Some things just seem so obvious … but if they’re so obvious, why do we have so many warning labels and signs? Take the idea of flying a drone over Area 51 – one of the most secret and heavily guarded locations in the U.S. Yet the base found it necessary recently to post warning signs along its borders banning the use of drones. Duh!
OK, with the return of “The X-Files” coming so soon after Christmas, there’s a lot of people who want to be like Fox Mulder and try to sneak into Area 51 on their new hoverboards. Of course, this plan flames out quickly so instead they want to use their other cool gift – a drone – to fly over the base and see what Google Maps is blurring out.
A military web site reported the signs popping up this week. They have the universal red-circle-with-a-line-through it over a drawing of a drone. Underneath in big letters are the words “NO DRONE ZONE” and some fine print about restricted flight area, et cetera, et cetera.
That’s it? Is some little sign going to stop a Mulder wannabe who’s hoping his little Walmart quadcopter is going to get into a dogfight with some top secret Air Force drones while he’s busy taking selfies of the whole thing?
It seems obvious … wait, I said that already. Besides the warnings about arrests, fines and being shot on sight, do they need to nail pieces of exploded drones to the sign too? Alien spacecraft aside, everyone knows there’s next-generation military aircraft being tested at the base. Civilian drones and jets don’t mix … as the FAA has been trying to point out with signs around airports. However, city airports don’t have low-flying HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters patrolling their perimeters which will a) blow up the drone; b) blow up the drone’s operator; and c) if the drone is the cause of a crash, blow up everything the drone operator owns and his dog too.
There aren’t enough lawyers brave enough or dumb enough to represent you on this one. Do yourself a favor … obey the signs and keep your drone away from Area 51. Your dog will thank you.