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Drone strike

Old 18th Apr 2016, 13:43
  #81 (permalink)  

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It seems there is a minority on here who will only agree that drones represent a danger when an AAIB is looking at a pile of smoking metal and human remains.

Is it not obvious that anything being ingested into a jet engine, smashing into a cockpit, stabiliser etc represents a danger?

We only need the holes in the cheese to line up once -- which despite the odds against they sometimes do -- for there to be a tragedy.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 13:44
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies if this has been asked earlier but what damage can a drone do to a commercial airliner that a remote controlled aircraft/helicopter (which have been available for decades) can't?
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 13:52
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Apologies if this has been asked earlier but what damage can a drone do to a commercial airliner that a remote controlled aircraft/helicopter (which have been available for decades) can't?
There isn't any difference.

What IS different is the kind of operator.
The traditional R/C aircraft or helicopter needs skill to build and learn to fly, often in a club environment.
The new generation of 'drones' come out a box ready to go, and can be flown with GPS assistance with zero skill...
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:00
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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I do find it odd that people are worried that some idiot/terrorist might manage to fly a drone into an airliner on approach, yet many on here operate quite happily into countries with widespread access to pistols and rifles.

Anybody who believes that it is easier to bring down/damage and airliner with a drone rather than a bullet needs their sanity testing.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:17
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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Tourist, there is deliberate and malicious assault on an aircraft and then there is casual, dangerous negligence.


Guns fired at aircraft would probably belong to the former category, while UAVs dangled in their path would mainly belong in the latter I would imagine.


So it isn't really comparable.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:41
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by angels View Post
It seems there is a minority on here who will only agree that drones represent a danger when an AAIB is looking at a pile of smoking metal and human remains.
I suspect the size of that minority might be limited to yourself.

Is it not obvious that anything being ingested into a jet engine, smashing into a cockpit, stabiliser etc represents a danger?
Indeed. All that is being suggested is that there are currently any number of things that can pose very similar risks which we currently deem as acceptable risks, so what is so special about "drones"? We have a non-zero number of pilots who fly while drunk, constituting a clear safety risk, but we have yet to require blood-alcohol tests on all aircrew prior to boarding every flight. We have a non-zero risk of counterfeit parts in the supply chain, but we have yet to prohibit the procuremnt of aircraft parts from anyone but the OEM. We have the proven issue of birdstrike, yet the USA did not embark or a campaign of avian genocide after Sullenberger's famous aquatic demonstration.

We only need the holes in the cheese to line up once -- which despite the odds against they sometimes do -- for there to be a tragedy.
The point is that society clearly deems is acceptable for the holes to line up occasionally - why the focus on drones? Is it an acceptable alternative to thinking?

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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:41
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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yet many on here operate quite happily into countries with widespread access to pistols and rifles.
When was the last time an aircraft was shot at in the UK?
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:44
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2dPilot View Post
Obviously, ingesting anything other than air into an engine is not a good thing.
But the Guardian article cited earlier, claiming that bits of engine could go through the fuel tanks or the passenger cabin is nonsense - engine casings/housings are designed to contain any and all bits that might fly off the engine core?
It won't matter if it's a goose or a drone ingested, the engine will fail and the parts will be contained safely.
So, what about the chances of a bird strike versus a drone strike? I suggest that the ratio of birds in the sky to drones in the sky is way over 100,000 to 1 - maybe orders of magnitude greater. If an engine is destroyed, the smart money will go on "it's a bird".
That of course doesn't include the prospect of a deliberate 'attack' on an aircraft by drone(s).
How are the engine containment tests done? What is the weight,density and velocity of the object used? How does that compare to the UAVs currently available?
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 14:44
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MATELO View Post
When was the last time an aircraft was shot at in the UK?
I have no idea.

Could be 5 mins ago. Mostly they miss even in countries where it happens regularly.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 15:49
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Speaking from experience, it's far easier than you might think.
Not in my experience; I failed miserably to hit a moving airborne target with a Rapier guided missile, let alone a rifle. I understand that SAM's are more idiot-proof these days, which should worry us all a little bit unless drones take over as the terrorist weapon of choice, as they probably will.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:10
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Surely the risk to light aircraft is far higher than commercial multi engined jet aircraft. Light aircraft tend to fly at low altitudes in uncontrolled airspace and are much more likely to end up in conflict with model and drone aircraft. Light aircraft have fewer redundant systems and are more likely to be crewed by a single qualified pilot. They are more likely to be damaged by a collision with even a lightweight object. Surely light aircraft pilots are the ones who should be shouting the loudest for stricter controls on model aircraft and UAVs/drones?

A single, at this moment, suspected, collision with a drone by a large commercial airliner has caused a slew of headlines and calls for action despite no damage or evidence of a collision being found (from reports I've read).

So why aren't all the PPLs, flying instructors and hours builders not up in arms campaigning for action? They seem to be the people most at risk.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:23
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by G0ULI View Post
Surely the risk to light aircraft is far higher than commercial multi engined jet aircraft. Light aircraft tend to fly at low altitudes in uncontrolled airspace and are much more likely to end up in conflict with model and drone aircraft. Light aircraft have fewer redundant systems and are more likely to be crewed by a single qualified pilot. They are more likely to be damaged by a collision with even a lightweight object. Surely light aircraft pilots are the ones who should be shouting the loudest for stricter controls on model aircraft and UAVs/drones?

A single, at this moment, suspected, collision with a drone by a large commercial airliner has caused a slew of headlines and calls for action despite no damage or evidence of a collision being found (from reports I've read).

So why aren't all the PPLs, flying instructors and hours builders not up in arms campaigning for action? They seem to be the people most at risk.
I always fly a few miles away from the nearest airport (not easy in SE England) and I'm very careful to check out the environment before I fly. Nevertheless, there have been a couple of occasions when a low-flying helicopter has appeared with little warning.

Based on my statistically insignificant experience, I'd agree that a small aircraft collision is more likely.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:28
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Light aircraft pilots (I speak as one) are not indifferent to the risks of being taken out by a drone, but we also habitually take on a lot more risk than they do. My chances of killing myself are a few orders magnitude higher per hour than those of an airline pilot, and drone strikes only add a little to this.

The man on the street is likely to care more about the safety of airliners, as he's more likely to spend time in airliners. They're a more attractive target for anyone malicious, and there's a lot of money invested in their safety.

Also, I have a big remote control helicopter and have a degree of sympathy for the hobby - I wouldn't like to see it regulated out of existence.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:37
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with GOULI. The threat to CAT aircraft from irresponsible drone operators is clearly a real and growing problem, all that seems to be uncertain is the degree of damage one would do in a collision or engine ingestion with an airliner. But few of you seem to consider the group of aviators who are most vulnerable to a drone strike, it is the general aviation community by which I mean everyone who operates a flying machine from a microlight or glider to a cabin class twin.

Airliners spend very little of their total flight time at low level, maybe a minute on climbout and five minutes on the approach whereas the average GA aircraft will fly virtually all the time at altitudes which are easily achieved by even toy drones, especially in the London FIR. And whilst an airliner is a sturdily built structure, with cockpit glass capable of surviving the high velocity chicken test there are many light aircraft (especially BMAA and LAA types) which have at best only thin Perspex between the pilot’s face and an oncoming object, and airframes made of fabric covered wood. Even if a drone missed the windscreen, it might well score a bullseye on the single engine air intake and cause a partial if not complete engine failure and resulting forced landing.

The consequences of a drone strike with a light or microlight aircraft are clearly considerably more serious than with an airliner, ranging from immediate pilot incapacitation to severe airframe damage or power loss. Add that to the much greater exposure because of the time spent at low level (particularly when flying beneath controlled airspace) and the real threat to air safety in the UK from drones becomes very clear, it’s with GA aircraft not Boeings and Airbusses.

The CAA don’t seem to be taking this threat seriously; the only rule for a drone operator seems to be that he must keep the machine below 400ft (is that above ground level or sea level?), away from aircraft and airfields and within sight. But how is little Johnny going to be able to judge 400ft anyway or even know if he is flying in controlled or regulated airspace? If he is concentrating on keeping his drone in sight, he is by definition not looking for other aircraft. I expect that even if a drone operator was caught red-handed and successfully prosecuted it would probably result in a fine of three weeks pocket money and maybe a couple of weeks picking up litter along the A34, whereas the CAA are now proposing unlimited fines for any hapless private pilot who infringes controlled airspace.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:57
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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The hardest parts of a drone are the motor shafts which will be a few inches long and perhaps 5-10mm diameter - they will be made of hardened steel.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 16:57
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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The traditional R/C aircraft or helicopter needs skill to build and learn to fly, often in a club environment.
... and are operated, almost without exception, by responsible individuals who have the common sense not to fly near to a major airport, aerodrome or airfield.

How can a subject such as this be in debate?!

Flying drones or any other aerial devices near to an airport is WRONG.

I sometimes wonder how many people still have the ability to differentiate between right and wrong when I read these columns ...

Accept the premise that these devices should not be in airspace such as the approach to Heathrow and the question of whether a jet engine will survive the injection of a drone becomes an academic debate, not a question of life and death.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 17:01
  #97 (permalink)  
 
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Er, could I remind everyone this is a public forum. Often frequented by journalists and other 'black hats'.
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 17:02
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Marchettiman View Post
I agree with GOULI. The threat to CAT aircraft from irresponsible drone operators is clearly a real and growing problem, all that seems to be uncertain is the degree of damage one would do in a collision or engine ingestion with an airliner. But few of you seem to consider the group of aviators who are most vulnerable to a drone strike, it is the general aviation community by which I mean everyone who operates a flying machine from a microlight or glider to a cabin class twin.

Airliners spend very little of their total flight time at low level, maybe a minute on climbout and five minutes on the approach whereas the average GA aircraft will fly virtually all the time at altitudes which are easily achieved by even toy drones, especially in the London FIR. And whilst an airliner is a sturdily built structure, with cockpit glass capable of surviving the high velocity chicken test there are many light aircraft (especially BMAA and LAA types) which have at best only thin Perspex between the pilotís face and an oncoming object, and airframes made of fabric covered wood. Even if a drone missed the windscreen, it might well score a bullseye on the single engine air intake and cause a partial if not complete engine failure and resulting forced landing.

The consequences of a drone strike with a light or microlight aircraft are clearly considerably more serious than with an airliner, ranging from immediate pilot incapacitation to severe airframe damage or power loss. Add that to the much greater exposure because of the time spent at low level (particularly when flying beneath controlled airspace) and the real threat to air safety in the UK from drones becomes very clear, itís with GA aircraft not Boeings and Airbusses.

The CAA donít seem to be taking this threat seriously; the only rule for a drone operator seems to be that he must keep the machine below 400ft (is that above ground level or sea level?), away from aircraft and airfields and within sight. But how is little Johnny going to be able to judge 400ft anyway or even know if he is flying in controlled or regulated airspace? If he is concentrating on keeping his drone in sight, he is by definition not looking for other aircraft. I expect that even if a drone operator was caught red-handed and successfully prosecuted it would probably result in a fine of three weeks pocket money and maybe a couple of weeks picking up litter along the A34, whereas the CAA are now proposing unlimited fines for any hapless private pilot who infringes controlled airspace.
DJI are one of the most popular manufacturers of drones. They are controlled by an app running on a smart phone or tablet, connected with a cable to the controller. The DJI app visibly shows altitude ("H:" in the bottom line of the attached photo) and horizontal distance ("D:") from takeoff. In addition, DJI software/firmware prevents flying within an exclusion area around airports.

And, yes, the 400' limit set by government is 400' above ground level. Again, the DJI software enforces that limit by default but can be overridden by setting preferences.

This is just DJI: I can't speak for other manufacturers of drones.

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Old 18th Apr 2016, 17:30
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Originally Posted by abgd View Post
The hardest parts of a drone are the motor shafts which will be a few inches long and perhaps 5-10mm diameter - they will be made of hardened steel.
For "a few inches" read "under two inches in all but the very largest examples".

For "5-10mm dia" read 3-5mm dia in all but the very largest examples.

For "hardened steel" read "mild steel in all but the very few and rather expensive examples".

All of this information is easily discoverable with a few seconds of research, yet the myths and postulations prevail <sigh>

PDR

Last edited by PDR1; 18th Apr 2016 at 17:33. Reason: typos - that small greek island where trainee wizards are sent for bad spelling
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Old 18th Apr 2016, 17:49
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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I sincerely hope the culprit is caught and faces prison timer and a eye watering fine.
A throughly irresponsible act that screws it up for everybody else.

The popular 3 makes of drone are DJi - 3DR - Yuneec

These guys dominate the market and their drones are geo fenced, i.e if you try to enter restricted airspace the drone will not enter it. You are blocked from flying into prohibited areas and there is nothing you can do about it. The drone will refuse to fly.
Also the drones require regular connection to the internet to update the OS and the list. Failure to do so results in drone that will not fly.

The culprits doing this stunt were probably using a really old drone of a custom build. I am fairly confident they will be caught once the police recover the remains of the drone.
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