Tice Ledbetter, a 19-year-old drone operator, and fisherman Randy Burns found themselves entangled in a drone related incident on Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach, California. While the two have decidedly different stories, the key facts are Tice was flying his drone from Crystal Pier and Randy Burns used his fishing pole and line to “snare” the drone while it was mid-flight.
According to Randy:
“Thought I’d try something new, some flying fish… People were kind of getting aggravated, because the thing was there way too long and filming all of the people on the pier” …“I just stood up and casted my line… I started pulling my drag real good and all of a sudden it broke my lines,” Burns said. “The drone won. And that’s all I can say.”
but according to Tice:
“I’m sorry but I was in the air only 28 seconds and he started the process of attacking my drone within seconds of me being there. People are usually happy to see me flying and frequently wave to say hi. People often approach me while I’m flying (my drone) to ask me questions and check out the screen to see the view from above. I’ve never had a complaint.” said Ledbetter. “I would like to point out that at no point in time was I actually flying over people until Randy hooked my drone and forced me into the direction of the pier. I’m reviewing the footage and most of the people on the pier waved at me.”
To support his case, Tice posted the drone captured video to YouTube:
After watching the video, I wish Tice had provided an un-edited version. It’s hard to support his statement that “I was in the air only 28 seconds and he started the process of attacking my drone” from the video he provided. Regardless, of how long the flight was, it seems Randy was overstepping legal boundaries. Regardless of how drones are being attacked, unless they are specifically outlawed or regulated, then these are attacks on private property and should be treated as such.
If you follow the in-video link to the Tice Cinematic Media video “Crystal Pier 4K” you can get an idea of what Tice was attempting to capture. (According to this Facebook page, Tice is the CEO of Tice Cinematic Media.)
About Pacific Beach, California
Pacific Beach is a neighborhood in San Diego, bounded by La Jolla to the north, Mission Beach and Mission Bay to the south, Interstate 5 to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. While formerly largely populated by young people, surfers, and college students, because of rising property and rental costs the population is gradually becoming older, more professional, and more affluent. “P.B.,” as it is known as by local residents, is home to one of San Diego’s more developed nightlife scenes, with a great variety of bars, eateries, and clothing stores.
Pacific Beach’s namesake stretches for miles from the Mission Bay jetty to the cliffs of La Jolla. The boardwalk, officially called Ocean Front Walk/Ocean Boulevard, is a pedestrian walkway that runs approximately 3.2 miles along the beach from the end of Law St. in the north down into Mission Beach, ending at the mouth of Mission Bay in the south. There are numerous local shops, bars, and restaurants along the boardwalk, and it is generally crowded with pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, and shoppers. Also adjacent to the boardwalk is the Crystal Pier, a public pier and hotel at the west end of Garnet Avenue.
For residents of Pacific Beach, or the surrounding areas, Drone Universities offers a number of convenient locations for drone college courses.