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Lets talk drones

Old 13th Aug 2015, 22:49
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Lets talk drones

Drones getting in the way of emergency responders - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

It is coming. Death and destruction from a drone versus EMS or other emergency helo/airplane. ( or commercial aircraft)

I had a conversation with an ATC specialist about five years ago and he admitted to me that the tech was far outpacing the governments ability to handle it. I made some written proposals back then but of course they were ignored.

Here are some of my thoughts, some have evolved over the years.

1. Any drone that can travel 300 yards or more away from the controller will have a transponder squawking a code identifying it as a drone. The squawk will be able to be changed to i.d. the drone specifically to a particular operation.

2. Drone operators doing any operations outside of the 300 yard radius will contact ATC with a specific flight plan and will be either in constant communication with ATC or at least be immediately available to ATC via cell phone etc.

3. Prior to being allowed to purchase a drone of a certain size and or range, the purchaser will read and sign a contract guaranteeing that they and anyone employed by them will follow all rules and regulations set up for drone ops. They will have to sign a legal contract stating that fully understand the severe consequences of violating the rules.

4. Any photo/video/audio material attained by these long range drones will be required to have a digital tag attached to them that identifies the specific drone and owner/operator that took the images. It will be illegal for anyone to purchase any of this material for commercial publication that does not contain the digital tag.

5. Any drone operator caught operating in a TFR without prior permission from all pertinent agencies will be subject to a severe fine. Any damage, injury or death caused by the drone will make the owner/operator subject to severe penalties including murder charges in the event of a death.

6. Any owner/operator that flies within 2 miles of a emergency operation of any kind without prior permission of all pertinent agencies will be subject to severe fines.

In any and all cases, number 1 and 2 must be followed. There is no one size fits all solution but we have to start somewhere.

I don't see how it can be justified that a drone with good range and size can somehow be given a complete pass on any rules that would have to be followed by a one person helicopter or airplane. Yes, the operator is not there with the aircraft so they should have more rules and restrictions, not less. And, yes, I mean aircraft. Calling these drones does give a false sense that they are just fun little small things that can't hurt anyone. They are aircraft being operated by a (I use the term loosely) pilot. The industry will downplay calling the operators pilots because that means they don't need a license and therefore have no regs to follow. That translates into sales.

Ladies and gents, your thoughts, additions, criticisms.

Cheers

However there is this fantastic invention:
http://theamericangenius.com/tech-ne...ws-you-around/

Last edited by grumpytroll; 13th Aug 2015 at 23:27. Reason: added another link
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 01:25
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And you are going to enforce this,... how?
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 03:28
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Lets talk drones

Being charged with murder requires a demonstration that the suspect intended the death of the victim, good luck getting that one through for an "all cases" situation.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 08:15
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6. Any owner/operator that flies within 2 miles of a emergency operation of any kind without prior permission of all pertinent agencies will be subject to severe fines.
How the heck is anyone supposed to know everything that is happening within a two mile radius of them*? Emergency operations, unless they go on for days, are hardly likely to be NOTAMed.

*I suppose you could always send up a drone and have a look...


In the UK, the British Model Flying Association in conjunction with the Civil Aviation Authority have created a number of documents and schemes to regulate their members, professional drone users and those wishing to experiment with the, generally larger, commercial-type drones. What they have produced looks pretty well thought out. There will always be 'cowboys' who ignore these rules, however the existing Air Navigation Orders apply just as much to model aircraft and drones as they do to manned aircraft.

https://bmfa.org/Multi-Rotors

BMFA Multi-Rotor Achievement Scheme - DroneTrest


grumpytroll, you have made the assumption that drones are bought as off-the-shelf entities, whereas at the larger end of the scale the exact opposite is more likely to be the case, with each part of the equipment being selected for the exact application.

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Old 14th Aug 2015, 09:16
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These things are for voyeurs and oddballs and should be banned from the sky before they kill someone.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 09:22
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Having had 2 near misses with drones in the past, I would add my thoughts on this in the same way I think about American members of the general public and their love for assault rifles/ grenades etc:

Why does anyone NEED one?

You can license and have legal deterrents etc until the cows come home but why the NEED to have one? Some things are better left as niche things which militaries use. This is one of them in my opinion.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 10:26
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1. Any drone that can travel 300 yards or more away from the controller will have a transponder squawking a code identifying it as a drone. The squawk will be able to be changed to i.d. the drone specifically to a particular operation.
No thank you, added weight and expense reduces mission time. (A simple strobe will do).

2. Drone operators doing any operations outside of the 300 yard radius will contact ATC with a specific flight plan and will be either in constant communication with ATC or at least be immediately available to ATC via cell phone etc.
I would agree if operating within an aerodrome traffic zone, but when nowhere near an active airport? Not necessary.

3. Prior to being allowed to purchase a drone of a certain size and or range, the purchaser will read and sign a contract guaranteeing that they and anyone employed by them will follow all rules and regulations set up for drone ops. They will have to sign a legal contract stating that fully understand the severe consequences of violating the rules.
4. Any photo/video/audio material attained by these long range drones will be required to have a digital tag attached to them that identifies the specific drone and owner/operator that took the images. It will be illegal for anyone to purchase any of this material for commercial publication that does not contain the digital tag.

5. Any drone operator caught operating in a TFR without prior permission from all pertinent agencies will be subject to a severe fine. Any damage, injury or death caused by the drone will make the owner/operator subject to severe penalties including murder charges in the event of a death.

6. Any owner/operator that flies within 2 miles of a emergency operation of any kind without prior permission of all pertinent agencies will be subject to severe fines.
Unenforceable therefore waste of time.

Drones are here to stay, there will be lots more of them so get used to it.

crab
These things are for voyeurs and oddballs and should be banned from the sky before they kill someone.
There are a lot of professional outfits that operate legally and are not voyeurs etc and would therefore suffer if banned.

There have been many many collisions between full-size aircraft, resulting in hundreds of deaths. As far as I am aware, not so with these little drones eh?
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 10:51
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Chopjock,

I think Crab's point was why introduce a completely unregulated hazard into the sky when we do a reasonable enough job of crashing the regulated ones into each other already?

They don't have to be here to stay and while I agree that many professionals have them and use them perfectly safely, it's the ones like the goon in Istanbul last year which worry me. it only takes one.

Every time we fly with these around it reminds me of an old military phrase about enemy action: I have to be lucky every time, they only have to be lucky once. Sums up my sentiments of the risks of drones perfectly.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 11:06
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Nowherespecial
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 11:12
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I was talking to a chap just after he filed a MOR for a close call at 1800ft just West of Biggin, a drone around 1.5m diameter and an EC130 7-up. Following alert to ATC, Police Helicopter came to search for the operator but no luck. That was the second close encounter I heard of in the vicinity in a week.


Only a matter of time....
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 11:14
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Originally Posted by MarcK
And you are going to enforce this,... how?
M240. And a crapload of ammo.



I/C
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 14:18
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Or maybe one of them kiwi deer hunters with a net gun in the backseat at all times.

Seriously: I do agree the drones should carry a transponder whenever flown out of the operators sight so they at least show up on the controllers screen, on TCAS, on PowerFlarm and whatever else is there in that department.

I predict that no drastic measures will be taken until an airliner is brought down by a drone followed by a public outcry. Apparently the incident in Warsaw with the Lufthansa Embraer was not enough for international consequences.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 15:48
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There was a proposal last month to the FAA from Amazon to establish a "drone airspace" below 400 ft agl. plus an exclusion zone from 400 - 500ft agl to separate drone traffic from other air traffic (airports being excluded from this drone airspace for obvious reasons).

https://www.documentcloud.org/docume...-the-safe.html

Now, providing private airstrips were also excluded etc. I could see this being feasible for fix wing traffic which would be unlikely to be flying this low outside of an airfield - although it could make an off-airfield emergency landing even more "exciting" that it needs to be!

However, my immediate reaction was this wouldn't work well for rotary traffic which may have very legitimate reasons for being below 500ft agl. outside of an airfield.

Matthew
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 15:59
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And virtually all military traffic of course, incl jets doing 7nm a minute and troop carrying Support Helicopters. Let's not even go there on a C130 full of Paras.

But hey someone got some cool overhead photos on a go pro so the risk of killing hundreds of people was def worthwhile....
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 16:21
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I agree that they should be regulated through model flying clubs, thing is it took me five years to learn to fly a model helicopter, plenty of time to learn responsibility, but any idiot can buy and put a drone up due to the amount of gyros and gizmos they have
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 16:42
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But hey someone got some cool overhead photos on a go pro so the risk of killing hundreds of people was def worthwhile....
Nowherespecial, as you are talking about risk, the probability of a birdstrike with a goose or buzzard is far greater than with a drone, so maybe you should be insist the RSPB get them all fitted with FLARM and transponders?

Model flying sites are not specifically marked on any air map that I have seen, and the only fatal collision with a model that I am aware of was on a shared site (Hang glider & slope soarer, Devil's Dyke, 1987), so the risk from randomly colliding with a drone in uncontrolled airspace must be equally small.

There was a case recently of a full size aeroplane clipping a model (presumably a slope soarer) at Mill Hill, near Shoreham, this year, but to my mind anyone who does a low approach over a known popular slope soaring site needs their head examined.

Plane nearly crashed after model aircraft smashed into it at 1,000ft - Mirror Online

https://bmfa.org/News/News-Page/Arti...ll-West-Sussex

Last edited by Mechta; 14th Aug 2015 at 17:11. Reason: BMFA link added & 'Cessna' deleted. Mirror used library picture...
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 16:45
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In the US, drones are already being reported in NMAC situations even within Class B,C,D airspace. The US has a significant problem with [email protected] illuminations, and drones are the next wave of risk creators on a much higher level.
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 16:51
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Except that the Cessna was at about 1000' and the site is only cleared for use up to 50' with unpowered aircraft.

That is the big problem, people will kick the a*se out of any permissions granted to fly these thing and, on the whole, the sort of people buying them are not the sort who worry too much about rules and regs anyway.

How is the CAA going to get transponders on these when they are not even mandated on gliders or paragliders - both of which I and my colleagues have had near misses with this year as they don't show up on TCAS and are very difficult to see until you are right on top of them.

The big sky theory only works for so long!
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 17:04
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[email protected], Having researched this incident a bit further, it is apparent that the non thermic weather conditions and the type of model involved make the stated collision height of 1000ft highly unlikely.

http://slopesoaringsussex.bl*gspot.c...lar-flyer.html

replace the * with an o
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Old 14th Aug 2015, 17:23
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enforcement?

Pilot reports of close calls with drones soar in 2015 | Vertical Magazine - The Pulse of the Helicopter Industry

I guess there are some ways to enforce rules regarding drones. The FAA is going to come down hard on anyone found violating the rules. As someone else stated, there will be serious rule changes when an airliner is brought down or an EMS aircraft with a patient on board. I also predict that when fire fighting aircraft are grounded due to drone activity and a mansion or two in California owned by Spielberg, Winfrey et al is lying in ashes, suddenly this will become a big deal to politicians.

Realistically, these things are going to become a dangerous nuisance, like a swarm of mosquitoes. In big cities especially, when an accident happens, news helicopters are dispatched. Now it will be drones. Not only drones with responsible operators but anyone with a police scanner and a desire to get a shot of the tragedy. Currently when responding to a scene and there are news helos in the area, we TALK to each other. Directly. I can tell them which way I will be departing and when. News helos are squawking so the local ATC can coordinate traffic as necessary. ATC can let other EMS aircraft inbound know who and what is around the scene. If drones were at least squawking a code they would be visible on TCAS and radar and if they have a unique squawk, others can be warned that drones are indeed operating in the area. I believe that responsible drone operators would participate in communications efforts with ATC. First, I don't think they are cavalier about having a multi-thousand dollar drone destroyed by a multi-million dollar helicopter. Second, they don't want this situation to become so bad so quick that regulations come down that essentially ban them completely. Third, the local news organization that operates a drone that brings down an EMS or police helicopter...can you say bad publicity? Finally, there is a requirement for aircraft operation in class B and C to have two way radio comms and a transponder with mode C. Additionally, a 30 mile mode C veil from surface to 10,000 for Class B. So how is a drone allowed to operate in direct conflict with these rules that are required for all other aircraft?

Can't enforce the rules, seriously. Yeah, ask the fools who are caught shining [email protected] at aircraft if they have been dealt with. 10 years in some cases. Of course you can't stop everyone, just like you can't stop drunk drivers. You can sure enforce the rules with a firm hand and slow the thing down considerably. Or we could just say its all unenforceable, throw up our hands and stomp away.
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