A photo of two people

What to do when people walk up to you when you are flying a drone | Drones

A photo of two peopleBe nice.

I know it bugs a lot of people when folks walk up to you while you are operating your UAS. You are obviously out there doing it for a reason. Could be fun, you could be on a job…whatever. Just remember how you react with people when they approach you is how they will describe people who fly drones.

You are literally an ambassador for the drone community.

My experience

Today I set out to Antelope Island. It is a beautiful sunny day with a few clouds and light wind. I have all 4 batteries juiced up. I stopped by the Maverick to get a coke and some bug spray. I drive out to the park entrance, pay my fee and I’m headed out over the cause way.

I pick my spot and spray bug spray all over myself, my Jeep and the interior of the vehicle as well. Set the Spark out connect up and launch.

Not 15 seconds into. My flight a lady pulls over when I am, and approaches me.


In a New Zealand accent she asks me if I have a bird. Thinking this woman (she was in her 70’s but you never know) as asking my about my drone I answered, “Yes, it’s a Spark. Do you fly?” “No…no.” She answered. “I just have a camera with lots of telescoping lenses.”

While my Spark was still in the air just hovering, we had a conversation. I told her it’s tough to photograph the wildlife here unless you can get way far out there. Which was obviously why she had really nice telescoping lenses and I had a drone.

She asked me if the drone records as well as takes photos. I told her yes, and flew the Spark back into close proximity so she could see it.

For a few minutes, I just let the Spark hover and we had a conversation about the time my wife and I went to Australia and New Zealand. We discussed Christ Church before if fell in the earthquake, a really cool experience I had learning a little bit of Maori history. She told me about her travels from England to Australia and the. To New Zealand and finally comes get back to Utah about 20 years ago.

Two people talkingI might have burned a battery having a pleasant conversation with a stranger, but hopefully if she is ever in a conversation about people and their drones, she will remember the polite young(ish) man who took the time out to have a conversation with her about life, photography and equipment.

Also published on Medium.

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