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Finding flightplans or tracking for helicopters?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Zakarus, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Zakarus

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    So I was just outside about to take my Phantom up for some shots of my neighborhood at sunset when a helicopter comes flying over at about 300 feet. Is there anyway to look up when this might happen again?

    I can find plenty of plane trackers but nothing for helicopters.
     
  2. GadgetGuy

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    Stay at 200 feet, and ascend only if necessary and no helicopters are in earshot. They generally don't register their flight plans, or have an appropriate beacon to transmit their location to flight tracking apps designed for planes that do. The helicopter may also not have been as low as you think. Just descend safely below them if you concerned about their taking out your Phantom. They eat Phantoms for breakfast!:rolleyes:
     
    #2 GadgetGuy, Nov 12, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  3. SteveMann

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    The human eye is the worst possible instrument to judge the altitude of a flying object. The helicopter could have been at 500 ft.

    The tracking programs get their data from Air Traffic Control and only track IFR aircraft transmitting ADSB-Out, and the data is delayed by 15-minutes for security concerns. Helicopters are generally not flying IFR and are not required to have ADSB until 2020. Until then you will have to rely your common sense.
     
  4. GadgetGuy

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    Thanks, Steve! You said it much more articulately than I did!:cool:
    By 2020, all drones will be fully registered and flying with their own ADSB, so we can even avoid flying into each other!:D
     
  5. turbulence

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    Plane tracking websites won't help you much. They mostly track IFR flights like Steve said above. Most GA aircraft and helicopters fly VFR.
     
  6. Zakarus

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    Dang. I was really hoping there would be a website or app.

    I guess I'll just have to hope they don't fly into me. It's the first time they've flown directly over though.

    I'm pretty sure it was 300 feet.
    I worked around helicopters for years and take my phantom up between 200-400 feet in this spot pretty often.
     
  7. GadgetGuy

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    If you are sure it was 300 feet, you can obviously hear them coming, and can safely fly at 300 feet, and just descend by 50-100 feet whenever you hear them. More likely, they were at 400 or above and you can fly at 400 feet until you hear them coming, and then just descend to stay under them.