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Capot
7th Apr 2014, 17:25
A portentious piece of Regulatory toilet-paper landed in my Inbox just now; I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It starts.........

The Civil Aviation Authority, in exercise of its powers under article 242 of the Air Navigation Order 2009 (‘the Order’), exempts any person in charge of a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) from the requirement at article 166(3) of the Order to ensure that direct unaided visual contact is maintained with the aircraft sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions.

2) This exemption only applies if the conditions at paragraphs 3 to 7 are met.

3) a) The person in charge is the person piloting the SUA (see Note 2).

b) The person in charge is accompanied by a competent observer who maintains direct unaided visual contact with the SUA sufficient to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft, persons, vehicles, vessels and structures for the purpose of avoiding collisions and advises the person in charge accordingly.

c) The maximum take-off mass of the SUA does not exceed 1.8 kg for an aeroplane, or 2.5 kg for a rotorcraft, including any batteries or fuel. There's lots more of it, but you get the gist.

Airliners disappear, aircraft are certificated when we all know that they will need 2 years to sort out the design faults while in service, because we can't afford to wait until they are safe, it takes months to sort out a simple licence issue, but the UK CAA is right up there at the cutting edge of aviation safety regulating the Operation of Toy Aircraft.

Cue V Meldrew Esq.; "I DON'T BELIEVE IT"

So now come wading in telling me that it's all justified, these toys (<=1.8Kg) are highly dangerous, menace to life, owners should be locked up, mutter, mutter, etc etc.

They're still tiny toys, and they have not, ever, caused an accident with any aircraft apart, perhaps, another toy one. There's volumes of existing legislation/regulations covering any other form of accident to life or property.

The whole document will have been the subject of endless bureaucratic bullshit, consultations, meetings ad nauseam, all the things that bureaucrats love. And for what? So that if someone flies a toy aeroplane (<=1.8Kg) using an on-board camera and a screen, there will be another person keenly scanning the skies to prevent the operator flying the toy into a B747. Or a duck.

Are they planning to audit the model clubs' Flight Operations Procedures and Compliance With Them? What about their Safety Management, I bet that's not in accordance with EC 965/2012 Part GEN. ORO.200, you see if I'm right.

What's the CAA doing about that, I would like to know?

Do me a favour. The whole thing is turning into farce. The problem is that while they fart about with this kind of thing, airliners disappear, aircraft are certificated when we all know that they will need 2 years to sort out the design faults while in service, because we can't afford to wait until they are safe, it takes months to sort out a simple licence issue, ans so on and so forth.

Rant over, it's drinking time.

Lon More
7th Apr 2014, 17:29
Not for nothing was it known as the Campaign Against Aviation.

I wonder sometimes what drugs they're on.Back in the 1970s I got a form to renew my Uk medical here in NL. One of the questions was "state your weight in centimeters" Compounded then by a flat denial that they'd ever issued me any form of licence.

west lakes
7th Apr 2014, 17:51
Co-incidence or not??

North West Evening Mail | News | Journey over Barrow no-fly zone cost plane enthusiast 4k (http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/journey-over-barrow-no-fly-zone-cost-plane-enthusiast-4k-1.1127091)

Torque Tonight
8th Apr 2014, 00:06
A decade ago I was flying military helicopters and by necessity spent most of my time aloft at low level. On two occasions that I am aware of I had airproxes with remote control model aeroplanes, one in particular sticks in my mind as requiring some extremely aggressive maneouvring at very low level to avoid a collision. A large model aircraft, with heavy and hard components such as the engine block going through the windscreen or a pitch link at 160kts would have ruined our day.

These days larger, heavier, longer range and most importantly cheaper RC aircraft are commonplace. I spotted a video online recently of a bloke flying quadcopter with gopro camera over Brighton. Now credit to him, the footage is beautiful, but the altitude to which he takes this thing clearly put it in conflict with aircraft in a piece of airspace that anyone familiar with the area knows is thick with aircraft routing along the coast and to or from Shoreham.

The CAA would be negligent if they did not get a grip of this sort of activity. I believe there are already some laws in place regarding RC aircraft but it would appear that 99.9% of their owners are not even aware that regulations exist.

TJoA9suUmUc

M.Mouse
8th Apr 2014, 00:26
I am currently in the process of qualifying for the British National Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Certificate - Small (known as the BNUC - S). I am doing so because I will be operating a multi-rotor UAV as a camera ship for 'valuable consideration i.e. paid for using it.

It involves 2 days ground school followed by an exam, writing and gaining approval for an Operations Manual and finally passing a flight test.

The problem with these craft is that they are very easy to fly because they are electronically stabilised and effectively the pilot's inputs are interpreted by the electronics to give the required response. However, the consequences of failure or pilot mis-judgement are dire. My craft weighs around 8 kgs with six 15" carbon fibre propellers which are like knives. Similarly small craft have multiple sharp propellers rotating at high speed. It is quite likely that someone could be easily blinded by being hit in the head by such a craft, large or small, seriously injured or even killed.

I have seen some lunatic behaviour by utter morons oblivious to the dangers.

I believe that there will soon be major regulation for ALL not just those like myself. Like all matters in life legislation has to cater for the idots to protect the innocent.

Have a look at this piece of video to get an idea of what I am talking about: Moron in New Zealand (http://www.rightthisminute.com/video/mikrokopter-drone-crashes-skyscraper)

TWT
8th Apr 2014, 00:58
Another,possibly unlicenced, operator breaks the rules and spoils it for the responsible operators:

http://rt.com/news/fallen-drone-knocks-australian-triathlon-001/

Brian Abraham
8th Apr 2014, 01:03
Lunatics are to be found every where

near miss between model plane and Pacific Blue 737-800 at perth Airport!!!! - YouTube

Blacksheep
8th Apr 2014, 07:13
Mmm, a serious wake turbulence encounter I think. :)

Spunky Monkey
8th Apr 2014, 07:29
Sorry Torque Tonight, I would have to disagree.
I use a Go-Pro almost daily and as they have a very wide angle lens, they give a very distorted view of the subject and the surrounding area.

I would suggest that the rotor craft is lower than you think and any aircraft that would be in danger would be contravening Rule 5.

I find a bigger threat is gliders...

Lon More
8th Apr 2014, 09:13
It's parachutists that bug me. The lines get snagged up in the prop

Would you want to have met this? 1:5 scale B-29 Superfortress, with a Wingspan of 29.5 Ft and weighting in at 300 pounds

Worlds Largest RC Plane Crash - YouTube

Torque Tonight
8th Apr 2014, 09:59
SM, I agree that the lens distortion on a gopro makes estimating height tricky and for that reason I would be reluctant to try to put an exact number on the height achieved. However, knowing the area reasonably well and looking at a few line of sight features, I am pretty confident that this guy's quad is above 500ft.

The precise figure does not really matter too much. Not all aircraft are bound by rule 5, rule 5 does not (yet) preclude flight below 500ft, and the reach of RC aircraft is way in excess of 500ft. The reducing cost and increasing capability of RC aircraft coupled with innovations like gopro cameras is leading to a massive surge in the use of RC aircraft by novices.

The OP may believe that the CAA are killjoys focussing on trivia. As someone who nearly took an engine block through the windscreen at 160kts, I think there is a genuine issue here that deserves to be looked at before something nasty happens.

(Gliders camouflage very well against Cu clouds but at least they are bigger and can be seen and avoided a little earlier).

Krystal n chips
8th Apr 2014, 12:47
" I believe that there will soon be major regulation for ALL not just those like myself. Like all matters in life legislation has to cater for the idots to protect the innocent

Reading this thread, and notably the sane comment above, is reminiscent of the early days of micro-light flying before the sport was, thankfully, regulated.

By way of comparison and a bit of a thread drift, but, I once looked at micro-light flying and a group who intended to fly from a field just off the East Lancs....the many obstacles surrounding the field notwithstanding, their whole approach was one of being "pioneers"....one preferred total pillocks actually... and they really didn't care about any form of safe operation....hence my one and only visit.

And then there was the engineering. Went to one seller with a potential buyer, to have a look at an aluminium frame contraption. The seller was happily unconcerned as to the evident scorch marks from fire damage and his use of Halfords bolts etc to hold it all together. "Not impressed" when one " less than politely" suggested scrapping it, before you scrap somebody else who may be daft enough to actually buy and fly it...

Which leads to the question please.

With the development and expansion of these various machines, and I hate to sound like the CAA here, but, given that just about anything that flies needs the word "certification" attached to it before it does so, is there currently, or indeed is there a necessity, for any form of engineering certification at all ?

G-CPTN
8th Apr 2014, 14:22
Many years ago I became enthused by 'stunter kites'.

The popular ones that were commercially available were of limited size and the fine lines easily tangled.

I decided to build my own scaled-up version.

Using steel bundy-piping (the sort used for brake-pipes on cars though the larger-diameter version as used on trucks for the air-brake lines - before they were replaced by plastic tubing) I crafted a frame (joined by plastic tubing) and used heavy-duty polythene sheeting (the sort used in agriculture to suppress weeds under strawberry plants) as the 'wings', and braided twine (as used by fishermen) for the control lines. I crafted a reel capable of holding two 250ft lengths of twine from plywood discs 9 inches in diameter.

The finished kite was over 6 feet square (and quite heavy), but the day chosen for the first flight was agreeably windy and the kite took to the air quite readily. It responded well to the twin control lines and carried itself to a significant height, greatly impressing the crowds assembled on the village playing field (it was a bank holiday IIRC).


Inevitably I eventually lost control of the kite and it headed earthwards.

By chance it missed the parked cars and the people standing around the field, but in 'landing' it buried its nose (the steel tubing) six inches into the turf . . .

I decided that, as impressive as the kite was when flying, the danger that it presented to people (and cars) when landing was far too great a risk to consider repeating, so it never flew again.

OFSO
8th Apr 2014, 15:34
My father built large kites based on the designs of Samuel Franklin Cody (18671913). Just getting them to a field near our house in Lecestershire in a strong wind was a daunting task for a man and a boy. Once up they were very stable and on one occasion he left the cord tied to a farmer's fence, came home for lunch, went back afterwards and it was still serenely flying.

Fareastdriver
8th Apr 2014, 16:05
When returning to our heliport in Shenzhen, China, any sort of windy day would bring the kites out. 2000 years of experience and they don't mess about. We would be cleared at 300 metres over the northern part of the city and you would be weaving beween them above and below you. Catching a kite wasn't the problem, catching the lines was.

At night yiou would have the large commecial lasers flicking about the sky. Quite often a manually steered one would come looking for you. Switch all the nav and landing lights out and carry on.

Purple Locator
9th Apr 2014, 05:51
Yep! The European CAA seems to be getting it right all the time. NOT. Their intelligence somehow seems to be escaping from the crevices caused by constant head banging of sorts.

acbus1
9th Apr 2014, 07:53
Lunatics take over CAA
That news is decades old. ;)

As per any part of the Public Sector, they're sane enough when it comes to collecting money. :*

Sop_Monkey
9th Apr 2014, 10:11
Yes I see the why the frustration has set in. It is the way of the stupid world I am afraid, for us all. What did we expect, deregulation?! Soon we wont even be able to throw a paper airplane without certification. All it takes is some idiot to screw it up for all of us. Same when I was at school and has been that way since. The CAA had no choice but to act. H & S and all that.

It's all about "command and control". Look what happened after 911 for example, when a pack of camels murdered thousands. Before that, any government would have prayed for that form of command and control. Now of course the excuse has been handed to our governments on a silver plate. Nearly wrote respective governments. . How silly of me.

VP959
9th Apr 2014, 19:29
K & C wrote:

Reading this thread, and notably the sane comment above, is reminiscent of the early days of micro-light flying before the sport was, thankfully, regulated.

And then, very sensibly, deregulated, when the CAA were eventually persuaded that regulation had not made one jot of difference to the zero (yes, zero) lethal accidents caused by airframe or airworthiness issues for single seat microlights. Light single seat microlights were deregulated a few years ago, with a boom in the design and availability of such machines, and the CAA are currently in the process of deregulating ALL single seat microlights, based on the excellent safety record of deregulated light single seaters.

There's a load of rubbish that keeps getting regurgitated about microlight safety, but the facts (and they are easily verifiable facts) are that far more people have been killed since microlight regulation than the few deaths in two seat microlights that occurred before regulation. There's no correlation between regulation and safety, in fact, the reverse seems to be the case. There is a strong correlation between education and training and safety, but, as the BGA showed for years, you can achieve this without regulation.

KoosButNotKombuis
10th Apr 2014, 01:18
We must forgive them. Having sent them a sum of money they sent me a quaint plastic covered document agreeing that I did appear to have certain ratings. My medical certificate wouldn't fit into the plastic folders... Oh well... :-)

Krystal n chips
10th Apr 2014, 07:36
VP 959...

"And then, very sensibly, deregulated, when the CAA were eventually persuaded that regulation had not made one jot of difference to the zero (yes, zero) lethal accidents caused by airframe or airworthiness issues for single seat microlights

Thank you, as always, for your usual combination of sanctimony and not understanding the point I was making.

As I understood matters, the CAA became involved in the early days of micro-light flying purely because there was no form of regulation / design authority / maintenance / flying training or operations. This seems a rather sensible move, to me, at least.

Thereafter, criteria were established and imposed by the BMAA in conjunction with the CAA and this has duly resulted in the de-regulation you mention, once or twice, to support your sanctimony, de-regulation being a perfectly sensible and natural development once proven operating practices have been established.

Nowhere, however, did I even mention fatalities caused by structural failure, only my experience with poor to non existent basic engineering airworthiness principles and practices.

If you had actually read my post therefore, you would have noted I used the term "certification" in contrast to Certification.

Again, for you benefit, any form of flying generally requires some form of regulatory body and "certification" of those involved, be this flying / operating / design / maintenance does it not ?

Thus, with a rapidly developing new field as this thread has revealed, then at some point, just like, lets see, micro-light flying for example, some form of regulation will be imposed to ensure the safety of operators and, erm, the public perhaps ? Not forgetting the little matter of commercial operations that invariably entice the more unscrupulous operators.

Thanks for the reference to the BGA. As I was formerly a BGA Inspector for a good few years, and the bit of paper was issued by the late and very much respected :ok: Dick Stratton ( R.I.P )..a gentleman not exactly noted for his tolerance of "fools and idiots / incompetents " then I have a vague idea as to how the BGA is regulated.

VP959
10th Apr 2014, 08:57
K&C wrote:
Thank you, as always, for your usual combination of sanctimony and not understanding the point I was making.

As I understood matters, the CAA became involved in the early days of micro-light flying purely because there was no form of regulation / design authority / maintenance / flying training or operations. This seems a rather sensible move, to me, at least.

Thereafter, criteria were established and imposed by the BMAA in conjunction with the CAA and this has duly resulted in the de-regulation you mention, once or twice, to support your sanctimony, de-regulation being a perfectly sensible and natural development once proven operating practices have been established.

Nowhere, however, did I even mention fatalities caused by structural failure, only my experience with poor to non existent basic engineering airworthiness principles and practices.

If you had actually read my post therefore, you would have noted I used the term "certification" in contrast to Certification.

Again, for you benefit, any form of flying generally requires some form of regulatory body and "certification" of those involved, be this flying / operating / design / maintenance does it not ?

Thus, with a rapidly developing new field as this thread has revealed, then at some point, just like, lets see, micro-light flying for example, some form of regulation will be imposed to ensure the safety of operators and, erm, the public perhaps ? Not forgetting the little matter of commercial operations that invariably entice the more unscrupulous operators.

Thanks for the reference to the BGA. As I was formerly a BGA Inspector for a good few years, and the bit of paper was issued by the late and very much respected Dick Stratton ( R.I.P )..a gentleman not exactly noted for his tolerance of "fools and idiots / incompetents " then I have a vague idea as to how the BGA is regulated.

Clearly I touched a nerve there, but you did use the words ".....is reminiscent of the early days of micro-light flying before the sport was, thankfully, regulated" which seemed to show a degree of ignorance of the true safety situation at that time.

The pre-regulation microlight safety record was pretty damned good, in fact it got slightly worse after regulation, which was one reason the CAA agreed to remove regulation from lightweight single seaters (which is what the vast majority of early microlights were) a few years ago.

As it happens I knew Dick Stratton years ago, and worked fairly closely with Howard Torode when the BGA were dealing with the EASA imposed regulation of gliding (I recall giving a presentation at Lasham to the BGA committee dealing with that regulatory impact around that time).

The CAA don't regulate light single seaters, you can build one in your shed and go fly it with no regulatory involvement from the CAA, other than registration (and they don't require any form of regulation or inspection to register these things, just a fee). There is no ongoing certification, inspection or other form of control over light single seaters, either, their ongoing airworthiness and flight safety is entirely the pilots responsibility.

At the moment the CAA are looking at extending this deregulation to heavier single seaters, as even they have accepted that regulating these things in the first place was an over-reaction to one companies complaint made to them back around 1990, when they were trying to drive their competitors out of business.

Amateur UAVs, such as the things discussed elsewhere in this thread, are a different kettle of fish, though. IMHO the primary problem with them is that there's no sense of self-preservation from the "pilot" to act as a safety device. If these things crash it usually only impacts the wallet of the owner, and there are many examples of on-board video and photos taken from these things around the web that show that some of the people flying these things are pretty reckless.

A few years ago (associated with my job at that time) I looked at how the technology of these was developing in the amateur sector. At that time I wrote a paper illustrating the off-the-shelf technology being used and highlighting the potential threat they posed. My concern was that they were capable of being flown beyond visual line of sight from the operator (using FPV control via a "pilots eye view" real time video link) and could carry a useful payload. Needless to say one area pushing development of these things back then was the media, who early on spotted the potential for using them to take paparazzi-style covert photos. My concern then (and now) is that doing this was one small step away from delivering a small, but lethal, payload to a specific target.

Krystal n chips
10th Apr 2014, 09:58
VP.....we do actually have some mutual understanding..... and.... agreement it seems. ;)

Capot
11th Apr 2014, 08:46
Ummmm....the point of my original post was that the CAA are concerning themselves with the conditions under which people may fly toys weighing less than 1.8 Kg (2.5Kg for rotary), and that even worrying about this is a waste of regulators' time and resources, when there are so many deeply serious problems with Civil Aviation that they should be thinking about. . Why not simply say "No regulations apply to models below 1.8Kg (2.5Kg)"?

Do we really need the CAA to spend hours thinking about, having meetings about (tea 'n biscuits, of course), consulting about, draft a Regulation about etc etc about, a rule that if you fly a toy weighing less than 1.8Kg using a camera and screen, there must be someone with you watching it?

The thread quickly became concerned with big heavy models and the dangers they impose, and kind of forgot what the quoted rule actually said.

I don't doubt that a 300Kg model flown recklessly by an idiot is dangerous, but that's not what it's about.

Krystal n chips
11th Apr 2014, 09:37
" I don't doubt that a 300Kg model flown recklessly by an idiot is dangerous, but that's not what it's about".

Unfortunately, and I am not being contentious, whilst there is a weight difference, the common factor is......"recklessly by an idiot"....of which there are a surplus in the UK.

That, and the minor detail of the development of these machines = commercial opportunity for anybody who fancies making a few quid with scant, if any, regard for safety per se, does tend to support the CAA's stance.

And I a not one who is a rabid fan and supporter of regulation for the sake of it.

VP959
11th Apr 2014, 16:55
Ummmm....the point of my original post was that the CAA are concerning themselves with the conditions under which people may fly toys weighing less than 1.8 Kg (2.5Kg for rotary), and that even worrying about this is a waste of regulators' time and resources, when there are so many deeply serious problems with Civil Aviation that they should be thinking about. . Why not simply say "No regulations apply to models below 1.8Kg (2.5Kg)"?

Do we really need the CAA to spend hours thinking about, having meetings about (tea 'n biscuits, of course), consulting about, draft a Regulation about etc etc about, a rule that if you fly a toy weighing less than 1.8Kg using a camera and screen, there must be someone with you watching it?

The thread quickly became concerned with big heavy models and the dangers they impose, and kind of forgot what the quoted rule actually said.

I don't doubt that a 300Kg model flown recklessly by an idiot is dangerous, but that's not what it's about.

Mass isn't the primary issue with these things in my view, it's the fact that some are fast (so KE is high, as it's proportional to V) and many are variations on the theme of quadcopters, with multiple, high speed, high power props, often made of carbon fibre. There's also the big potential problem that the popularity of FPV control means that they are increasingly being flow both beyond visual range of the operator, and with the operator wearing FPV goggles (so unable to see the model anyway). The operator flying one of these things using FPV has bugger all situational awareness, because of the nature of the video link and control system.

Also, although they may be light in weight, something like a 1.5kg quadcopter, with 10" CF props turning at 10,000rpm is going to seriously ruin your day if it hits you, or if it were to hit a light aircraft (especially a fabric covered one).