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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

Old 15th Feb 2015, 22:27
  #221 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Netherlands
Age: 67
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see and avoid

In the manned airplane the responsibility is equally shared between both pilots who have to look, see and avoid.
When flying let's say a GA plane, and closing in on a drone, the situation is not equal.
The drone is small, has very little surface to see and is most of the times black, and is stationary or moves at a slow speed. The latter means that Your eyes don't remark a movement against the background, which is mostly also darkish.
When meeting a "classic" model airplane, it will be different as it will be moving in a way that it protrudes from the background, moreover, many have bright colours on a relative large area.

The drone pilot will hear a plane or helicopter approaching first. Then, while scanning the sky, he will see the airplane, which is clearly visible against the sky backdrop.
He will have time enough to descend or get out of the path of the plane.

So there lies a big responsibility in the hands of the drone operator and they should be made aware of this. Many "ground pilots" have no idea how the view of the pilot in the plane might look like and that his drone will only be seen in the last moment at close proximity.

Transponders: apart from the weight and cost, ask big airport controllers what they would think of a tsunami of "blips" cluttering their screens even more. Other planes would not benefit directly, only a few GA planes have a TCAS system, which is VERY expensive.

If drones are used in a responsible way, there are many benefits possible, we are just at the beginning of what will eventually become a new aviation branch, creating many jobs.

Please do not only stare at a few over exposed (worldwide)incidents. The drone risk is minimal compared to the bird strike risk.

However, both hobbyists and commercial operators will have to be made aware of they risk they can be for manned aircraft. Most of the "classic" model airplane pilots already know, but now the new group needs to be made aware. If information does not work, publicising expensive penalties or jail time for irresponsible drone pilots will surely help.

It worked getting passengers think twice before starting an "air rage".
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Old 15th Feb 2015, 23:18
  #222 (permalink)  
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My nephew discovered a google search for the title "NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING REGULATORY EVALUATION" will lead one to the leaked FAA study on proposed commercial drone regulation.
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Old 16th Feb 2015, 08:25
  #223 (permalink)  
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I suspect the recreational use of drones will eventually decrease, after this initial wave of popularity, once the novelty aspect wears off. After all, unless you're an enthusiast -- a relatively small number -- what can you really do with a drone after you've flown it around the neighborhood a bunch of times? How long that will take, however, is anyone's guess. Right now there's a declining cost curve, which will probably attract more buyers, but eventually the market will be saturated and people will move on to the next fad.
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Old 16th Feb 2015, 15:03
  #224 (permalink)  
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Double Back,

It’s precisely this inequality between drone operator and pilot why I suggested mandatory strobes and/or a transponder. I personally don’t trust someone whose maximum loss in case of accident will be on the order of $1000, when I have my life on the line. I don’t buy the minimal risk theory, either, when police, pipeline inspectors, bridge inspectors, tower inspectors, press, realtors, Amazon and even pizza shops are talking about using drones.

As I already said, strobes are cheap to install and operate, right now. I expect transponders to become cheaper (especially if demand goes up). Drone transponders would only need about a 10 km range (to turn on TCAS and ADS-B In systems, or simple Zaon PCAS transponder detectors in flying aircraft), so the possibility is there to make them smaller and lighter. And there’s no reason ATC should be overwhelmed, they can easily filter out a drone specific squawk code.

I think the proposed FAA rule for small drones is a good start, but I want to see more done in the “see and avoid” arena. I intend to respond to the FAA and ask that they mandate strobes on all drones, in addition to their other proposed requirements.
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Old 24th Feb 2015, 15:06
  #225 (permalink)  
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It seems the French are continuing to have problems of their own...

Mysterious Drones Spotted Flying Over Paris
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Old 4th Mar 2015, 00:09
  #226 (permalink)  
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Thumbs up to the guy...

I work in at a certain airport based in the East of the Midlands...
Long time member, Very few times poster... and a CPL...

We actually received an e-mail from a company just a few days ago informing us that they will be carrying out drone surveys on a local site a mile from the threshold of the runway. Those who know the area of the airport will know its a race track...

The company/guy in question has the correct permits from the CAA that state it must not operate at a height above 400ftagl. and no further than 500 metres from the operator.*

He/They will be calling us before, and after the operation.

If everyone with a legitimate reason to operate has all the permits in place and contacts the correct people pre and post operations. I cant see how it can become a danger to aircraft...

If only everyone stuck to the rules!

*- I can see this is a very legitimate company. Obviously there are some very UN-legitimate UAV operators out there...
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Old 4th Mar 2015, 10:58
  #227 (permalink)  
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"a mile from the threshold of the runway
"must not operate at a height above 400ftagl"
"and no further than 500 metres from the operator."

"He/They will be calling us before, and after the operation."

Presumably the landings will be occurring at the other end of the runway during drone operation as 1 mile from the threshold = circa 300ft

I'm staggered that permission would be granted
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 06:57
  #228 (permalink)  
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DCA Files Police Report Against Drone Operator Near KLIA | Lowyat.NET

No comment!
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 07:34
  #229 (permalink)  
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Drones near flightpath

Do you suppose photos like these will encourage more such behavior?
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 08:45
  #230 (permalink)  
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This kind of pictures can be made with a drone under 500g in weight (and with today's technology) .
IMO i would treat "drones" very differently based on weight class . How to differentiate them by weight i don't know , i would have to see impact tests at different speeds with different size drones . I imagine a 20 gram motor would have a different punch that a 300gram one but maybe both are lethal to a jet engine (unlike the birds these are very dense). Anyway what you want is to get the everyone's toy drones smaller (the phantom is kind of big ) and the bigger handmade ones low , bright and out of airport areas , not to get the operators to go stealthy and paint them in camouflage.
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 08:58
  #231 (permalink)  
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Strobes for drones.

These drones need to display strobe lights when airborne...and yes, I don't care if they are heavy and/or expensive!
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 10:05
  #232 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2015
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These will not get meaningfull strobes ever . I know that the majority here would try to get drones to behave like the other air traffic but the reality is that this would be impossible for the large majority of them . What i suggest is to find where the drone size becomes benign for aircraft and steer the manufacturers there so that when an iresponsable flyes one near an airport would be a 300g bumblebee , not a 5 kg beast. Also getting that iresponsable in jail would help more than trying to uninvent them .
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 10:15
  #233 (permalink)  
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Collision with a drone is just a birdstrike with batteries. What's the difference in risk?
Maybe the politicians should legislate against geese first?
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 14:40
  #234 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ex_matelot View Post
Collision with a drone is just a birdstrike with batteries. What's the difference in risk? Maybe the politicians should legislate against geese first?
I don't know of anyone who deliberately flies a goose near an airliner. Though maybe that woodpecker-riding weasel might get some ideas.
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 14:45
  #235 (permalink)  
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In our lab (i am a grad student working on a UAV-related research project) we are actually using UAT ADS-B transceiver for one of our UAVs.

According to FAA, UAT 978 MHZ devices should be a must by 2020 on all GA AC (and hopefully drones <-- that's just my ignorant hope). It is not that expensive, honestly. The cheapest solution so far for full In/Out capability is around 2400 bucks. I think it will drop even further. It uses the same message standards as a normal 1070 ADS-B solution would, it just has a different frequency.

The UAT that we are using is of the size of a box 7 in x 5 in x 2 in - it is actually kind of light. You would think that it should be heavier). I mean, there is definitely a way to make it much smaller so that it could be put on much smaller UAVs.

I think there should be that and heavy fines as a nice addition - those photos from that UAV hovering near the threshold are really scary...
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Old 5th Mar 2015, 22:09
  #236 (permalink)  
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Sunamer, I applaud your trying to broadcast your drone's location. But UAT isn't a great way to go, because airliners won't receive it. In the USA glider community we decided to go with 1090 Mode-S transponders, so that we'll appear on TCAS. That's in addition to to our using PowerFLARM, which is a glider to glider and glider to tow plane position and anti-collision system.

You can get a 1090 Mode-S transponder for about the price of your UAT that will be ADS-B Out capable. A Trig TT21 will be the same size and weight of your UAT. Unfortunately, you'll have to fork out another $3000 to get a TSOed GPS to legally use ADS-B Out in the USA!

It's a shame we cannot use our FAI approved GPSes to achieve ADS-B OUT - we can wire them in and properly set up the transponder right now, but the FAA seriously frowns on anyone who does this. The situation is different in Europe; they allow it.
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Old 6th Mar 2015, 06:31
  #237 (permalink)  
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LED technology

These drones need to display strobe lights when airborne...and yes, I don't care if they are heavy and/or expensive!
I don't really think these operators can say strobe lights are 'heavy' or expensive... LED Technology has come along way... LED's are used a lot more now than just illuminating a panel in your car at night. They are bigger, Brighter, lighter and more reliable.
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Old 6th Mar 2015, 12:21
  #238 (permalink)  
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I have my doubts if a strobe would help much.
Could easily get mixed up with reflections from the ground, (car windows, and lots of other things could cause flashes). They could no carry high power strobes.

Like other RC rebels (ie FPV) it is a small number of people who ignore the law, and any legislation would no make any difference to them, they would still do as they want.

The problem is that they are now so easy to "fly" that any one can buy one and "fly" it.

It is the sale that has to be controlled, not the use.

Sell only to people who have the BMFA A cert at least, and belong to a recognised club.

That would make enforcement of current legislation more manageable, and that legislation is sufficient if followed.

More legislation would only affect honest users, it would make no difference to those who don't care in the first place.

That way they can be enjoyed in safety, and the people breaking the law will be easier to identify. If of course there is any manpower to do anything about it anyway.
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Old 8th Mar 2015, 01:44
  #239 (permalink)  
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For those of you who think these things aren't there already:

Red Baron Anti-collision Light
Sagetech Transponders with ADSB In, GPS Alt Encoder

Both less than the size of a PC mouse, just the cost at the moment.
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Old 9th Mar 2015, 18:30
  #240 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2012
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ask26: "Sagetech Transponders with ADSB In"
I guess, you meant to say "ADS-B Out"...
"In" is only for the receiving part of the equation...

The Sagetech website offers In solutions for 1400 bucks, if I am correct. Something tell me that Out will be "a bit" more costly.
And Out solution isn't available yet:

Quote from their website: "Between now and then, let’s get acquainted. Click the button below to be notified by email when the Mode S ADS-B Out Transponder will be available."
But if they do that - that would be a nice thing - it seems like the size is really small, comparing to what I am working with...

Last edited by Sunamer; 9th Mar 2015 at 18:39. Reason: I type before I think
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