First of all, this is very cool technology. Following a couple of high profile helicopter crashes that killed Idaho Fish & Game employes, Idaho Power Company, who funds salmon redd counts in the Snake River basin, began experimenting with small, unmanned, remotely controlled copters to do counts of redds to eliminate putting people in danger. Experimental flights proved highly successful and the drones are relatively inexpensive, but come to find out, the FAA requires that IPC obtain costly special certification to fly the small drones. Idaho Power says that tests will continue, but they are unsure at this point about how they will proceed. All the technical details aside, these are extremely cool vehicles. Lots of video footage shot from these small copters has already shown up on YouTube demonstrating the quality of available video. Of course, the videos also could be interpreted by some to demonstrate the use of such vehicles in unmanned surveillance of our crackpot multitudes. And therein lies the rub.
When the term “unmanned drones” pops up in the press, you have to wonder what the reaction will be from the less hinged among us who seem to flock to our little part of God’s country. The scenario that keeps jumping into my head is the first hexacopter redd count flights over the Kootenai River basin near Bonner County Idaho, paranoid capitol of the Northwest. As you can clearly see, although small, the copter is plainly black. And of course we all know the perceived peril presented by black helicopters. I can already hear the stories about heavily armed U.N. midget troops swooping down out of their contrail camouflage in massive numbers near Bonners Ferry or Sandpoint to reclaim all personal private property in the name of the Muslim-Socialist Obama Administration under the authority of Agenda 21. Not only that, the copter has six, or eight rotors. That’s at least three times as evil as the standard black helicopter.