Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Laser Incidents - statistics

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by SteveMann, Nov 6, 2015.

  1. SteveMann

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    653
    Location:
    Westford, MA
    A recent post by LuvMyTJ (do I even want to know what a TJ is?) led me to researching laser pointer incidents. As many of the regulars here know I have a boilerplate response to the press listing things people should worry about with drone accidents being the last. Here's what I found.
    There are 18 laser incidents reported to the FAA every day.
    According to the FAA no pilot's eyes were permanently damaged and most flights continued without further incident, but a few did have to abort the landing and do a missed approach. The effect in the cockpit is like a flashbulb going off when your eyes are already night-adapted. In other words, temporary blindness. Not something you want to happen when you are just a few hundred feet from landing.

    So, here is where it fits in my list of things to worry about. (Feel free to copy this when you reply to an editorial that describes personal drones as the apocalypse.)

    Today (if this is an average day in the US):
    1560 people will die from Cancer
    268 people in US hospitals will die because of medical mistakes.
    162 people will be wounded by firearms in the US.
    117 Americans will die in an automobile accident.
    98 people in the US will die from the flu.
    53 people will kill themselves with a firearm.
    46 children will suffer eye injuries.
    37 will die from AIDS.
    30 people will die in gun-related murders.
    18 pilots will report a Laser Incident
    3 General Aviation airplanes will crash in the US.
    0 people will be seriously injured or killed by a small drone accident.*

    Zero. Why are so many otherwise rational people so terrified of zero?
    The panic, here, is completely out of any sort of proportion to reality.

    * I have to add the asterisk because too many otherwise reasonable people think a band-aid is a serious injury. CFR 49 §830.2 contains the definition of "Serious Injury" that the FAA and NTSB use in their aircraft and vehicular accident statistics. It is important to hold small UAS accidents to the same metric, otherwise comparisons are meaningless. There is not one verifiable report of a drone crash that resulted in a serious injury as defined by the NTSB to someone not connected to the flight. Not one.
     
  2. volito

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2015
    Messages:
    69
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    USA
    TJ is a predecessor to JK. Off-topic apologies.
     
  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    2,362
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Location:
    Western North Carolina
    Great write-up Steve. I'll have to save that one for future use :)

    Thank you! ! ! !
     
  4. 750r

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2013
    Messages:
    1,226
    Likes Received:
    420
    Location:
    Pa, USA
    TJ = ImageUploadedByPhantomPilots - DJI Phantom Forum1446822156.872054.jpg
     
    Brad Pierce and SteveMann like this.
  5. kenundrum

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2014
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Warwick, RI
    Obviously the answer is to create a task force to deal with registering laser pointers.

    Thank you Steve for further pointing out (oh the pun!) how misguided some of this hysteria is.

    PS- TJ is most likely referring to the TJ model of the Jeep Wrangler released during the late 90s, early 2000s.
     
  6. R2-D2

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Messages:
    78
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Interesting thread. I don't think there is a single case of anybody using a laser pointer that caused any full scale aircraft to crash. The US comes down pretty heavy handed when it comes to lasers hitting any aircraft. Pointing lasers as aircraft is illegal and most know that. But what about the reverse?

    Can we put a laser pointer on our P3P legally? If the Phantom had servos installed it would be easy to turn a laser on/off if it was fixed somewhere on the legs. I've thought about it but can't find if that is legal or not and didn't bother. I bet if you did put a laser on a P3 and flew at night it would end up with a bunch of UFO reports to MUFON.
     
  7. Jeff48920

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2014
    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    502
    Location:
    Pomona, IL
    Let's add in that on average and over the last15 years, 3 2/3 people die per day in worldwide commercial aviation operations. This amount is slightly inflated due to the September 11 tragedy. Numbers are provided by ACRO and reflect the years 1999-2014. ACRO (Aircraft Crash Records Office) is a non-governmental organization headquartered in Geneva.
     
  8. SteveMann

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    653
    Location:
    Westford, MA
    You can put anything you want on your Phantom - even a gun. It's what you do with it that may get you in trouble with the local gendarmes.

    Now, if you really want to get into MUFON, put a red laser under the drone spinning horizontally relatively fast, 5 RPM or so, then go up through a low cloud at night. Then turn the laser off. (For the trolls - this is not an endorsement of irresponsible flight, just an attempt at humor).
     
    BigAl07 likes this.