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  1. Chopper

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    Yesterday I was shooting video from the end of a jetty in Newport Beach CA. I was orbiting a sailboat at approx. 300 feet of altitude. I was NOT in a no fly zone. I heard a helicopter approaching from behind and when I turned and looked it was immediately obvious that there was going to be collision. I switched to sport mode and got the heck out of the way just in time. As it passed all I could see was that it was military and flying very low.
    I was under the impression that they are required to stay above 500 ft. Am I wrong.
     
  2. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    NEGATIVE! That's not true and especially not true in many instances. Over water is one place there is no "height requirement".

    It's been discussed many times even on this forum here. I search should result in many links to review and understand.
     
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  3. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    § 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.

    Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

    a. Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

    b. Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

    c. Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

    d. Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph B or C of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

    § 91.13 Careless or reckless operation.

    a. Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

    b. Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo), in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.
     
  4. Patrick

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    WilsonFlyer likes this.
  5. WilsonFlyer

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    I would report it too because they more than likely did upon their return to base if they saw you. It's called CYA. It's going to look a lot better if you reported it also if anything ever comes of it (and it won't, but at least the documentation will be there).
     
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  6. Multicoptertec

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    Sometimes those big birds look a lot lower than they really are.
     
  7. GMack

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    BigA107 got it right above:

    d. Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph B or C of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

    The sheriff's helicopter has landed on school grounds around here to go get a drink of water and use the bathroom. One rural restaurant too where they have a large grass area.
     
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  8. N017RW

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    First we had 'drone police' monikers thrown around at folks here who reminded others of the FAA sUAS Hobby Guidelines.

    Now we have folks who, seemingly because they now have a Chinese flying toy camera, want to report FS aircraft because they think they have seen a violation. Yet they have no training on altitude estimation or ranging, no equipment or evidence to substantiate or verify the alleged violation, and poor knowledge of FS operating rules.
     
  9. JTE

    JTE

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    When I flew with a med evac helicopter we would at times land in the road, a field, just about anywhere. Just a thought here but check an aviation sectional chart to see if you are in an Alert area. The DJI app doesn't show Alert areas (at least for me) as of now. It will have a letter "A" with a number in a box and say something like "High Volume of Rotary and fixed wing training surface to 17,500 feet". It can be a huge area too. So check to see what the airspace looks like. There may be other markings on the chart for your area too.

    So I'm saying to be aware of other classifications of airspace not just proximity to an airport in class B (big airports w/ a tower) or class C (smaller airports w/ a tower) airspace. You did the right thing by yielding to other aircraft. They always have the right away. The FCC starts testing on Aug 29th and certifying drone pilots who operate commercially. Air Traffic Control/towers should be notified when drones are flying in controlled airspace. Hopefully these issues will get worked out. The only other thing I could suggest is a visual observer to scan the scan as you fly. The 14 CFR part 107 study material (and there's a lot of it) really educates a drone "pilot in command" how to operate safely.
     
    erikgraham, CThruU and N017RW like this.
  10. Chopper

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    Hogwash. You don't need formal training to know what 200 feet looks like.
     
  11. NorthcountySD

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    I too have concerns over the ocean when I see not only military choppers but also small planes that appear to be sighseeing along the coast. I always yield the right of way and keep an eye out for anything that might be close. I'll head down and out of the path but I understand it could be difficult to determine if one is getting out of the way or by decending getting in the path. There should be some guideline in place but I can't find one anywhere. They, of course have the right of way over my flying toy, but distance and altitude is difficult to determine expecially over open water.
     
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  12. N017RW

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    It's part of the Dunning-Kruger Effect:
    "The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which relatively unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their ability to be much higher than it really is. Dunning and Kruger attributed this bias to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their own ability accurately."
     
  13. Patrick

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    You are missing the point and accusing the OP of making assumptions, but isn't your post an assumption? do you have any evidence to substantiate or verify the alleged violation?

    Thats what the FAA is for right?

    the FAA classifies this "Chinese flying toy camera" as an aircraft and if that's their determination it should be treated as such.

    The skies are getting more crowded and everyone has to do their part to keep it safe!

    its not helicopter pilots vs UAV pilots here, its everyone working for a safe environment.
     
  14. KevMo Photog

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    Ummmm what???????
     
  15. N017RW

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    Basically unskilled or untrained people think they are better at things than they really are... like judging altitude of an object.
     
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  16. Patrick

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    and i repeat that's what the FAA is for, to make that judgement.

    if you see something that doesn't look right or is dangerous, report it, Report Aviation Safety Issues

    helicopter pilots seem to get a little jumpy at the prospect of an FAA inquiry and i frankly don't blame them....
     
  17. N017RW

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    Do you also report speeders and red-light runners to the Highway Patrol?
     
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  18. Multicoptertec

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  19. Patrick

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    if they almost hit me i would!
     
  20. N017RW

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    Fair enough.