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Crowded Skies

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jondrew, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. jondrew

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    It was a pretty crummy day today but I wanted to get my P2 and GoPro up for some flying time. Between rain showers I went out in front and launched in the direction of my house. There is a pretty good sized wooded area and retention ponds between my house and the next neighborhood. I sent the P2 up to probably 200-300 feet, well below the cloud cover and was taking still photos. Then I heard the engine of a small plane. The plane (a small Cessna) came over our neighborhood probably around 600 feet. Easily at an altitude my P2 could achieve. I had very little warning before I was aware he was nearby. I don't live near an airport (big or small) and rarely see aircraft that low unless the Sheriff or local news choppers are on the hunt.

    There are a lot of videos out there of people sending their Phantoms way up and doing FPV flights well beyond visual range. Whether or not this plane should have been where he was at that altitude is really beside the point. I think we really need to be careful where we fly and how high we go. Things happen very quickly up there.
     
  2. ericdes

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    I don't know where you live but FAA rules stipulate maximum height you can fly an UAV is 400 feet. At least in the US.

    I am assuming planes cannot fly under a certain distance, so you should never have a collision if both follow the guidelines.

    If not then in the long term they will certainly ban UAV's if people that fly them have no knowledge of the restrictions and dangers of flying such crafts.

    Please make sure you know your local guidelines and follow them.
     
  3. jondrew

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    Your assumption sounds like "famous last words". That was the point of my post. I'm pretty sure that plane was below 1000 feet. If he was below 400 feet and collided with my P2 I might have been "in the right", but somehow that would be of little solace if someone had been injured.

    I do know my local regulations. That's why I stay under 400 ft.
     
  4. ericdes

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    If you don't fly over 400 feet like you say, then you certainly won't have a "collision". Cesna's or any other plane don't fly under 400 feet unless they are landing (airport), which by the way you cannot fly near them.

    So problem solved.

    Those "youtube videos" you viewed only hurts the hobby and will lead to strict regulations or complete ban, after a serious incident happens.
     
  5. HeliRy

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    Vancouver Island, Canada.
    It's not quite as cut and dry as that I'm afraid. On a perfect day, with a perfect aircraft and a perfect pilot at the controls... yeah, you're right. Sadly that combination almost never happens, so yes it's very common for planes to descend below altitudes specified in the regulations.
     
  6. Ozon8r

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    Just know that 400 feet AGL is a guideline and not law or a mandate.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  7. dkatz42

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    The plane could well have been legal with its wheels in the treetops, as long as it was 500 feet away from you (or any other person, structure, or vessel). Bear in mind that it is very difficult to tell how far away (or how large) objects are in the air. (Any idea how big a stoplight is? Much bigger than they look from the street. And they're close to the ground.)

    Or, the pilot could have been an idiot; there's plenty of "the rules don't apply to me" type people in full-scale aviation as well.

    But yes, all should be careful and aware, and keep in mind that it doesn't matter a whole lot who is "in the right" after the 172 hits the school. All it takes for you to lose the wrongful death suit is a majority of the jury, and most people are afraid of both airplanes and quads.
     
  8. slicknet

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    If you download an app like FlightRadarPro (free app), you can some of the airplanes in your area. Not sure if all small planes show up, but some do. It will show you their altitude and location and i nsome case the type of plane.
    If a plane collides with a hobbyists drone, you know it will be all over the media.
     
  9. jondrew

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    Re: Crowded Skies ie, beating dead horse

    I don't know how low the plane was, but I do know it was bigger than one thumb held at arms lenght, so assuming a Cessna 172 is about 30 feet long, that's 30 X 30 = 900 feet from me (See http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir3/bodyruler_angle/).

    Of course that doesn't account for the fact he was not directly overhead (which would mean he actually lower).

    Now by this reckoning, my phantom would have had to be roughly 1/10 of a thumb at arms length directly overhead to be at the "magic" 400 foot level

    I'm sure someone will check my math
     
  10. dkatz42

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    It will only show up if the plane is on an instrument flight plan or is receiving VFR flight following, and most small aircraft are not.
     
  11. Visioneer

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    There are more than a few topics on this forum that contain rants & raves about what laws there are or aren't regards model aircraft.

    You might be interested in this site http://dronelawjournal.com/

    The author is a member of this forum, a Phantom flier, and an attorney (in Connecticut). I expect his perspective is a little biased but he makes pretty good arguments and provides references. His position is that there are presently no actual, enforceable LAWS regards the operation of model aircraft in the US.
     
  12. Timtro

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    To one of the original points about being near airports, etc. That's why it's a good idea to make the small ($7.50 with free shipping from PilotMall.com among others) investment in a local Sectional Chart and download the free "how to read sectional charts" PDF.

    It's hard to stay out of trouble if you don't know where trouble is, right?
     
  13. mauiboy86

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    Not always the case.. I have done 200kts 30-50ft off the deck over a river near civilization. I would be less worried about a 2lb drone then I am about a Turkey Vulture or a 14lb Bald Eagle.. FF to 1 min. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpQyNjq5E4c
     
  14. jondrew

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    True. Bird strikes aren't as sexy for media coverage as "drones"
     
  15. dkatz42

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    Or you can save the $7.50 and go to http://www.skyvector.com.
     
  16. Timtro

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    That too.
     
  17. Jdacal

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    The media loves the word "drone" because it invokes visions of airborne missiles and nigh-vision raids over enemy territory.

    This probably fits in well with the projections of the billions of dollars for the drone industry over the next 10 years(?). So anything that makes the hobby sound like a terrorist probably conforms to the FAA's idea of making us sound like terrorists trying to shoot down airplanes. This makes it easy for them to create regulations in 2015 that only benefit the "big boys" in the industry and leaves the hobbyist flying in the local ball park. Great videos to be had there.
     
  18. GMANNZ

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    Pity the P2v wont take any missiles larger than a coke can ...... as you could probably buy a few Hellfire missiles from the Israelis on Silk Road .... :twisted:
     
  19. Jdacal

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    LOL!
     
  20. LuvMyTJ

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    You know the NSA still has those Heli's used in the Kim Dotcom raid parked in NZ. You should hear them in a minute or two. Pack for extradition! :lol: