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Low flying plane, near miss

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wheat, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. Wheat

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    I was flying my Vision+ to get some photos of the new Costco that opened today in Kalamazoo. I flew over the store and parking lot and got some videos of the traffic and almost no empty spaces in the lot. After a couple of passes over the store, parking lot, and adjacent lots, I decided to get a wider shot so I got a new battery and then flew over the park across the street.
    At this time I start to hear the diving sound of a plane motor. I look around and there is a plane coming down and flying right over the top of the store. I immediately descend to just above the tree line to keep a line of site. I just stayed there hovering and then I got my phone out and recorded this video. He made two passes before I got my phone out. When I got home I called the local tower at AZO just a few miles away about the incident. What else do you think I should do?

    There are many people out there saying us drone pilots need to keep away from aircraft. Now this aircraft is buzzing the area I am filming and flying. It could have been a big issue I did not see him when I was filming my high shot (380 ft) and could not get down in time.
    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQtvtAbGhNE[/youtube]
     
  2. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
    Staff Member

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    Did you get the N number? You can report it to the FAA.
     
  3. MadMitch88

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    And yet the FAA clearly states that model aircraft is allowed to operate at up to 400' AGL --- but I would bet the authorities will bring the hammer down on incidents like this?

    The U.S. government is the most highly-dysfunctional organization in the history of humankind. :oops:

    Also, let's not forget that DJI reduced the descend speed with the new firmware update --- so avoiding manned aircraft & increasing the safety of human life is not on their priority list, either!

    :oops: :oops: :oops:
     
  4. 4wd

    4wd

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    That's nothing, we get low flying military jets lower than that at near Mach one.
     
  5. phantomi

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    The reduced speed is only in the very last meters to touch down.
     
  6. Monte55

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    Where's the near miss??
     
  7. job2310

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    He appears to be at least 500' AGL. I wonder if it was a chartered flight do the same thing you were doing, take pics of the new store?
     
  8. kitari

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    That must be an interesting sight, I was in the army for over 4 years and not once seen a jet flying around at those speeds, even when I was deployed! Then again I was with the 101st so we had helicopters all over the place. The only planes/jets I really got to see was the C130, C17, and got to see a Harrier/vertical lift jet once as it was lifting off. Sorry, I got a bit carried away. :oops:
     
  9. SteveMann

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    Ground based estimates of altitude are notoriously inaccurate. This pilot may have been in violation of 91.113 (Minimum safe altitudes) by flying over populated areas less than 1,000 ft. except for takeoff and landing, but your drone was never in danger. Using your phone photo and assuming the airplane is a Cessna 172 even though I don't see the typical C172 landing gear, I estimate the airplane was 15 lengths above the ground. The C172 is 27 ft long, so this would put the A/C at 405 ft. Odds are that he was higher and my estimate is off because of parallax error and the A/C was really at 500 ft. Since your location was only 5 miles from the Kalamazoo International Airport, and looking at the skies, it's quite possible that ATC put him there to wait for IFR aircraft arriving at Kalamazoo.

    Your photo:
    [​IMG]

    Overlaying copies of the Cessna:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. H-A

    H-A

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  11. Suwaneeguy

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    Yes it is unusual for that style of aircraft to fly that low. I can't say for certain that it's illegal.
    Since he flew directly into the clouds, that means he was flying IFR.

    Our local AMA club is on the edge of the five mile limit of the regional airport and on the landing path.
    So every now and then you'll be a regular airplane landing.
    I was told that one of the guys was flying his bird when a plane was taking off and he wanted to chase the plane.
    The director told him to land that **** thing now!

    Since you did investigate with the local tower, what did they have to say about it?
     
  12. Mike

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    I don't think that statement is accurate. In recent firmwares, the descent speed is capped at 2m/s at all times in GPS and Atti modes.
     
  13. phantomi

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    You're right. I was thinking about the last firmware.
     
  14. N017RW

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    Agreed about 2m/sec but it has been said that its reduces descent speed more at some height above ground which escapes me now.
     
  15. Wheat

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    The tower sounded like he did not know anything about it. He asked for a description of the plane. I did not get his tail number though. I also sent an email to the FAA and a link the the video. I don't know if they will do anything but I told them I contacted the tower as well so they might have a record of who it was.
     
  16. darwin-t

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    Did you mention that you were flying a quad? If so, what did they say about it?
     
  17. SanCap

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    It looks like a Cessna 182 Rg or a Cessna 210.
     
  18. isky172

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    I would suggest anyone who thinks they'll encounter lower-than-regulation aircraft (or for those that already have, even) should have a laser range finder on them/with them. That'll make it easier to determine exactly how high these things are when they fly overhead. They're getting really cheap and are usually good for +/- 3 feet accuracy out to at least 300 yards. Personally I'm tired of my house being buzzed by aircraft @ full throttle in the early hours of the morning - waking my butt up @ 6 am (the 30 mins I lose is just terrible!) AVGAS planes (non jets) don't have mufflers....and it's my opinion none of them should ever fly under 3,000 ft AGL except when landing/taking off. Being 12 miles from the nearest airport, I shouldn't hear any of it. If they want to practice emergency procedures down to the hard deck as much as they do, I think they need to raise the hard deck. My 3 cents.

    And regarding these frequent reports of near-misses....my ***. Nothing with four rotors can ever get to 10,000 ft. And...there are dozens of bird strikes every month in the States. My best friend was flying a regional jet (large Atlanta based firm) just last month and showed me photos he took of all the gore and dents on the nose of his plane. Knocked out the radar, some other electronics, and raised his heartbeat by 100 within 2 secs. If the FAA needs to worry about anything, it's those pesky higher-flying birds.
     
  19. DrD

    DrD

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    It looks like you are estimating the hypotenuse of a right triangle. Solving that for the actual vertical component, would make the airplane's altitude even less than 405 feet.
     
  20. SteveMann

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    We don't know how far horizontally the A/C is. It could be further than the field I projected down to, making it even higher.