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Monday, August 29, 2016

65-Year-Old Woman Shoots Down Drone Over Her Virginia Property With One Shot (arstechnica.com)

Jennifer Youngman, a 65-year-old woman living in rural northern Virginia shot down a drone flying over her property with a single shotgun blast.

Ars Technica reports: "Youngman told Ars that she had just returned from church one Sunday morning and was cleaning her two shotguns -- .410 and a .20 gauge -- on her porch. 

She had a clear view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and neighbor Robert Duvall's property (yes, the same Robert Duvall from The Godfather).

 Youngman had seen two men set up a card table on what she described as a 'turnaround place' on a country road adjacent to her house.

 'I go on minding my business, working on my .410 shotgun and the next thing I know I hear bzzzzz,' she said. 

'This thing is going down through the field, and they're buzzing like you would scaring the cows.' 

Youngman explained that she grew up hunting and fishing in Virginia, and she was well-practiced at skeet and deer shooting.

 'This drone disappeared over the trees and I was cleaning away, there must have been a five- or six-minute lapse, and I heard the bzzzzz,' she said, noting that she specifically used 7.5 birdshot.

  'I loaded my shotgun and took the safety off, and this thing came flying over my trees.

 I don't know if they lost command or if they didn't have good command, but the wind had picked up. 

It came over my airspace, 25 or 30 feet above my trees, and hovered for a second. I blasted it to smithereens.'"

Ars goes on to explain that aerial trespassing isn't currently recognized under American law.

"The Supreme Court ruled in a case known as United States v. Causby that a farmer in North Carolina could assert property rights up to 83 feet in the air.

There is a case still pending on whether or not Kentucky drone pilot, David Boggs, was trespassing when he flew his drone over somebody else's property.

"Broggs asked the court to rule that there was no trespassing and that he is therefor entitled to damages of $1,500 for the destroyed drone."

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