Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Be careful of helicopters even when below 400 feet

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by storrowdrive, Mar 26, 2016.

  1. storrowdrive

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    [file]Chopper|none[/file]

    I was at 390 feet. Who wins in court after the mid air collision? Aren't they supposed to stay above 400? Almost looks like he was below me. o_O
     
    PROJEFFREY11 likes this.
  2. flpholt

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2016
    Messages:
    4,178
    Likes Received:
    1,561
    Location:
    palm harbor florida
    I heard they aren't suppose to be under 500 feet looks like he was sightseeing next he will complain drone in his air space someone needs to regulate some of these idiots than mess with us so much
     
    PROJEFFREY11 and BigDawgII like this.
  3. Pogopilot

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Vermont
    They win. Common sense dictates that if something happens to your drone, you are out $1,300. If something happens to their bird, people die. I would have landed my drone in a nano second.
     
  4. Frankc

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2016
    Messages:
    657
    Likes Received:
    138
    Location:
    Malvern, Worcestershire, England
    I agree with both comments but he is easy to spot and your little drone was not. I too get the odd helicopter flying low around here but I never think about who has the right to be in that airspace. I get down and fast. " Helicopter hit by drone. Two killed." Guess who will get the blame and bad press.
     
  5. adambfarmer

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    141
    Location:
    Fort Irwin, CA
    Dido. There is enough bad press out there fueling the flames of the forever growing anitdrone community.


    Sent from my iPhone using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
    QuadBart likes this.
  6. Techcop50

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Aiken, SC, USA
    Also, if you have ever flown in a helicopter, it's pretty intense. No way he would hear you, and the direction he is facing, I doubt he saw you.
     
  7. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    You always give way to full sized manned aircraft....period.
     
    ks209, kmhanson, BigDawgII and 6 others like this.
  8. storrowdrive

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2015
    Messages:
    130
    Likes Received:
    71
    Location:
    Boston Massachusetts
    My intention is always to give way. I just didn't realize he would be so low. I thought they were't supposed to be that low. Thought I was safe at 390 but obviously you still have to be careful.
     
    PROJEFFREY11 likes this.
  9. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    Yes, I agree that you should descend ASAP whenever a manned aircraft is in close proximity. Human lives are more important than losing your $1300 plastic toy.

    However if it did crash --- you would NOT be liable in any way. FAA clearly states UAV's may fly up to 400' AGL as long as they are not in restricted airspace. There is not a single court in the United States that could convict you of anything except being a responsible drone pilot. ;)
     
  10. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    Sorry. I disagree. That's like saying you can run over people as long and you were not exceeding the speed limit.
     
    richwoodrocket and GoodnNuff like this.
  11. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    There is a big difference between accidents and intentional acts. If I'm driving down the road and obeying the speed limit and somebody jumps out from behind a tree directly in front of my car and gets killed --- I will never get convicted of vehicular manslaughter. It was an accident.
     
    kptw_pilot likes this.
  12. Monte55

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2014
    Messages:
    2,200
    Likes Received:
    517
    Location:
    Raymore Missouri
    True, but the helicopter didn't jump out from behind a tree. I can hear them coming from miles away. If you are in a place that frequents aircraft...be aware.
     
  13. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    If I'm hovering my P3P in a non-restricted airspace at 399' and a helicopter suddenly swooshes in and collides with it --- it's an unfortunate accident but I am still not liable according to the law. Only if I make an intentional maneuver to move my UAV into it's flight path will I be in trouble.
     
  14. Wibble

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Brecon Beacons Wales UK
    In the UK you aren't supposed to fly a drone above 400' and yet aircraft are allowed to fly down to 200'.
    That is one of my favourite helicopters - and MD500 or 600. They have seen plenty of war service - our little drones won't cause them much damage - they are used to 20mm and 7.63!
     
  15. Bocephus-73

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    63
    I'll never understand why manned aircraft have to fly under 500' unless landing or taking off. Anyone enlighten me on this?
     
  16. NormanNormal

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2016
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    181
    Location:
    South Florida
    I always thought as long as you were below 400ft you are good as all aircraft are not allowed under 500. Turns out I recently learned that helicopters are exempt from this rule. I was at the beach and a helicopter came buzzing by the coast 250ft off the water, right where my Phantom was previously flying. Scared the crap out of me. I could have easily been in the wrong place at the wrong time. These things do not descend all that fast. Would have to CSC into the water.
     
  17. MDodd

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2016
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    5
    Wibble, thats an MD 500 E (could be a 530 FF but there quite rare) and a phantom would do considerable damage , catastrophic if it hits the main blades , or especially the tail rotor, or goes in through the screen, you wont see many MD 600 in the Uk and its very different to a 500 ,no tail rotor and and an extra window in the back , 6 person rather than 4 ). Bocephus 73 he can legally fly below 500 feet in quite a few places under FAA rules , not knowing the location its difficult to say, but quite often helicopters will fly below 500 feet in sparsely populated areas, just where people fly drones sometimes, and in the UK you would be at fault if your drone collided with an aircraft at any altitude , not sure about FAA . As the rules are the same for model aircraft, it is our responsibilty to avoid the big ones !
     
  18. Air Ontario

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2016
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes Received:
    493
    Location:
    U.S./ Canada
    LOL. I'd stay away from that one. It looks familiar and appears to have a surveillance package. That low and with a camera package in that color scheme, I'd guess DEA?
    Boston is still blue and white right?
     
  19. Helix

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2016
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    4
    Helicopters have no altitude restrictions except as called out in paragraph (a).
    Paragraph (1) grants an exclusion that fixed wing aircraft must otherwise observe.

    §91.119 – Minimum safe altitudes: General.
    [Doc. No. 18334, 54 FR 34294, Aug. 18, 1989, as amended by Amdt. 91-311, 75 FR 5223, Feb. 1, 2010]
    Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

    (a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

    (b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

    (c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

    (d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

    (1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

    (2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.

    Mike
     
  20. Wibble

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2015
    Messages:
    1,313
    Likes Received:
    478
    Location:
    Brecon Beacons Wales UK
    I disagree - rotor blades are incredibly tough - some will even withstand 20mm cannon fire! Not on and MD500 granted but they will easily survive chopping tops off trees! Tail rotor more of a worry but would be almost impossible to hit. Air intakes would be my biggest worry but with all the downwash highly unlikely.
    Giving way to ANY aircraft makes perfect sense!!!