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A Culture of Safety

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Cirrus Sr22 GTS Pilot, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Cirrus Sr22 GTS Pilot

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    Hello All. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This is officially my first post on Phantom Pilots. I have been, and still am, a GA Instrument Rated Pilot for over 12 years and have accumulated over 1300 hours. I started off with a Cessna 172 and in 2009 moved to a Cirrus Sr 22GTS. Over the past week I was introduced to my new Phantom 3 Pro and absolutely love it. It is amazing what modern technology has put in our hands. I can assure you that drones are not a "Toy" but rather a machine that when used responsibly can give us all many years of enjoyment. Over the past week I have spent many hours researching and flying my new P3P. The ability of these machines are simply amazing.
    Over the past several weeks I have been following these forums. I remember someone questioning whether drone pilots are really pilots. I am a firm believer that with today's technology, piloting an aircraft from within a cockpit or from a desk at the Pentagon, to flying a drone as a hobby requires a very high level of responsibility. There are some GA pilots that fly from within a cockpit that are extremely irresponsible. I can assure you that some of them should not have the privilege to hold an airmen certificate. I guess the same can be said for irresponsible drone pilots. That being said, true pilots are safe and responsible individuals whether they captain a 777 or a drone. No matter how you look at it, you are manning and controlling an aircraft and that my friends carries a huge level of responsibility.
    Recently I had a conversation with a drone pilot that was telling me how he climbed to 1500 feet, through a layer of clouds and was VFR on top. He happens to live not far from me. As an instrument rated pilot I frequently fly instrument approaches in my home field. The initial approach fix is located over 6 miles from the airport at 1800 ft at which point I start my approach to land by reference to instruments only. It is outside of the limit of 5 miles placed on drone pilots. I frequently fly with my wife, children, grandchildren, friends and clients. I am also a volunteer Angel Flight pilot and fly with patients from time to time. I have never come close to hitting a drone but with the increase in drone sales and drone operators it is concerning.
    In ending I will say that it is a breath of fresh air to read the many post that target safety on this site. As in General Aviation, members of this site should never stray from developing a culture of safety. Always remember that someones dad, mom, child and friend is on the other side of that cloud or simply descending to land from outside of the 5 mile buffer. Be safe, fly responsibly and I wish you all many years of enjoyment with your drone.
     
  2. dirkclod

    dirkclod Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum Cirrus :)
     
  3. iride4u

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    Welcome Cirrus. Very good post and I hope some drone pilots will take heed.
     
  4. DAP-UAV

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    As a GA PPL/Instrument rated pilot, I have posted several times trying to reason with those that do not understand what you are talking about. I think the problem is that we have many now flying UAS aircraft inside the NAS that have no idea, #1 that they are in it. #2. how things work. Your neighbor, while explaining to you his feat of ascent through (into NAS) the clouds had no idea of the danger. Not to mention the moisture issue, flying an electrical powered machine into water essentially. Silly right? I think more UAS's have been sold than there are certificated pilots. WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I think the FAA needs to get up to speed and require education, exam, and certification for ANY UAV that has the capability to enter and fly in the NAS. When I fly a UAS I use an ICOM A24 NAV/COMM Radio and monitor the local frequencies before and during my flight. This way when I hear you are on the approach, I can get out of the way if I were anywhere near you. I wouldn't be there because I know where the approach/departing lanes are for our local airports and I avoid them. The problem is people now have the capability to fly and enter the NAS with unmanned aircraft without any training or certification or UNDERSTANDING of the system. That, my friends, is an accident waiting to happen if I ever saw one. Yet some still insist these are just toys and they should be able to fly wherever they want and it's is no one's business. They say that a pilot flying his family in their SR22 has NO RIGHT to expect that any other aircraft (UAS) in the air (being piloted from the ground) is piloted by someone trained in the NAS and who knows what they are doing. That mindset to me is even more dangerous. We need your help to explain the dangers to others.

    Cirrus SR22 GTS is the BMW of the sky. What a beautiful aircraft. I can only wish.
     
  5. Cirrus Sr22 GTS Pilot

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    DAP-UAV,
    I agree with you 100%. I know how much damage is caused with a bird strike. Just recently there was a Cirrus that encountered a bird through the windshield as he was on final approach. If you saw the pics of the accident, you would not believe that the pilot was able to land and walk away!! That was a bird. I can only imagine a drone. These machines are extremely hard to spot from the air as we are looking for traffic in VFR conditions. Now imagine while on an approach in imc conditions while our focus is on the instruments. I have been studying many approach plates at airports throughout the country and am truly amazed that the restriction was set to 5 miles. Most approaches start outside of the 5 mile buffer and at altitudes that are achievable by these drones. My main message here is, as you mentioned, the need to promote training and have operators of any type of UAV understand at least the basics. A culture of safety will go a long way if applied.
    I was disappointed to read another thread where some drone pilots were reluctant to register with the FAA. As I mentioned in the original post. Flying in the NAS requires a high level of responsibility. When I see people openly refusing to register, as is required by law, it makes me wonder what their level of responsibility really is when actually flying. Now take into consideration that over 700,000 drones were sold this Christmas season and the level of concern for GA pilots skyrockets. I am including a couple of pics of the damage that I referenced above from a single bird that hit the windshield on final approach:

    Birdstrike 1.jpg

    Birdstrike 2.jpg
     
  6. iride4u

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    I read with disgust when someone is bragging about flying a drone in dangerous conditions. Everyone who fly's must be aware of their surroundings at all times. If a piloted aircraft is in the vicinity you must be able to get out its way even if it means a hard landing. I have set my maximum height at 400 feet but rarely fly over about 200 feet. Registering was very easy and putting your number on the bird was not hard. As long as we fly within the rules non of this should matter with the way that we fly. We must always think safety first. If what you are doing is going to cause a problem, DON'T DO IT.
     
    Cirrus Sr22 GTS Pilot likes this.
  7. Richard Hughes

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    We drone pilots have a code of conduct when our machines are purchased and we follow a set of pre-flight checks to ensure we know what is going on around us. The go-app also gives you restrictions which your seller sets up for you and we should be thinking of those too.

    If you run these things professionally you have a massive responsibility but I'm extremely pleased you brought home the reality of what exceeding our perceived flying parameters are.

    Thanks for the post, I hope people read it.
     
    Cirrus Sr22 GTS Pilot likes this.