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First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific NW

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tscott, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. tscott

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  2. Suwaneeguy

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    More needless hysteria.
    Here's another case of the media making the UAV pilot look bad.
    How are we supposed to know when a farmer's field is gonna be crop dusted?
    So the UAV pilot is standing beside his car, beside the field, on a public road.
    He has his goggles on and can't see the approaching plane.

    As I see it, the only issue here is, who has the right to fly the same air space?
    The FAA will say the crop duster has the right of way. Then again, how are UAV pilots to know when crop dusting is going to happen?
    Post a warning sign?
     
  3. ProfessorStein

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    While I agree this story was a bit hyped by the ag pilot, I very much take issue with your comments, Suwaneeguy.

    First, I saw nothing in the article to suggest that this was a public road. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. You're just assuming. But your argument begins to break down if it was not. At the very least, it makes little difference where the drone pilot was standing. It matters where the UAV was flying... which would have been over a private field. The drone was, in affect, trespassing.

    Also, your argument breaks down the second you mention goggles. I hobbyist UAV should never by flown solely via FPV. Or if the pilot wishes to do so, there should be a second spotter. This is what we've been saying all along. FPV, or just flying your quad without LOS is dangerous and just plain stupid. If you (or a spotter) don't have clear awareness of the 360 degree environment around your quad, you shouldn't be up in the air. And FPV just doesn't give you the context you need to pilot safely.

    Third, you have a $1000 plastic drone, and a multi-hundred-thousand-dollar ag aircraft that's a LOT less manueverable and a LOT less nimble than the drone... of COURSE the ag aircraft is going to have the right-of-way... that's just common sense.

    Forthly, that first commenter to the article does have some good points... but one very glaring fallacy is that a strike with a UAV would be similar to a bird strike. My Phantom is heavier than most birds you would typically see around an ag field - crows and such - and.would cause a good deal more damage. Maybe something similar to a goose. And geese take down aircraft with alarming frequency.

    In additonal he argues that the ag pilot should've been able to see the UAV. Discounting for a moment that the article clearly states that the pilot DID see the drone, but mistook it for something else... why couldn't the drone pilot notice the ag aircraft? They're far from quiet. The drone pilot should've heard it flying down on him from miles away.

    And finally... the fact that the article mentions that the drone pilot was "remorseful" when he discovered how expensive an ag aircraft is makes me think that maybe, just maybe, he was intentionally playing a game of chicken. One is rarely "remorseful" if one is "in the right". But we just don't know unless we ask him. Again, just a lot of assumptions.

    Just saying. Before you get up in arms about how unfair this situation was... try putting yourself in the ag pilots shoes. And use common sense the next time you're out flying.
     
  4. tscott

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    The commenter seems to imply that it is expected that the ag pilot should have a ground spotter. Is this the case? I don't know much about crop dusting or the rules that apply for aircraft that fly that low to the ground.

    --tim
     
  5. GoodnNuff

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  6. Michigan_PI

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    Keep in mind that the AG plane has a life on-board. So the quad is just a few pounds of plastic. The AG plane is approaching at under 100' (likely to about 20' as he begins his run) and anywhere from 80 to 110mph AND has a load of pesticide on board. A collision could easily take down the plane.
    Other than the FPV goggles, he quad op was doing nothing wrong and appeared to have taken evasive action to prevent a collision.
    This would be a good example of when to initiate an in-air CSC. The ground is the only safe place by the time the operator noticed a situation and as we know, the Phantom will climb much faster than it will descend. Unfortunately, up would be the evasive direction the AG pilot would take as well. $1300 vs $200k+ AND a life? Ditch the quad.
     
  7. Miika

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    If the UAV pilot wasnt deaf, he heard the airplane coming. Your way of logic is part of this problem. The only rights UAV pilots have at this moment is that there are no rights.
     
  8. Original poster

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    Anyone that claims the plane is in the wrong here is beyond mental.
     
  9. baker745

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    First, I know nothing of crop dusting so the answer to my questions below may be simplistic. But...

    This is a big mess. Since the 80's, the FAA has been advocating that hobby radio control fliers can fly under 400 feet in un-populated areas. Forget about it being a quadcopter or "drone." What if it had been a kid flying a kite? What about an old fashion remote controlled airplane?

    This is a very unusual incident because the "real" aircraft was flying well below the 400 foot "boundary". If drone operators fly above 400 feet or for commercial purposes, the FAA says they need a certificate of waiver. Right or wrong, whether they have the authority or not, we will go with that. After all, it is a safety issue that allows the operator to warn any aircraft in the area. What about this situation. What safeguards do the crop dusters have to take for flying under the 400ft mark? I am not saying the drone should have right of way. But, if we have to warn the planes if we fly outside our "bounds", don't the aircraft have some responsibility when they fly outside their "bounds?"
     
  10. GoodnNuff

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    Any thoughts on how a crop duster would go about notifying any and all local RC pilots that they will be working in a certain area at a certain time?
    Just curious how a pilot is supposed to follow through with their "responsibility?"
     
  11. Michigan_PI

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    The AG plane is NOT flying outside its bounds. It was exactly where it was supposed to be. Although I have no experience flying a crop-duster, I have seen many operating. They usually circle the area prior to beginning their run. They do this to check for other aircraft, flocks of birds, etc. This is the warning for any RC aircraft pilot with a lick of common sense to get their aircraft down and land and yield to the manned aircraft PERIOD
     
  12. Fz1pilot1

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    I live in the County of a small Texas Town. I live on one Acre as do my 20 more or so Neighbors and our Neighborhood is surrounded by Cotton Fields. I have been flying planes on the corner field for a few years now; the Owner of the property stops by sometimes with his Grandkids to watch. I have yet to fly my P2 there because of the Cell Tower near by. I have seen the Crop duster spraying his goods? He never has warned any of us that are down wind drinking our well water about any hazards……


    I could have been in the same boat as the FPV pilot! I think it comes down to Air Space. The Owner of the farmland allows me to fly there but I do not ask every time. I think I only have a right to fly over his land with his permission and the duster is flying low in a hazards manor around the Cell Tower and over the Neighborhood without challenge. This is Normal Practice. We do need well written laws!
     
  13. Fz1pilot1

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    This morning on the TV show Sunday Morning .....I saw a Phantom being used as a Crop Duster!!!!
     
  14. rrmccabe

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    They crop dust the fields that are a mile south of me. There is no way you could not know its going on. Well unless you were deaf. And not sure then as when the pilot was pulling up over my land it would shake the house. You could feel it!
     
  15. locoworks

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    i'd expect a notams making the area to sprayed by the AG wagon a temporary no fly zone anyway if the FAA/CAA had their acts together. if that was the case, the drone shouldn't be there at all at that time. what maybe useful is a website showing details of temporary no fly zones.
     
  16. Wedeliver

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    Re: First UAV Near Miss with Ag Aircraft Reported in Pacific

    I live near the Tulelake, California area where the govt drained a large lake and then gave out homesteads for farms back in the early 1900's. I guess if you wonder how things like that work by looking back on the process and it seems that it did. Those farmers do amazing things. Growing potatoes over 1000 acres then a different crop a few months later. The fields are so well planted that the beauty is there for all to see. As part of this process some of these fields need to be sprayed and using a plane is the quickest and cheapest method.

    There is no question over who has the right of way as in a real world we (uav pilots) have no rights, we are only granted permissions or more often we operate on our own without asking or getting any kind of permissions from any governing authority. Soon there will be a license process to allow us to use our crafts. That is clear when you have folks who might not understand the possible problems caused by our flying our crafts. Colin always bothered me when I would see him fly over crowds as to me those actions are an accident waiting to happen. He set an example by doing that and it is hard to get some folks to understand how their actions could effect all of us and this entire sport/hobby.

    I expect hardware and software that will address collisions, as this technology is being developed for other applications.

    Here is a link from that same page that the OP posted about farmer applying for waiver to fly uav.

    http://www.agaviation.org/Files/eNewsle ... 4-0721.pdf

    In the meantime, if you hear a plane, land your craft, fly below the trees, be an ardrone for a few minutes. my 2 cents