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Another drone down.....

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Another drone down.....

Old 14th Nov 2013, 13:55
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Another drone down.....

Uh-oh - it seems another drone has speared in....

A U.S. Air National Guard MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft dropped out of the sky while conducting training operations at altitudes greater than 18,000 feet above Lake Ontario, service officials said.

“The satellite control link failed and the aircraft descended into the lake. The U.S. Coast Guard went looking for the aircraft but did not find anything,” Erik Durr, director of public affairs for New York state division of military and naval affairs, told Military​.com

The Reaper was assigned to the 174th Air Attack Wing operating out of Wheeler Sack Army Airfield, Fort Drum, NY.

“No one was injured and the aircraft had no weapons on board,” Durr added. “The 174th Air Attack Wing is the MQ-9 school house for the entire Air Force. Pilots and sensor operators from around the country come here to learn how to operate the Reaper.”

The training exercise was taking place in approved military training airspace over Lake Ontario.

“They’ll conduct an Air Force investigation,” Durr said.

This crash comes a less than a month after an MQ-1B Predator drone crashed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.
So, not safe enough to fly over civilisation just yet, eh drone fans?
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:21
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Another drone down.....

By your presentation, anything that comes down onto water is unsafe. Or to be looser, anything that loses satellite uplinks.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:30
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So, not safe enough to fly over civilisation just yet, eh drone fans?
Just how many casualties are you expecting BEags?
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:32
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I'm not in the know but doesn't the loss of the vehicle imply 2 failures?

First the loss of satellite link and second the failure of the return to base feature? Alternatively perhaps there was some catastrophic failure that accounts for both loss of comms and lack of return to base.

Pure speculation of course.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:35
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Just stalling it would account for both.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 14:39
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Another drone down.....

So when do pilotless pax aircraft come in?
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 15:07
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Originally Posted by Beagle
So, not safe enough to fly over civilisation just yet, eh drone fans?
I bet more manned aircraft, than drones, have came down over civilisation. Yet we still use manned aircraft.

Nothing is risk free and it's all relative. You're more likely to be involved in a car crash on the way to the airport, than involved in an aviation crash.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 15:20
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Drones/RPS/UAVs

As a pilot I'm not exactly a fan of them either but it is a little premature to suggest that one accident is enough evidence to ban their use.
How many aircraft crashes have been in the news lately?
BV
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 15:40
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Insert that finger where the sun doesn't shine, BV....

It's just that the drone protagonists seem to want to rush into operating the wretched things wherever it suits them - clearly they aren't yet sufficiently safe from going walkabout to risk their operation over populated areas.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 16:12
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Before we ban un-manned aircraft flying over populated areas because they keep dropping out of the sky, the following data would be required to support that:

How many manned aircraft are flying over say a period of 6/12 months, how many hours are they in the air and how many have been lost in the same period.

The same figures to be collated from the un-manned side off the house, then, once all the figures have been analysed you will have the percentage of failure rates for both manned and un-manned from the same statistical source and then you can bar the flying over populated areas of whichever has the higher failure rate until it improves to an acceptable level.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 19:22
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Beags

Sorry mate but as much we hate them you can't stand in the way of progress. They, unfortunately, make a lot of sense to some people and they aren't about to go away.
I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that the Generals in WW1 believed the only use for aircraft was for artillery spotting. People probably thought they were speaking from a position of authority and knowledge at the time.
As much as I respect your opinions we (ie the piloting fraternity) can't just stick our heads in the sand and ignore other solutions to problems just because we don't like them. Besides, reasoned debate helps progress.
BV
(With a still fresh and clean finger!)
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 20:04
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Hey Beags,

Although the press piece was fairly dramatic, it's just possible that Lake Ontario was a lost link ditching location. Such locations can be a feature of UAV flight plans. The fact is that we just don't know, although I'm sure the press wouldn't have embroidered things for dramatic effect.

Your approach would suggest that all jets should have been banned after the Comets started dropping out of the sky - difference was that lots of folks died then, whereas I don't think UAV accidents have killed too many just yet. Is there's a whiff of Luddism about?

And you spent an entire career flying aircraft that we now know weren't airworthy and probably shouldn't have been flown over habitation.

Pip pip

Vernon

ps I trust you're well, havn't seen you for some time now.
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Old 14th Nov 2013, 20:44
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Hi Vern,

I'm sure that if Lake Ontario had been a designated drone lost-link/graveyard area, then Erik Durr would have mentioned it.

Drone prangs haven't yet killed many people because, in the main, the wretched things have been kept clear of populated areas.

If and when they are sufficiently reliable, then maybe they will be operated over such areas. But the drone fan-boys all seem to want to run before they can safely walk.

Not sure which aircraft you reckon I flew which wasn't airworthy - if it was good enough for HM The Queen, it was good enough for me!



By the way, this seems an interesting turn up for the books - although I don't agree with it: BBC News - Experts lobby UN for 'killer robot' ban

I'm fine, thanks - trust all is well with your good self?
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 01:29
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The satellite control link failed and the aircraft descended into the lake
There will be more to it than that. Let's wait till the full story gets out. May alleviate some anti-drone fears once all the facts are known.
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 02:08
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Thinking about the BBC article, could future self learning autonomy be the solution for the lost up/down link scenario You might think that....but then...

"With an autonomous system, the consequences of failure are worse in the public's mind. There's something about human error that makes people more comfortable with collateral damage if a person does it," McCants said.

..... and a greater visceral return....

Soon, Drones May Be Able to Make Lethal Decisions on Their Own - NationalJournal.com

Last edited by kluge; 15th Nov 2013 at 02:58. Reason: added a nerd
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 03:07
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I guess a B747 into an apartment complex in Holland didn't call for the banning of B747 flights over populated areas???
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 03:44
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In this area drones are taken as practice for trap shooting, but then thats just a southern boy talking!

Bob C
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 04:05
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Actually it's the second acknowledged one in the last three weeks. One was lost on approach.
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 04:13
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As far as I know, five have dropped out of the sky around here in the last couple of weeks. But that's unofficial!

Bob C
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Old 15th Nov 2013, 09:09
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This shouldn't come as a surprise. For some years reaper/predator and global hawk have had by far the highest accident rate of any US military aircraft. What we don't hear is how many incidents such as altitude busts, which would have made the press if they were committed by manned aircraft. Not that RPAS don't have a place but some want to run, operations in controlled airspace etc, before they can walk
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