KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As people have unwrapped their new gifts, drones haven’t been the only things flying high in one metro neighborhood; so have emotions.
Lauren Spillman’s 8-year-old son Andreas flies his drone in a neighborhood near 62nd and Brighton. It's right across the street from the neighborhood where a man told FOX 4 last week a neighbor tried to shoot down his drone with an airsoft gun.
Andreas lost his drone when he handed the controls over to an adult.
"He lost control of it, got up a little too high, and it went over this direction behind these houses,” Spillman said.
She posted on a neighborhood website to see if anyone had seen it, and then, she said, the insults started flying.
"People just ripped me apart for letting my kid fly a drone around, saying 'that’s terrible. They should not be allowed,'” she said.
Mike Finley hosts a weekly podcast for flying enthusiasts and said he hates to see drone disputes like these surrounding the hobby he loves.
He says lower prices have increased accessibility, but decreased many users’ sense of responsibility.
“You take it out of the box; you charge the battery; get your remote, and off you go. It’s a good and a bad thing,” Finley said.
He recommends any new flyer of any age to try a simulator to learn the controls before they take to the air. Once you do fly, try to do it open spaces, especially if it’s over .55 pounds, which must be registered under FAA guidelines.
“I think people need to relax a little bit. But the people who don’t know the rules need to learn them as well. So both sides do have their points and I get it,” Finley said.
Andreas got his lost drone back on Christmas when another child’s drone got lost in his backyard. Turns out that family had found his. So finally a drone story with a bit of a happy ending there.