:49:09 MST Print View

A QuadCopter , or similar is most likely what was encountered.

Yes it is a "drone", but it is good to differentiate between a Quad cruising at 100' and a military Predator cruising at 25,000'.

Any chance you could have taken it out with a slingshot?