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Drone over Headingley

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Drone over Headingley

Old 1st May 2017, 20:18
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Drone over Headingley

Watching an excellent game of cricket at Headingley today, I noticed Sky TV were flying a substantial drone over the stadium area. At times, the drone reached what I would estimate to be about 400 ft agl. Inbound traffic to Leeds passes over the stadium at about 1500 ft so I suppose the stadium is in "controlled" airspace (sorry, my terminology may be a bit out of date)? If I flew an aircraft at 400ft over Headingley I would need special VFR clearance from Leeds ATC so how does that work with a drone where the controller is on the ground?
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Old 1st May 2017, 21:14
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Here's a zoomable map with information.... No Fly Drones Just out of interest does anyone know why that map has a small danger area around Farringdon train station in London, just NW of St. Pauls Cathedral? It's labelled with GVS CITIGEN SFC-1100ALT

Ive had many a fun night watching T20 cricket at Headingly. It has an interesting double-sided stand, thats a rugby pitch on one side and cricket pitch on t'other.


Last edited by gr4techie; 1st May 2017 at 21:28.
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Old 1st May 2017, 21:47
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"GVS" on a chart is usually Gas Venting Station.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 08:59
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... surely that should be over Westminster!


well someone had to ... hat, coat!
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Old 2nd May 2017, 09:22
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Remember watching England vs the newly rehabilitated South Africa at Headingly. One of my Japanese students, watching cricket for the first time in his life, and holding a large beer in his hand, seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself.


Among his many questions was why, if it was an international, there was an England flag, but no Scottish or Welsh flags flying from the tall poles.
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Old 2nd May 2017, 13:41
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I thought the drone was the commentary upon the cricket......
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Old 3rd May 2017, 01:41
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bobward. Only when it's Henry Blofeld
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Old 3rd May 2017, 18:45
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C'mon guys you don't actually think that a drone operator is going to think like a pilot do you? Shame on you. Controlled airspace, airliners wots them then.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 19:42
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Actually a commercial drone pilot does think very much like a pilot. They have to or they lose the right to fly. Drone operations are under far greater public scrutiny than other aerial work so they do follow the rules. They are fully aware of airspace classes and will post NOTAMs if the location requires it. In military low flying areas they will contact the low flying cell so aircrew are aware of their operations. Many are ex military or have PPLs . The real problem are the toy flyer brigade who really need a bit more education or the hope the fad will pass and things settle down.
Flying over public occasions like Headingly demand special clearances from the CAA and local government and these are only given to experienced operators who have presented a full safety case.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 20:06
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Originally Posted by Zaxis View Post
Actually a commercial drone pilot does think very much like a pilot. They have to or they lose the right to fly. Drone operations are under far greater public scrutiny than other aerial work so they do follow the rules. They are fully aware of airspace classes and will post NOTAMs if the location requires it. In military low flying areas they will contact the low flying cell so aircrew are aware of their operations. Many are ex military or have PPLs . The real problem are the toy flyer brigade who really need a bit more education or the hope the fad will pass and things settle down.
Flying over public occasions like Headingly demand special clearances from the CAA and local government and these are only given to experienced operators who have presented a full safety case.
I fly aerial work aircraft (mostly orthophoto and LIDAR), but also operate a camera equipped 3DR-X8 drone when appropriate for smaller survey tasks. I am always concerned when flying the drone at the lack of inbuilt redundancy in case of battery failure. I "crashed" our first 3DR-X8 when the LiOn batteries exploded in flight - luckily without hurting anybody on the ground. Do these drones used by Sky etc have any redundancy - i.e. assuming that they are 2 x 4 rotor drones, do the upper and lower rotors have separate power systems, and would they be able to recover on one set of rotors?
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Old 3rd May 2017, 21:34
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If the pilot over Headingly is who I think it is, his aircraft has dual GPS and IMU units plus a safety parachute and possibly dual electronic motor controls. Which is about the most redundancy available on commercial drones. The drone's control system will handle the loss of one engine as it's a 2x4 configuration. The batteries will be 2 packs in parallel to cover the case of one pack failing, one thing the 3DR did not have. Seriously consider one of the DJI line of drones, a bit more expensive but they do cover some of your redundancy worries.
Most recent commercial drones come equipped with some of the same redundancies but none have got triplex redundant systems yet but I suspect it will come soon.
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Old 3rd May 2017, 23:11
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Originally Posted by Prangster View Post
C'mon guys you don't actually think that a drone operator is going to think like a pilot do you? Shame on you. Controlled airspace, airliners wots them then.
What an imbecilic post.

There are 'drone operators' out there who have worked hard to earn their qualifications and work with total responsibility.

I hold a PfCO.
And yes, I know what controlled airspace is.
And what airliners are...

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Old 4th May 2017, 08:30
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Originally Posted by Zaxis View Post
If the pilot over Headingly is who I think it is, his aircraft has dual GPS and IMU units plus a safety parachute and possibly dual electronic motor controls. Which is about the most redundancy available on commercial drones. The drone's control system will handle the loss of one engine as it's a 2x4 configuration. The batteries will be 2 packs in parallel to cover the case of one pack failing, one thing the 3DR did not have. Seriously consider one of the DJI line of drones, a bit more expensive but they do cover some of your redundancy worries.
Most recent commercial drones come equipped with some of the same redundancies but none have got triplex redundant systems yet but I suspect it will come soon.
Thanks - I am off to have a good look at one.
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Old 4th May 2017, 17:31
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Thank you for the very helpful technical stuff. May I assume also that they are operating to some sort of ATC clearance?
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Old 4th May 2017, 18:14
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If an operation is within a reasonable distance from any airport, a UK licensed drone pilot will always make contact with the local ATC, be it near Heathrow or a small flying club airfield. It ensures everybody in the vicinity is in the know. They are always cooperative and thankful. Many operators will also listen to ATC radio traffic as an additional safety measure. Actually the local ATC cannot give a drone operator permission to be in the area but merely makes note of their presence.
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