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idiot flies drone above Vancouver airport

Discussion in 'News' started by canadavenyc, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. canadavenyc

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    You know, I'm all of about, maybe, 2 weeks into this hobby, waiting for my first drone...and yet even I, a newbie, see stuff like this, and it drives me bonkers. What are people thinking, doing this???! As if drones don't have bad enough press already. We're lucky Transport Canada didn't ban these things on the spot.

    http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/drone-flig ... -1.1788494
     
  2. not5150

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    I'm not defending his flight.. but you do realize he wasn't above the airport right?
     
  3. canadavenyc

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    Yes, I do. By "airport" I meant the airport and its immediate vicinity. It's all the same to me, in the sense that no one should fly above an airport, and no one should fly over an airport zone at the height of incoming and outgoing planes--particularly not in a runway approach lane! :roll: Great way to get laws passed that ban drone flights.
     
  4. T0Rtur3

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    According to someone who seems to be very familiar with the area in the comments section, he wasn't flying in an approach lane. He was, however, flying in controlled airspace. So the quad pilot was allegedly in the wrong.
     
  5. thongbong

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    Yup, the quad isn't supposed to be there. No RC device should be flying anywhere near an airport, approach lane or not. A plane can circle an airport numerous times before it lands, until it is cleared to do so by air traffic control.
     
  6. DrJoe

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    R/C flying 101:
    1. Don't fly in an area of possible interference. (You can, but it's your error if something goes wrong).
    2. Make sure others are aware of your operations. Most R/C fields alert the FAA, etc. while operations are active.
    3. Do not exceed 400 feet MSL.
    4. Understand the airspace you fly in. Know the flight restrictions, the issued temporary flight restrictions (TFR's), and notices to airmen (NOTAM's). Don't break them.
    5. Don't disturb the peace for your neighbors.

    While this hobbyist got some great pictures of Toronto, he put many people at risk. He broke a myriad of aviation rules and laws. He should, and will, be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. There is a safe way to enjoy this hobby.

    It's all very cool, and the leaps in technology astounding. But with things such as long range FPV, flights into controlled airspace, flights above crowds of people, and low level flights over quiet neighborhoods, the hobby is doomed.

    Before the FAA and other transportation authorities issue steadfast rules, I suggest we adopt the following:
    1. No operations below 200 feet in residential areas.
    2. No operations over urban environments unless above water or park space.
    3. Maintain line of sight at all times.
    4. Use a spotter when flying FPV.
    5. No operations above 400 feet.
    6. No operations within 2 miles of an active airport without VHF communications or notice to aviation authorities.

    The above six rules are not highly restrictive, promote safe operation and provide a margin of safety for those on the ground below us, and those sharing the airspace with us. I'd be willing to bet the final rules from the aviation authorities will be much more restrictive due to the careless and reckless operations of a few hobbyist.

    Safe flying
     
  7. Visioneer

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    Define "safe" ...
     
  8. tedw123

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    Videos like this ruin it for all the folks out there safely shooting video. Hopefully here in the U.S. we don't get an overwhelming amount of dumb asses like this posting videos.
     
  9. Visioneer

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    I have a dictionary (as apparently, do you). Your response belies your lack of sincerity regards the issue of air safety.
     
  10. twodips

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    The sad part is some of us don't have much choice about flying near airports unless we want to drive quite a distance to fly. I live very near a USAF base not to mention in between 2-3 small airfields.
    With that being said I don't fly over about 200-300 ft which imo is well below the flight path of the F16's that constantly fly over though I may just scare the snot out of the dummy that keeps flying his ultra light/para plane over our subdivision frequently. :shock:
    Thankfully I live far enough from both commercial airports but feel sorry for those that don't and want to fly as they're pretty much out of luck if they upgrade to V3.0 right?
     
  11. T0Rtur3

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    Yeah, I think you'll know if you are ever in an F16's airspace by a not so subtle knock on your door.
     
  12. Visioneer

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    OK, if you're sincere, take some time and consider the following ...

    Your definition of "safe" seems to have only an after the fact perspective ... if your Phantom returns without having done or been harmed, it was safe. Did you take any precautions? or was your safe flight just luck? The overall point of the post you replied negatively to was that precautions are warranted. And you gave no alternatives. While you may not agree with the specifics therein, the impression your response gives to others is that no precautions are appropriate. Was that your intent? To advise a beginner with no experience that they needn't be at all concerned with the issues raised? I hope not.

    Your profile doesn't indicate what country you're in. Depending on where you live, what constitutes "safe" flying isn't up to an individual to decide. If you're in the UK, several of the flight issues raised in the post you replied to are already addressed by law. Same in Canada. In the US we are presently in a unique situation in that there are no regulations covering unmanned "model" aircraft. That is certain to change to some degree. The FAA Modernization Act of 2012 (it is law) charged the FAA with coming up regulations for integrating commercial UASs into the national airspace by September, 2015. The FAA had previously hinted they might miss that deadline - with all the brouhaha that's arisen regards "drones", their feet will likely be held to the fire on that issue.

    More to the hobbyists' side, the FAA Modernization Act of 2012, section 336, exempts model aircraft from FAA regulation ... but it comes with some caveats. Here's the complete text of section 336 of the Act, PUBLIC LAW 112–95 (Help yourself at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/PLAW-112pu ... publ95.pdf - it's only 145 pages!)

    SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.

    (a) IN GENERAL.— Notwithstanding any other provision of law relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft, or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if

    (1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational use;

    (2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization;

    (3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered by a community-based organization;

    (4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and

    (5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles or an airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).

    (b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION.— Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who endanger the safety of the national airspace system.

    (c) MODEL AIRCRAFT DEFINED.— In this section, the term "model aircraft" means an unmanned aircraft that is —

    (1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;

    (2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating the aircraft; and

    (3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.


    Section (a) is why the FAA won't be able to regulate model aircraft, but parts (1) through (5) are the big IF, i.e., section (a) applies IF parts (1) through (5) are satisfied. Regards part (2), it's not spelled out what "a community based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization" means. The only identifiable organization that appears to presently fit this description is the AMA (note, it says a pilot has to follow a qualifying organization's guidelines, it doesn't say a pilot has to belong to the organization).

    Section (b) might give the FAA a loophole because what actions "endanger the safety of the national airspace" are not defined.

    And section (c) will put FPV fliers off because it requires that an aircraft be flown "within visual line of sight" to qualify under the law as a "model aircraft", and hence to qualify for protection from FAA regulation.

    An aside, the requirements spelled out in this section are very similar to the laws in the UK.

    Things to keep in mind ...
    * FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 is already law.
    * This law does not directly impact model aircraft operators but it does give the parameters that must be met to be insulated from FAA regulation.
    * The FAA has not yet gone through their rule making process to create any regulations under this law which may be guided by section 336. As an NTSB administrative law judge recently ruled, there are no enforceable FAA regulations regards model aircraft today. And, per this law, there can be none provided the craft meets this law's definition of model aircraft and is flown per its restrictions (the "if" parts).
    * While the wording in this section does not appear all that complicated (i.e., not a lot of "legalese"), as with all laws, the courts will ultimately decide what it means ... and they have been known to come up with some creative interpretations.

    So how does this impact the definition of "safe" operation? Two points seem fairly obvious ...

    1) If you are flying without visual line of sight, your craft no longer meets the definition of "model aircraft" as defined by this law, and therefore is not protected by the FAA exemption in part (a). Expect, at some point, to have BVR (Beyond Visual Range) regulated. The FAA will define what constitutes safe FPV flying. Don't be surprised if these regs come out looking something like the AMA guidelines at http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/550.pdf (which require a spotter).

    2) To be exempt from FAA regulation part (a)(2) requires that "the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community based set of safety guidelines and within the programming of a nationwide community-based organization". The only organization which presently meets that description is the Academy of Model Aeronautics AMA). Their safety code is available at http://www.modelaircraft.org/files/105.PDF. It's doubtful that any organization with a less restrictive safety code will ever be found to qualify per (a)(2).

    So the answer to your question is that I define "safe" model flying as being much more closely aligned with present laws in the UK and Canada, and especially for the US, with the AMA safety code. Your definition of of "safe" being "not likely to be harmed or lost, uninjured with no harm done after each flight, etc." is certainly a valid one in terms of language, but a bit too narrow in the context of airspace safety.
     
  13. Visioneer

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    Then say that, and explain your reasoning. Help others understand, learn, and develop their own informed position. Same really goes for DrJoe's post - I didn't question them because I recognized where most of them came from.

    The notion of risk mitigation is a good one ... and it begs the question of mitigation relative to who? To the pilot and his craft? The pilot should be able to put his craft at whatever risk he likes. The problem is that such often entails putting others at risk ... and there is no really defensible reason why anyone else should be put at any risk, regardless of how small, because we want to fly our "toys". From that perspective, "conservative" is quite reasonable. Exactly where the line should be drawn, I don't know ... but the powers that be are going to need to figure that out. The point of this thread is let's not give them any ammunition to use against us.

    Frankly airspace safety (and legality) is a more complicated issue than most of us would like to admit ... and, in the US, the FAA has a herculean task ahead of them - no matter what they do, they are going to be wrong in some eyes.

    Just take one of the topics mentioned in DrJoe's list, altitude restriction. Absent take off & landing, manned aircraft are restricted to 500' AGL (Above Ground Level), 1000' AGL in "congested areas". There are exemptions for specific situations (like crop dusters, open water, sparsely populated areas) but generally the theory is they have to maintain a minimum altitude that would give them a reasonable chance at an emergency landing if need be. So a 400' AGL maximum for model aircraft would, in theory, provide at least a 100' margin of safety for avoiding any conflicts. But wait, manned helicopters really have no minimum limit (not sure why - landable from lower heights?). So whether model aircraft have a max altitude or not, there's still the potential for a conflict. DrJoe's 400' limit does away with most potential conflicts with manned aircraft, but not all. Is it too conservative? Maybe, as an absolute rule. But as a guideline, probably not. The key would be to recognize that if you fly above 400' AGL you are increasing the potential for conflict and you need to be extra vigilant, or opt out. Of course this may not be an option after the FAA gets its act together.
     
  14. Visioneer

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    Other than for the fact that I take precautions which mitigate risk to others. You allude to having taken none.

    The significant difference is that to live my daily life in our society I must do those things. There is no similar imperative to fly my Phantom, or ride my motorcycle (I understand risk mitigation, I routinely bet my life on it).

    The fact you respond with name calling suggests you've no reasonable basis to refute "those suggestions", and confirms your lack of sincerity regards a civil discussion of airspace safety.

    Have a nice day.
     
  15. DrJoe

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    Geez, stepped away after posting to earn my daily bread. Glad to see a healthy dialog. I suppose that government intrusion, laws and licensures will be necessary to define what "safe", as a minimum, is.

    I've tried to mitigate the risks to the best of my abilities. I read and watched a lot of videos. I've had some aviation experience. But I keep finding new things out each day, like the vortex ring state. There is so much to know to mitigate the risks.

    To others reading these exchanges, especially to those that care about others above themselves, please consider adopting all or some of the suggestions I have made. These Phantoms (and other multirotors) crash. A lot. Some reasons for uncontrolled descents I have found:

    Prop hub failures (lost prop).
    Accelerometer stuck in NAZA FC. (DJI method of fixing this is to bang the FC against a table... really).
    Radio Interference (train switches, routers, etc.).
    Compass errors.
    Damage from previous "hard landing" eventually causes unexpected failure.
    Battery failure.
    Vortex ring state.
    Electrical connection loosening.
    Operator error (by far the major cause of the flyaway).

    Some of the above can be mitigated, some can be avoided, and some cannot be foreseen.
    Mitigate the risk to others, yourself and your aircraft. Learn as much as you can. Pretty much 99.99% of every error or problem you can have is documented on the boards or on youtube. Let's not even get into the invasion of privacy issues cameras hovering 70 feet over people's backyards is going to cause. I saw a video of one angry neighbor firing a roman candle at a Phantom!

    Pixelninja, If your $1500 toy cracks a windshield on a highway or fractures a child's skull, I sincerely hope you are related to them. Foremost, I hope it never happens in the first place. Freedom of regulation does not make it free for you to recklessly endanger others. Do you think your blasé attitude would win your argument in a court? Enjoy the wild west while it lasts, but the law is coming. Its coming to protect people like me from people like you.

    Here's another definition for you:
    reck·less adjective \ˈre-kləs\
    : not showing proper concern about the possible bad results of your actions
    Full Definition of RECKLESS
    1: marked by lack of proper caution : careless of consequences
    2: irresponsible <reckless charges>
    — reck·less·ly adverb
    — reck·less·ness noun
    Examples of RECKLESS
    He is a wild and reckless young man.
    He showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others.
     
  16. DrJoe

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    I've read your posts. Your a video geek. A camera guy know it all with a new, really tall tripod. You are condescending and have a know-it-all attitude in your posts. You seemingly know nothing of airspace safety, or simply to choose to ignore it. The same can be said about your knowledge of radio interference.

    The sky isn't falling, Pixelninga, but your ego could use a little deflating.

    I didn't jump to any conclusions, I'm just standing on the shoulders of those more experienced in the hobby than I am (restrictive geriatrics, you called them). Blaze your own trail, chief, and good luck with it. With any luck, that Phantom will drop in the drink around your boat.
     
  17. DrJoe

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    Just based on the reality of your posts.

    Just trying to let people know how they can stay safe and not piss off the neighbors

    Assume that your reckless? You said you were yourself in your replies to my suggestions:

    Before the FAA and other transportation authorities issue steadfast rules, I suggest we adopt the following:
    1. No operations below 200 feet in residential areas. Nope. I do that regularly.
    2. No operations over urban environments unless above water or park space. Nope. I do that regularly.
    3. Maintain line of sight at all times. Nope. Not always. Pesky trees and hillsides
    4. Use a spotter when flying FPV. Never an issue
    5. No operations above 400 feet. Nope. I do that regularly.
    6. No operations within 2 miles of an active airport without VHF communications or notice to aviation authorities. Never an issue

    So, you regulary fly below 200 feet in residential areas, fly over urban environments, fail to keep LOS, ignore using a spotter when flying FPV, and fly above 500 feet into the airspace (with air traffic- whether you knew it or not).
    That's pretty much a shut & dried case for convicting you of being reckless. Doesn't matter how many others are as reckless as you, your still reckless, without making any assumptions.

    Now, I'm no longer interested in what you have to say. Other than that tape ring idea for the camera- THANKS!
     
  18. DrJoe

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    Hahahahha... Lol, pixelninja. Chief, you're a riot.

    Chicken little the hypocrite here...

    Unlike some (particularly politicians and other self inflated egos like yourself) I have the ability to evolve and changed my opinions. If a valid argument or opinion changes my view on a subject, my mind and my opinions are subject to change and evolve. My continued experiences will further shape my current opinions.

    I have been flying a quad coptor since March 30, 2014. In that short time, I have learned and experienced quite a bit. My experience and learning has changed some of my behaviors and parameters for flights.

    The first few flights over my neighborhood were uneventful. Then, one of my neighbors (the rest have been supportive and amazed) got pissed about the idea of a camera flying so low over his backyard. I showed him some footage from the camera, and agreed to keep it over 200 feet when near his house.

    Then I had the Phantom go down outside of LOS. I tried to execute a RTH, but failed. 4 hours later it was found in a tree. Stupid pilot error (SPE). I'm glad it didn't land on a kids head.

    Then I developed a votrex ring state on descent. Again, SPE. Phantom came down like a leaf and damaged 2 props. Again, very happy it wasn't on someone's head.

    So you see, my sky did fall... twice.

    Then I read a story on these boards about a careful pilot that reported a prop loss. While seemingly improbable, it happened and he has no idea why... and another story about loss of control following a train passing by... and another... and another. All of which has shaped and evolved my opinions.

    I am interested in three things: having fun, the ability to continue to have fun, not hurting or pissing people off while I have fun. I dare to say many of our fellow Phantom pilots agree. So I posted some guidelines I'll try to adhere to in the future to help others on the board learn from my experiences and mistakes.

    You seem to be a combative, angry person (assuming...I'm sure you'll quote this and tell me how happy and popular you are in life), but you seem that way Seriously, PISS OFF you troll.
     
  19. twodips

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    As a newbie to this board AND drones I see by this thread passion for flying runs deep and strong. It does sadden me that this conversation morphed into a sort of peeing contest but the information nuggets in those posts is interesting. Vortex? Hadn't heard of that (yet) time to search that one...

    As for absolutely safe flying and drones, there is no such thing just as there is no absolutely safe walking down the street, taking a shower,cooking food etc. etc. Getting up in the morning has risks like death. Did you know waking up is one of the most common times for a heart attack to happen? Who knew??? :eek:

    I've sat and thought about all the things that could go wrong (obsessed really) with my expensive toy causing it to fall from the sky or run away from home. That exact fear is what stopped my R/C airplane flying as I watched others around me crash and/or lose their aircraft frequently. I remember one professional (sponsored) pilot crashing his brand new $6000 plane right into the ground,deep enough he had to dig the motor out of the dirt.
    I had a friend with 3 R/C 'copters who regularly (as in monthly) had to spend upwards of $500 to repair damage to his units just from slight oopsies.
    The point I guess is there is no risk free flying BUT common sense should prevail in deciding acceptable risk and that risk should ONLY involve you as much as humanly possible. Things like flying in a movie theater full of people is a good example of unacceptable risk to others. Empty? Sure, go for it as the risk to others is negated.

    I would hope that one of the regulations/rules that come out is a requirement for liability insurance should the drone hit someone/something just like is required for operating any other craft or business.
    As usual, thanks to all for the informative conversations... :D
     
  20. Cr8tive_leo

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    Bromance abounds here. Lol.