Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Drones threatening commercial a/c?

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Drones threatening commercial a/c?

Old 4th Sep 2015, 22:18
  #341 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Farnham, Surrey
Posts: 1,173
There is no requirement whatsoever for either of these organisations to operate drones.
If you are going to apply that sort of argument, then you can ground almost all privately owned aircraft, a large proportion of general aviation and all holiday flights. Unless a flight is for defence or lifesaving purposes, there is always a slower surface transport alternative.
Mechta is offline  
Old 4th Sep 2015, 22:54
  #342 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: SF Bay area, CA USA
Posts: 246
Drone delivery.

Ok, just a few operational questions.

What is the MTOW of a drone delivering a 1kg package? A 2kg package? A 5kg package?
Can a drone deliver only to a secure site with the recipient present? Or will the drone hide your package as the UPS driver does?
How will the drone deal with a curious neighbor? A curious neighbor child? A pet dog?
When the drone is ready to depart, does it yell, "Clear!"? Will non-aviation types even understand what "Clear" means?
If the drone malfunctions, will it radio for help?
Are drones VFR Only or are they all-weather?

Just some operational questions.
jack11111 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 03:31
  #343 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 2,801
From Avweb
The FAA has reported that an “unknown object” struck a Piper Apache while in flight near Romeoville, Illinois, but according to the drone website suasnews.com, that object was likely a small drone. Citing an “unconfirmed report,” suasnews states that a Piper PA-23 twin impacted the drone at about 2,500 feet near Lewis University Airport (KLOT) in Illinois on Aug. 27. Photos of damage on the aircraft appear to show a series of vertical indentations and a slice into the rubber de-ice boot along the leading edge of the tail surface. The airplane landed safely and nobody was hurt.
If we should ban drones because they are a threat to aircraft, then should we also ban little puddle-jumpers?
The drivers of little puddle jumpers are supposed to have a handle on how to operate in the airspace. Little Johnny with his drone, not so much, as we see with the pratts and the green light shiny things. If I were the owner of the aircraft above I'd be one ticked off individual.
megan is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 03:36
  #344 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 2,801
Article

Drone slams into seating area at U.S. Open - CNN.com
megan is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 05:12
  #345 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,257
I think most of us would agree that the greatest threat from small drones is to small single engine puddle-jumpers?
The greatest threat from small drones would be to helicopter operations. News helicopters, Air Ambulance, police & fire helicopters, private and passenger ops, etc.

Helicopters fly at low altitudes away from airports or established air routes. A drone hit to the main or anti-torque rotors could end in disaster.
peekay4 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 05:32
  #346 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
Peekay

Yes, I was talking fixed wing on this thread, but I agree.

Not convinced that a main rotor would die from a small toy drone. Tail, maybe.

No matter how many drones get bought by idiots, birds will always be a greater threat.

If we are so worried by drones, then why are we not equally worried by birds?

Toy drones are generally getting lighter as the tech advances.

Delivery drones are different, but they are also going to be regulated and operating with somebody responsible who knows he goes to jail if he causes a problem.

Megan

Much like a bird strike, really.

Puddle jumper pilots are supposed to have a handle, but despite this keep killing airliners. The fact that they have a license is irrelevant to the dead people.

Where is the worry and outrage about those smoking holes?

Last edited by Tourist; 5th Sep 2015 at 05:58.
Tourist is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 06:28
  #347 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,257
If we are so worried by drones, then why are we not equally worried by birds?
Who's not worried about bird strikes? Bird strikes have caused many helicopter crashes and unfortunately numerous deaths.

Similarly even a small drone could be a hazard to light helicopters like the Robinson R22.

The biggest threat with drones is the human operator:

- Drunk people who think "it's funny" to harass helicopters with their drones, and might even try to purposely hit one

- People who for some reason think they "must" fly their drones over an active accident site while an Air Ambulance is trying to land or take-off

- Kids who think it's cool to fly drones right over airports and even along the active runway

- Folks who want to "compete" with police & news helicopters over a crime scene, so they can post a footage to their friends on Facebook that night

Through August 20th the FAA has logged over 750 drone "events" this year alone.
peekay4 is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 09:10
  #348 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
Mechta,
Google and Amazon seem to be getting on splendidly without SUAV's. ATC are often stretched (by staff numbers, driven by cost), to provide ATSOCAS to manned aircraft.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 10:04
  #349 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
Peekay

Do you honestly think that the number of drones will ever be more than negligible compared to the birds that we fly amongst every day?

Seagulls love to fly around the disk of a hovering helicopter. At least the pilot of the drone knows it will die and he will be out of pocket if he gets too close. Birds, not so much...

Birds are constantly doing the things which you are worried about.
They fly over airports.
They come to look at helicopters.

Airliners are specifically designed to take bird strikes.
Baby quadcopters seem very similar to me.

Zooker

Do you honestly believe that normal human ATC will have any role when it comes to Amazon etc delivering parcels?
Why would a quad ever fly above 200ft?

Why should Amazon give a sh1t if ATC are stretched? ATCs job is to provide a service to everyone who needs it, not decide who has a valid reason.
Amazon has a far more valid reason, (ie business) than some PPL playing for personal entertainment.
Tourist is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 10:27
  #350 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
SUAVs will not be a lot of use for delivering parcels if they can't fly over congested areas.
There is someone who posts pictures on the internet taken with a DJI quadcopter. It has been flown within 20' of the top of Blackpool Tower, which is 518' agl. There are other photographs from the same individual taken at about 2,500' above the town centre.
These are the sort of idiots we're dealing with.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 10:40
  #351 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
Two separate things.

Idiots with toy UAVs

These have been around as radio controlled aircraft for ever. Yes there are now more of them, but most of them are over cities where aircraft should not be at low level. Very very few idiots will have them at height. those that do, I refer you back to where I pointed out they are just like birds. Lots of them around but we seem to get by.



Amazon drones flying automated routes in automated drones.

This is new. There is no benefit in making these things fly high, plus the CEO of Amazon will be acutely aware of the potential lawsuit scale if they screw up. I suspect they will be absolutely bulletproof before they ever take to the skies operationally.
Tourist is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 14:04
  #352 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: N/A
Posts: 2,801
Lots of them around but we seem to get by
As pointed out previously, not without quite a number of accidents and deaths. The dead would not agree "we are getting by". Last bird strike event I saw was a King Air being wrestled to the ground with major damage to a wing leading edge just inboard from the tip. And I mean wrestled, because of induced aerodynamic effects.
megan is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 14:12
  #353 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
Yup, birds cause damage.
Been there, done that.


Toys will cause damage.
Not had that yet.

How many aircraft have been brought down by a single bird in the last decade worldwide?

How many birds are there?

Just because something will inevitably cause accidents is not an excuse to ban it.

If we went down that route all PPL pilots would be grounded.
All motorbikes.
All radio controlled aircraft.
Boomerangs.
Frisbees.
Cricket balls.
the list is endless

The only thing to do is assess the realistic risk.

The simple fact is that despite vast numbers of these things having been bought in the last couple of years and lot of general worrying, the worst anyone can come up with is one collision with a Cessna, no damage and a dent in a de-icing boot.
Tourist is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 15:12
  #354 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
"Amazon drones flying automated routes in automated routes"

What happens when a 'powerplant' fails?

Below 200', super. More noise pollution.

Also if these things are that low, 'scallys' will be shooting them down and making off with the booty contained therein.

It's madness.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 15:52
  #355 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Home
Posts: 3,400
ZOOKER

They have 4 power plants, minimum. That means redundancy.

If you live somewhere that "scallys" shoot things down, then drones are the least of your problem.
Tourist is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 16:08
  #356 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
Thankfully not, Tourist, but I don't see the point of creating new problems when there's enough [email protected] out there already.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 16:23
  #357 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 601
Possible solution;

9 lives is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 17:35
  #358 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
Unfortunately, I missed the very valid points raised in Jack's last post, and Step Turn, that is priceless.
ZOOKER is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 17:40
  #359 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Tapping the Decca, wondering why it's not working.
Age: 70
Posts: 150
Originally Posted by jack11111 View Post
Ok, just a few operational questions.

What is the MTOW of a drone delivering a 1kg package? A 2kg package? A 5kg package?
Can a drone deliver only to a secure site with the recipient present? Or will the drone hide your package as the UPS driver does?
How will the drone deal with a curious neighbor? A curious neighbor child? A pet dog?
When the drone is ready to depart, does it yell, "Clear!"? Will non-aviation types even understand what "Clear" means?
If the drone malfunctions, will it radio for help?
Are drones VFR Only or are they all-weather?
Jack,

MTOW: I have a half-share in one that can lift 1 kg easily, its weight with batteries is 2.5 kg. But flying time at 3.5 kg is on the order of 9 minutes. With 0.5 kg payload another battery pack could be added for 18 minutes total duration. Its cruising speed would be 10 m/s which gives an effective range of 3 km. This is 2015 technology. To deliver 5kg to a destination say 3 km away would probably result in a TOW somewhere in the 25 kg region. Which the CAA consider to be a "heavy".

Problems at destination: Equipped with a video link an operator could monitor the delivery, and do the equivalent of UPS's "no-one in" driveby.

Takeoff: The transmitter for ours says "All clear above and behind?" when the throttle reaches 10%. Takeoff is at about 65-70%. At the delivery end a small speaker could do the same, in fact cover a range of situations. We don't have the facilities to test with dogs; cats are interested but don't come near, too noisy. (This is while motor testing tied to a 50kg garden table with 4 cats hanging around.)

UAV problems: There is a range of telemetry that can be sent back. Some the the larger systems use an Arduino computer for on-board control, and that can be programmed for all sorts of situations. If a motor fails the controllers for 6 & 8 motor UAVS can cope to some extent, generally by landing where they are. Controllers with 3 or 4 motors cannot cope.

IFR?: No reason they can't be made waterproof. Just adds a little more weight for covers and seals. Probably a good idea to make sure the payload can stand being in the vigorous shower from the props though.


However using them for real delivery is just a PT Barnum show. I'm sure it will be done, but expect a brown/yellow/white van at your own door.


'b
aerobelly is offline  
Old 5th Sep 2015, 17:49
  #360 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The foot of Mt. Belzoni.
Posts: 2,023
How does it release it's payload? If you've ordered a book, (usually, fairly heavy too), does it leave it out in the rain?
ZOOKER is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.