back to article Drone bloke cuffed after gizmo stops firemen tackling forest inferno

A man was arrested by officers from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection after his drone allegedly got in the way of them tackling a major blaze. Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill, California, was cuffed on Friday after posting drone-shot footage of the Trailhead Fire, which has burned for three weeks and …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    What a clown... not the funny type, he's more the B-Movie type. I'd almost bet that if someone with a drone prevented firefighters from keeping his house or land safe, he'd be the first idiot filing a lawsuit. I hope they toss his butt in a cell and maybe a nice sized fine to go with it.

    Sidenote: If you've ever been around large wildfire, the ground and air crews do a hell of a job in working to contain them and get them out. My hat is off them.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @Mark 85 - Sooner or later one of these morons will cause the death of someone because they interfered with aerial firefighting. Great footage is not worth someone's life.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I quite agree. It's one thing to video a parade and quite another where lives are at stake.

    2. aberglas

      Sounds like nonsense to me

      Since when does a 500g cause aircraft to drop out of the sky? And remember that the pilots are also equiped with eyes. And how was one aircraft, drone or otherwise, blocking the entire area?

      We do not know the details, but this sounds very much like the way airports are shut down if somebody farts. Total over reaction for largely political reasons.

      (And I am an amateur pilot, mainly gliders, so I know how to keep watch. There are birds up there as well, some of which attack!)

      1. Roq D. Kasba

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Birds get out of the way if they know you're there, not compete for airspace. I don't know the spec of the copter in question, but 500g sounds quite lightweight to have any kind of range or be able to carry any camera worth using. Either way, I'm not sure I'd want one hitting the wing tip of my helicopter as I'm focusing on delivering a payload at a very specific location, by definition over fire, and flying very close to the ground with no reaction margin.

      2. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        @aberglas. I too held a private pilots license (about 10 years ago mind) and you as well as i know the action to take on final approach if there are obstructions such as large birds or drones.

        Now imagine you are lined up to drop a load over a specific area flying very low at specific speeds to cover an area. If you go around and the drone is still there waht do you do? Can you safely land with the payload? Do you drop in a siboptimal location?

        Drone pilots are putting the lives of these pilots at risk and wasting valuable time.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          No edit button today. Oh and as a glider pilot you will also appreciate the thermal turbulence that a helicopter pilot will be dealing with whilst flying slowly over an active fire. Dodging drones will not be something they will want to do.

      3. Triggerfish

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        I dunno hard crunchy metal and plastic things to hit, engine parts not designed for hard and crunchy plastic things inside them, fire below.

        Not a clue what the danger is at all.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          These pesky drones might be small but one could easily break off your Airspeed Indicator sensor.

          Fuck flying in that sort of environment with a U/S ASI. Not a problem in normal conditions but in that sort of air conditions????

          If I was one of the pilots, I'd want to lynch that drone operator. Failing that send him on a road gang for 5 years.

        2. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          " to hit, engine parts"

          Helicopters generally do not have forward facing turbine air intakes that things can fly into. Some even have full blown air filters to prevent dust hitting engine parts.

          1. Marshalltown

            Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

            "Helicopters generally do not have forward facing turbine air intakes that things can fly into"

            You really can't be serious. Please take a moment to look at images of helicopters fighting fires [try Google] and count on one hand the copters that DO NOT have visible turbine intakes with fans facing forward. The filters ideally will stop dust from entering, but consider hard parts of drones instead, interacting with the compressor blades. Even if the copter was safely flown back to an air field, the damage to those blades puts the vehicle out of use for probably days in any forward fire fighting situation. While it certainly would be easier on the pilot, the fire fighting would suffer nearly the same degradation as if the copter crashed. I say "nearly" because only the copter has to be replaced on the line.

      4. LDS Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Drones are far "harder" than birds. And far smaller than gliders. And in situations like these also piloted by selfish morons.

        A drone hitting your windscreen, or ingested by a turbine, or damaging something critical, is not what you wish when flying in an already dangerous situations, and your eyes are already very busy in keeping your flight path over very hot air to target the required drop area. Those pilots are not flying for fun.

        And about weight, remember what destroyed the Concorde taking of from Paris. A small metal stripe. It damaged a tyre which in turn damaged the engines. Enough speed, and even a 500g hard enough item is very dangerous.

      5. Alister Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        @aberglas

        So if you're a pilot, consider this:

        You're trying to fly a heavily laden aircraft on a precise course at minimum altitude through turbulent air at damn near stalling speed, with flaps and everything else hanging, and then some idiot flies a drone at your windscreen. Do you think sudden avoidance manoeuvres are going to result in

        a/ missing the drone and continuing as normal.

        b/ crashing into the flames.

        Just asking?

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          @Alister -- Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          You also need to add in the terrain where most these aircraft are flying at low altitude. It is seldom "flat".

      6. Chris Parsons

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        You might be an amateur pilot - as am I, though we call them private pilots here - but you don't seem to know much about physics. Quite a lot of energy will be expended crashing into a 500g drone at 100knots.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          You might be an amateur pilot - as am I, though we call them private pilots here

          No, no, you'll definitely call him an amateur..

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        There are birds up there as well, some of which attack!

        The thing is that birds DO NOT fly over burning areas, they get away as far as they can, a drone does not.

        While you as a glider pilot might love flying over a forest fire because of the thermals just think of the pilots that have to run it low and in a specific direction and speed over those flames to deliver their load of water and/or chemicals effectively, not an easy task in those thermals and then a stupid drone appears just as they are dropping their load.

        1. CustardGannet
          Joke

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          @Ivan4 :

          If I were coming in low over flames, to deliver a load of water and/or chemicals effectively, and then a stupid drone appeared right in front of me, I would definitely drop my load.

      8. rh587 Bronze badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Since when does a 500g cause aircraft to drop out of the sky? And remember that the pilots are also equiped with eyes. And how was one aircraft, drone or otherwise, blocking the entire area?

        It could easily down a helicopter with a rotor strike.

        Fixed wing is less likely to down it (unless it went through an engine whilst the aircraft was fully laden. Air tankers are massively overpowered once empty but underpowered when full), but even if you only caused minor fuselage/wing damage and didn't ruin an engine, that's going to be enough to render the aircraft U/S once it lands, removing it from operations for 24+ hours when it should be flying.

        Also, the firefighting community is particularly tetchy about air tankers because they've had a few too many of these types of incidents in the past 20 years or so.

      9. andy gibson

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Aberglas, is this you?

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-36818899

      10. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Where's the 'put my head in my hands' icon? #icant

        Please tell me this guy is not being serious. Please.

        Gliders != helicopters/turboprop/turbofan planes with sensitive equipment that does not like being collided into by something made from steel/aluminium alloy/titanium alloy/composite... Perhaps that's something for GE, P&W, CFM International, Snecma, Rolls Royce et al to add to their engine tests (in addition to the 20lb turkey gun): "Ingested DJI Phantom 4" "All blades ok" "No engine fire" *ticks boxes*

      11. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Yes. despite a zillion down votes it mostly is.

        If you took for example an RC model car and a real car on a football pitch how easy would it be to hit the RC car even if you were trying?

        It isn't 1 football pitch is it hundreds and there is an extra dimension. I would lay odds that a helicopter pilot couldn't hit a drone (that didn't want to be hit) if he tried.

        Then if by some minor miracle there was a collision there is nowhere on a helicopter a lightweight drone hit would cause fall out of the sky type damage.

        The risks are microscopic. A pilot is more likely to be killed driving to the airfield than by a drone strike and much more likely to be killed by helicopter mechanical failure.

        That doesn't mean the risk should have to be taken, drone flight should be restricted in these circumstances, especially as a large number of drones would disproportionately increase the risk.

        As the op said the claim we had to stop fighting the fire because of this drone is nonsense - about as nonsense as claiming they had to stop because the pilot was too scared to drive to the airfield.

        1. Roq D. Kasba

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          I don't think your analogy of the cars on the pitch with extra dimensions is a useful one. It's a constrained space with maneuverability issues, and no vortices, etc. Driving on the centre spot doesn't affect the penalty box, whereas with the huge downdrafts from the chopper and thermal updrafts from the hot land, plus localised eddies caused by the combination mean the bodies are loosely coupled if in proximity. Especially both are aiming towards the same area where the fire is. They are in contention for airspace, so the analogy is more like both cars being in the penalty box - on a trampoline/rubber sheet.

          Another significant difference is that driving over a remote controlled car is a $100 annoyance, sucking a drone into your powerful helicopter jet at low altitude above fire is $1M, a life guaranteed lost, and the damage caused by trying to rescue the body, plus the extra aviation fuel exacerbating a fire you can no longer extinguish.

          This is why I don't think it's a useful comparison.

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me @inmypjs

          Generally speaking on risk assessments, increased chance of hitting an object that will cause vehicle and pilot to plummet to inferno below, tends to count as a no no.

      12. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        "...Since when does a 500g cause aircraft to drop out of the sky? And remember that the pilots are also equiped with eyes. And how was one aircraft, drone or otherwise, blocking the entire area?..."

        Ever seen FOD? Foreign Object Damage? You have to remember that helicopters are powered by jet engines. effectively.

        Suck half a kilo of metal and plastic into something that is spinning at serveral thousand RPM and the result isn't going to be pleasant.It only takes one turbine blade to throw a piece of itself and you have a catastrophic failure..one piece gets sucked into the rest and boom!

        Think it's easy to spot a drone when you're also concentrating on the job of flying? Over a large fire? Christ, the thermals from the ground are enough to keep a glider aloft so imagine the forces from fires and the winds they cause.

        Next time instead of spouting off, try and do a bit of research. You look a bit less of a plum that way.

      13. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        Most people fly the DJI (or biggger) and that weighs 1 kilo, not 500 grams. It's definitely possible for it to take down an aircraft.. You're a fool and amateur as you have pointed out.

        http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/photos/000/732/73268.jpg

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/content/dam/news/photos/000/732/73268.jpg

          Sjeez, was that because of a drone? How did this plane manage to stay in one piece whereas (judging by the, er, "residue" on all surfaces) the pilot probably did not? Would like to read the story that belongs with that image..

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

            Got it - the feathers stuck to the hole gave it away. Which means the blood is a pigeon or something, but I never knew they could crash through the window (after a search it appears it's not as impossible as I thought. Wow.).

      14. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        "Since when does a 500g cause aircraft to drop out of the sky? "

        How about when it gets sucked into an engine or damages a propellor? Or smashes through through the cockpit window of a fast-moving aircraft?

        Have you had an imagination bypass?

      15. Adrian Tawse

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me

        When they impact the rotors, that is when, you moron. As to keeping an eye out for them these people have a hard enough job as it is without having to deal with the likes of you.

      16. Marshalltown

        Re: Sounds like nonsense to me - not

        One of those fellows goes into an intake and they do easily as much damage as a bird. Also, unlike a glider, a helicopter without power comes pretty much straight down. Even if it can autorotate to a walk-away landing, you really don't want to do that in a big fire.

  2. Long John Baldrick

    Glames?

    "flying his drone over the glames" - I've of glades, glamours,glares, but glames has me beat. Or is this some New Millenia term?

    1. Sampler

      Re: Glames?

      f and g are very close on a standard qwerty layout...

      1. BebopWeBop Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Glames?

        f and g are very close on a standard qwerty layout...

        Remarkably C and H are very close when discussing England's health minister. Funny that

        1. James O'Shea Silver badge

          Re: Glames?

          "England's health minister. "

          _England_'s health minister? I hadn't heard that Scotland, NI and Wales had completed their exits from the UK already...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Glames?

            "_England_'s health minister? I hadn't heard that Scotland, NI and Wales had completed their exits from the UK already..."

            Hey, we're talking about Jeremy C^HHunt, sometimes it's ok to be disowned..... England can keep him...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Glames?

              Have an upvote because he's my Local MP. Total waste of space (like 99% of them IMHO)

          2. Wandering Reader

            Re: Glames?

            Northern Ireland and Scotland have different health ministers from England. Not sure about Wales.

    2. jtaylor

      Re: Glames?

      "Or is this some New Millenia term?"

      glames looks like a typo. Millenia looks like someone thought that Millennia is singular, and then forgot how to spell.

      Unfortunately, while the article has a link to quietly submit corrections without being snarky, comments do not.

      And yes, firefighters get my deepest respect. I used to know a retired smokejumper. Her stories were larger than anything I'm likely to see in this life.

      1. Known Hero

        Re: Glames?

        Unfortunately, while the article has a link to quietly submit corrections without being snarky, comments do not.

        Pity it is missing spellcheck as well, as the author couldn't even be bothered to do that that either, or the editor ....

    3. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: Glames?

      I rather like 'glames' as a word and feel we should henceforth adopt it, perhaps for the flames that are unable to be quenched because some jerk wanted piccies via his drone.

  3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Given their country's attitude to firearms I don't understand why they didn't just remove the drone themselves with extreme prejudice

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Simples. Firefighters don't carry guns. Even if they did, drones are small and tough to hit. However the air crews do fly down to almost tree top level which is where the problem is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Firefighters don't carry guns."

        Whaat? Someone in the US doesn't carry guns? Surely not?

        1. Marshalltown

          CCP

          Even a lot of folks with Concealed Carry Permits don't actually carry often, if at all. It is more a point of making the local politicians worry about votes, isn't it?

      2. John Sturdy

        No need for any extra equipment?

        No need for guns, or other specialized drone-busting equipment --- just fly above the drone and drop water on it!

        (Not a serious suggestion, I doubt it's possible to aim a planeload of water that accurately at a small moving target.)

        1. Wade Burchette

          Re: No need for any extra equipment?

          "No need for guns, or other specialized drone-busting equipment --- just fly above the drone and drop water on it!"

          Some time ago I saw a video on YouTube where a moron was flying his drone while firefighters were trying put out a burning house. One firefighter sprayed the drone with a quick burst of water; no more drone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Given their country's attitude to firearms I don't understand why they didn't just remove the drone themselves with extreme prejudice

      Is it particularly sensible to drop a busted, shorting out LiOn battery onto tinder dry brush in the vicinity of a barely controlled forest fire?

  4. DougS Silver badge

    Good

    I hope every other yob with a drone hears about this and if they're too stupid to consider how their actions might harm others, at least are forced to consider how it might harm themselves by being forced to live behind bars for a while.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good

      "if they're too stupid to consider how their actions might harm others"...they're probably stupid enough to try it themselves. You can't beat stupid.

      1. DougS Silver badge

        Re: Good

        You can't fully beat stupid, but there's a large swathe of stupid who don't consider harm to others but do consider harm to themselves. These are the people for whom laws against robbery, murder, etc. are intended (they aren't for you and me, who wouldn't do those crimes even if legal, and they aren't for the hardcore criminals who would commit crimes even if the penalty was execution on the spot)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Good

        You can't beat stupid.

        In this case I'd love to try, though. Some percussive education with a 4 by 4 ought to help.

  5. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    build/obtain EMP gun

    Point said EMP gun at said drone and toast it

    locate the ne'er-do-well and put him on some porridge for a while

    publish this story for world+dog

    finish en klaar

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Magical "EMP guns", firefighting aircraft equipped with swivel mounts and gunners, ... Someone's spent too long playing Call of Duty.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. cyberdemon
        Holmes

        Too much COD

        Perhaps not a door gunner, but if incidents like this are at all common then firefighting planes should perhaps carry a blunderbuss for emergency purposes. Load nets into it?

        Anyway this is 'Murica after all. Everyone has a handgun, including firemen, right?

        As for EMP guns, obviously that's not going to work. But a 433MHz/2.4GHz signal jammer wouldn't be too hard. You could send out an "all channels at 0" signal which would cause it to fall out of the sky.

  6. orlock

    Dead man's curve

    I've recently had training in directing firefighting aircraft. One thing they emphasised is that there's a period called the "dead man's curve" just before the drop where you shouldn't even speak to the pilot because if they slip up they're in a world of trouble. Having a drone floating about is idiotic.

    (They also keep away from eagles for the same reason.)

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Re: Dead man's curve

      There are a few instances like that in flying and there was a classic known as 'Coffin Corner' where an aircraft would be sent to an altitude where stall speed and max speed met. Can't descend as that will push you above Vne, can't slow down or you stall....

      Pilots are trained to spend 98% of their time doing little more than looking out the window and the remaining 2% one very small step from sheer terror. No surprise that most of them who survive a major event change to non-flying duties.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: Dead man's curve

          the spiritual successor the SR71 was also an aircraft flown at the limits. When going full tilt not only did the engines need constant monitoring and adjustments to keep the sonic boom ahead of the nacelles, not only that, the engine was at its MOST efficient when going M3.2 - the thing just wanted to go fast.

          The outside temperature of the aircraft skin was in excess of 300C stressing the joints and welds (the fuselage was loose on purpose due to expansion) and the cockpit glass was pure quartz welded directly to the fuselage. The tyres were aluminium compound due the heavy fast landings needed and the whole thing leaked fuel constantly on the ground. A miracle of engineering at the time. State of the art astro navigation (same as ICBMs) and was so picky it needed to be washed in pure distilled water to avoid corrosion.

          I had a serious hard on for the SR71 as a kid. Magnificent aircraft.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

  7. Kaltern
    Trollface

    Save the Drone.

    I fly Boeing 747's for a living* and I can guarantee you that a drone would make absolutely no difference to my flight-path. I know this, because I've dodged at least 2 dozen over the last 50 years, and never once has one caused me to drop out of the sky.

    Therefore, firefighting aircraft are exactly the same, and I think they should apologise to the drone operator for causing him unnecessary duress in difficult times.

    * on Microsoft Flight Simulator. So I have more experience than most.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Save the Drone.

      I reckon we need a better sarcasm flag here or you may collect what I call dummie downvotes (downvotes from dummies who don't get the point :) ).

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Save the Drone.

        how many "son your tea is ready" has cause you to crash though?

      2. Kaltern

        Re: Save the Drone.

        I like them. They make my toes itch.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Welcome to the Age of Entitlement...

    ..."but it's literally my human rights to do what I want, when I want, where I want!"

    Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill, California should be old enough to know better and deserves punishment so he can reflect on this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the Age of Entitlement...

      Eric Wamser, 57, of Foresthill, California should be old enough to know better and deserves punishment so he can reflect on this.

      Maybe they could set his house on fire so the locals can film it? Ought to prove educational..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to the Age of Entitlement...

        I like the way you think. I'd also have Eric dangled by a helicopter over his own house fire and swung thru the flames a bit, just so he really gets the message.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

  10. Herby Silver badge

    But the problem really is...

    That nobody has "tested" what happens when a plane and a small drone attempt to occupy the same space. So, being ever so cautious and dodging legal fights, the response is to say "they can't be here". Given the conditions, this is the only answer, and probably the least expensive.

    This same mentality makes us take off our shoes when going through security and to ban water bottles through security (my test: drink some of it). There are also bans on silly things like radios and cell phones on board commercial aircraft for similar reasons. Someone feels there is a risk (no matter how small), and banning things eliminates said risk.

    While I can see that even a small drone MIGHT cause some damage, I think that someone should (Mythbusters has ended) actually find out if this is true. In any task, there is some risk (even sitting at a keyboard commenting for ElReg), but understand the risks and take proper precautions. But it should be incumbent upon those stating the risk to figure out the ACTUAL risk, not some supposed one.

    Life goes on.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: But the problem really is...

      The Robinson R22 chopper is a small helicopter, rotor length is about 11ft (3.36m)

      because most of the time rotor speed is more or less constant you can assume that the rotor tip on one of these is doing about 670FPS, a bit over Mach 0.5. That would be plenty fast enough for a blade tip impacting a drone to cause considerable damage, potentially catastrophic.

      Basic physics is enough to tell you 'don't whack a drone with a chopper blade' .

      Same applies to other firefighting aircraft, they take enough risks to not need some arsehole adding to them.

      Even if it's very unlikely to happen Murphy's Law needs to be applied, so; no drones in a firefight!

      In the '70s I worked on light aircraft airframes for a couple of years, small aircraft are very easy to bend.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: But the problem really is...

        > "...small aircraft are very easy to bend."

        Only if they hit something harder than air.

        Hanggliders have that problem too. I never had one break unless it hit something. Parking sign, streetlight, tree, and let's not forget the cold hard ground.

        Only the tree spared my glider any damage, go figure.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: But the problem really is...

        Most, but not all, of the fixed wing water bombers are prop type. Many WWII or Korean war vintage. Yes, they can take a beating but hit a prop and all hell will break loose.

        As for choppers.. they range from Huey size all the way up to CH-54 size.

        Hit any aircraft in the right spot and it will bend or at least change it's flight profile and usually in a negative way.

  11. JakeMS
    Flame

    How stable?

    How stable are these drones and how much of an impact can they take?

    For example, if it is "blocking the way" in a spot they need to drop water, if they fly higher than the drone, and then drop their water directly above it would it destabilize the drone or knock it out the sky?

    I mean these 'copters carry a *lot* of water to drop, so if all that water is dropped in one hit above the drone that'd be a fair amount of impact for a little drone surely? or at least enough to destabilize it and possibly make it fall.

    If you could knock it out of the sky with water and then it fell into the fire, it would get it out of the way and allow the fire fighters to continue their jobs as the water would still drop where they need it.

    If however the drone can take the impact, drop the water over the drones operator, because that'd make an epic youtube video.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How stable?

      How stable are these drones and how much of an impact can they take?

      For example, if it is "blocking the way" in a spot they need to drop water, if they fly higher than the drone, and then drop their water directly above it would it destabilize the drone or knock it out the sky?

      I guess that would in theory be possible, but would you really prefer the firefighters to spend their time aiming at an idiot's drone and so waste precious resources, or dump their load (fnar fnar) where it actually does some good?

      These people already fly in pretty adverse and risky conditions, they really don't need someone with a room temperature IQ and too much money to up the stakes. That being said, I would support an on the ground team trying to find the fool, arrest the person and throw as many charges at the moron as they can dream up to get this irresponsible individual parked somewhere where there's no further risk of gene pool pollution.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: How stable?

      Let's see.. several hundred to 10,000 gallons of water and fire retardant. Yeah... people on the ground have been seriously injured by a misplaced water drop. As far as wasting it on a drone, there's also the cost. These things aren't cheap to fly by any means.

  12. lukewarmdog

    so reading through the comments

    Drones are dangerous because they can down airplanes and helicopters.

    You could shoot the drones down but they are very hard to hit.

    Can't have your cake and eat it.

  13. Marshalltown

    Forest Hill

    I know Forest Hill. It's the last place out that road where you can grab a sandwich and a beer. When the article says "remote" they are not exaggerating. It also very, very steep, with canyon-ridge systems with two-thousand foot vertical changes. It is no place to crash and not a region to walk out of unless you're desperate and willing to court a broken ankle or two.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019