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Could Drones Pose A Threat To Aeroplanes?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TuT, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. TuT

    TuT

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  2. Narrator

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    Another article like this was posted a couple of months back. And while comparing a drone hit to a bird strike is debatable, no mention has been made of bird strike on small planes an helicopters.
     
  3. 4wd

    4wd

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    It's a good comparison to chunks of ice though, which I hadn't heard mention of before.
     
  4. SteveMann

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    Jim Williams, the FAA executive in charge of integrating unmanned aerial systems (UAS) into the National Airspace System (NAS) says that if and when a small UAS (sUAS) and a manned aircraft collide, the manned aircraft isn't likely to suffer serious damage. Jim Williams was speaking to a nervous audience of helicopter operators at HAI (Helicopter Association International) Heli-Expo in Orlando (March 2015) and said that while there's never been a reported contact between an sUAS and a civilian aircraft, the military has some experience in that regard. In all cases the aircraft was virtually unscathed while the UAS was "smashed to pieces." He said aircraft are much more robust than the lightly built UASs, which inevitably come up on the short end of a chance encounter.
     
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  5. SilentAV8R

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    I loved this part:

    I suppose it is safe to say that a commercial jet in Class A airspace has little to worry about since few of the smaller UAS can reach the Flight Levels. However, abundant evidence is available right here on this forum of people who like to fly at altitudes as high as 3,000 feet and who think flying through clouds is great fun.

    It would be nice if there were some actual data on what happens when you shoot something like a Phantom into a turbine engine. Until then I think the statement above is only pure speculation, and it is certainly not something the FAA agrees with.
     
  6. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Agreed. Empirical data will help to estimate realistic outcomes as opposed to the conjecture we have now. That would help to guide the priority for collision avoidance measures at a regulatory level. And maybe get the press to zip it.

    From an operator perspective though, data or not, one should simply assume that if their drone should ever suffer a "loss of separation" with a piloted aircraft, human lives will be at risk and it will be your fault regardless of actual circumstances.
     
  7. TeamYankee

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    I think this is as close as it gets really!!!
     
  8. SilentAV8R

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    These are words to live by.
     
  9. ccase39

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    Even several miles from an airport a jetliner could still be a lot lower than 3000 feet. I have seen the same threads about cloud flying. I personally have no need to go over 400 but even at that height I have been in the general vicinity of smaller planes. I had a VERY close call with a helicopter once. He was probably flying lower than he should have been.

    I think UAVs without a doubt could cause a problem for airplanes but it is highly unlikely.
     
  10. landmannnn

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    Rolls Royce (the jet engine not the car) test jet engines by firing frozen chickens into the engine at 500mph. (if you are Australian chicken is what you call a chuck)

    A frozen chicken is a lot harder than a phantom.
     
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  11. SilentAV8R

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    FWIW, the chickens are not frozen. That is an urban myth

     
  12. N017RW

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    It's so easy to verify such claims before making them.

    Besides if the idea is to test a bird strike why would they use a frozen test subject?

    There are numerous stories regarding how this came to be believed. One included the Brits borrowing the test device (cannon, etc.) from the FAA to test railway locomotive windscreens. THEY used frozen birds and when asking the FAA why their tests were so different than expected the FAA said after review something like "you may wish to thaw the chickens first".

    True???, Don't know but freezing is a good way to store dead chickens.
     
    #12 N017RW, Apr 2, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  13. Clipper707

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  14. landmannnn

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    Actually I used to live a few hundred yards from Rolls Royce's jet engine testing facility and I am certain one of their techs was telling about frozen chickens. Turns out he must have been winding me up, shame, that was one of my favourite stories.
     
  15. johnp44

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    If one is required to not operate an R/C quad (drone) within 5 NM of an airport and only ascend to 400ft, what is the problem? Wouldn't the real question be why in the world would a commercial or any aircraft be allowed to fly around below 400 ft that far from an airport? Why are R/C aircraft having special rules while someone with an Ultra Lite can zoom around unbothered?
     
  16. N017RW

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    I guess it comes down to your definition of 'zooming' and 'unbothered'?

    Here's what I could find:
    http://www.ultralighthomepage.com/FAR.part103.html

    I can't confirm this is the latest revision.

    Not an extensive list some might say but it seems to be working.
     
  17. johan

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    If all aircraft were fixed wing, then yes. But rotor wing aircraft can and do fly quite legally at low altitudes regularly.

    Because a R/C aircraft can be 12" across and 8" tall while an ultra lite has to be large enough to carry a human being which makes it much easier to spot by other air traffic. Also the pilot of an R/C aircraft risks losing that aircraft by flying it at altitudes where it might collide with air traffic, the pilot of an ultra lite risks losing his or her life by doing the same thing. And far too many cases, that makes a real difference in the choices the pilot of each type is likely to make
     
  18. johnp44

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    The only helicopters I have seen around here in the past 10 years are my R/C heli's. We are about 15 NM from a major airport and the only other things I have seen flying below 3000 feet around here are a bunch of birdies. I would consider my threat to aviation at about the same odds of hitting the lottery. I really don't care much for those who continually want to insult our intelligence and lay some kind of guilt complex on those of us who just want to enjoy our hobby. Every day I first check to make sure the sky hasn't fallen before I fly. Been flying R/C planes for 40 years, heli's for at least 15 years and quads for over 4 years. I think I will be fine. But if people keep insulting our intelligence I think I would rather just quit and go play more golf.

    If anyone is so worried about what shares the air with them, go to this website and monitor it while you fly:

    http://www.flightradar24.com/36.12,-80.08/7
     
  19. johan

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    Wow. Seems I touched a nerve. Ok lets dig in shall we?
    I don't know where you are but I've lived in serveral places where I was way more than 15nm from a major airport and I had lots of helicopters in the vicinity at low altitude daily. Just because you don't have them where you are doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Now this.

    You asked a question and I answered it in a truthful and valid way. Nothing in what I wrote suggests I think your intelligence is in question of that I think you should feel guilty about anything. If you choose to take it that way, it says far more about you than it does about me IMO.
     
  20. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Flightradar24 is 5 to 15 minutes delayed and a lot of GA traffic is not on it. Unless you are in possession of your own primary radar, you simply do not know what air traffic is operating nearby.