Pilot Has Warning For Those Who Fly Drones For Fun

Wednesday, July 26th 2017, 10:13 pm
By: News On 6

Todd Ruffin has been in the drone-flying business for three years. He's a commercial pilot, but he offers a warning to those who operate drones just for fun.

"If you want to treat it like a toy, play with it in your back yard,” he said.

On Sunday evening, the Rogers County Sheriff's Office says someone flew a drone into an Inola family's back yard while they were having a get-together.

"That person is not helping me,” said Ruffin. “That person's not helping the drone industry by doing stupid stuff like that, and it really kind of upsets me, honestly."

Ruffin says although doing something like that is disrespectful, it's not necessarily illegal.

"There's no rules or laws that I know of that says it is illegal to fly a drone over somebody's private property,” he said. "Personally, I think it's someone who's just disrespectful of somebody's privacy.”

But the sheriff's office says it was a major violation of privacy.

"Within just a few feet above where they were, there was a drone hovering and obviously filming them,” said Major Coy Jenkins. “Definitely was a situation where there's an expectation of privacy."

There are FAA guidelines that instruct drone pilots not to fly where there's an "expectation of privacy."

Major Jenkins says they haven't found the pilot yet, but he could be charged civilly or criminally.

If charged criminally, Jenkins says the person could go to prison or be fined.