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Phantom can be seen by ATC or not?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by KwadKopter, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. KwadKopter

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    No indication this was a Phantom, but aren't they all? I just figured that Heathrow would have the most sophisticated radar system, or nearly so in the world.

    Having escaped the air-traffic control radars, the small unmanned aircraft was only noticed by a pilot of the Airbus when flying at 700 feet, sparking calls for stricter regulations for the booming technology.

    http://eandt.theiet.org/news/2014/dec/drone-aircraft-near-miss-radar.cfm
     
  2. wattage

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    Quite an interesting and sinister thought that our Phantoms are possibly a form of stealth aircraft. Countdown to new, stricter legislation in the coming months I fear.
     
  3. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Only guessing but I'd be surprised if our Phantoms are visible to ATC radar.
    They are very small. The radar reflective parts are considerably smaller than the Phantom.
    ATC radar is likely to ignore tiny specks just as marine radar is adjusted to ignore returns from waves.
    ATC is interested in plane sized objects. If they showed every tiny speck their radar would be overwhelmed.
     
  4. Morgon

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    I've heard (but not being a pilot, cannot know for certain) that many radar systems have the option of seeings things like birds on their screens, but often keep the option off to keep clutter to a minimum. Now that I think about it, I believe I read it on this forum. Perhaps from SteveMann?
     
  5. SilentAV8R

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    We used to have a flying site located not far from John Wayne airport. The airport knew we were there, and it was never an issue. However, we did get feedback from them that when some of the large planes, like 100cc/35% got above the ground clutter they could get a faint primary return on us.

    Another example, I used to fly gliders from Estrella sailport south of Phoenix. We flew a ridge line that took us north along the Estrella Mountains. Listening to the radio we would sometimes hear (not very often) the tower telling incoming traffic on downwind that they had a faint paint on likely glider activity to the south. The metal planes more often than the glass. SO if a 18-meter glider barely shows up I'm betting in order to get a Phantom to show up on radar you'd have to be trying to get some "totally kewl" close up video of the radar dish!! :twisted:
     
  6. 750r

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    It's like a brain wash technique the whole "drone" thing makes big headlines front page top story so you watch or read it this now you see something out the widow first thing comes to mind drone now we can get laws passed without to much fuss because the majority see drones as a big problem & unfortunately the phantom is the poster child for the media .
    Do I think some are doing the wrong thing while flying yes do I think you can see a foot by foot object doing 300-600mph and know exactly what it is no .
    Just like anything the few bad will hurt us all & they don't care .

    Their are a lot of airplanes in the air at any given time

    [​IMG]
     
  7. KwadKopter

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    This is heretical, but who said manned aircraft "own" the airspace.
     
  8. LandYachtMedia

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    A phantom would not show up on radar.
     
  9. SilentAV8R

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    Nobody. The FAA "owns" US airspace in the sense that they set the rules and are responsible for safety and enforcement. But they also say that it is our responsibility to give way to full size aircraft, of that there is little room for discussion with the FAA or any other regulatory body world-wide.
     
  10. PhantomFanatic

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    I think it is WAY too small to be picked up on radar.
     
  11. PhantomFanatic

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    There was a private jet that went down today, hitting a house and erupting in flames. It appears it was a bird strike as a plane that just took off reported a lot of birds. This jet had just taken off. Everyone aboard, including a CEO (I better watch out!) and a woman and two young children, who were in the house, all died.

    So, I understand the other side of this too. If everyone used common sense, when flying near an airport, we wouldn't be in the news so much. If I lived next to an airport, I would probably go fly elsewhere, if I wanted altitude.
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    So no flocks of Phantoms then as they could possibly take out both engines.
     
  13. Cessna

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    My local airport is rather busy, just outside class C airspace for two other airports. When flying back I often ask approach for "flight following" while I approach the airport. I have been advised before about traffic that turned out to be hawks in a thermal. I was also advised of possible geese flying over a nearby lake. A minute later approach called stating traffic was not geese, traffic is moving at 125 kts, no transponder. Turned out to be another local in a home built that doesn't have enough sense to turn the transponder on in their plane. He also doesn't report his intentions on the radio, but that's another matter.

    I believe that phantom could be seen by radar. However, as soon as it stops or slows down, the radar software would declare it as bird. The same is true of lighter than air aircraft (balloons). They travel so slow that the radar software thinks the return is a bird.
     
  14. SteveMann

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    That's just the ones with a transponder on an IFR Flight Plan. There's at least 2X that many without a transponder or squawking VFR (1200), which ATC facilities filter out to reduce clutter.
     
  15. SteveMann

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    The Air Commerce Act of 1926, amended by the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 put the airspace over the US in public domain.
    After a midair collision over the Grand Canyon in 1956 the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 was passed, dissolving the CAA and creating the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA, later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration in 1966). The FAA was given total authority over American airspace, including military activity, and as procedures and ATC facilities were modernized.

    No one "owns" the airspace, but if I am on an IFR approach, I am relying on the approach controller or tower that the airspace is "mine".
    Generally, in VFR flight the least maneuverable aircraft has the right-of way. On that hierarchy, I suspect that drones are the most maneuverable.
     
  16. yawnalot29

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    I don't think that's the important distinction, is it?

    Man vs. unman.. goes like this:

    unman - worse case, property damage.

    man - worse case, lives lost (both in the sky and on the ground).

    The rest is really just noise.
     
  17. IflyinWY

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    + 1 yawnalot29

    AND reference a couple previous posts here...
    Some folks know a little and type a lot. Be careful what kind of krap you believe & repeat. ;)
     
  18. locoworks

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    Unman can take out persons on the ground too, just less damage due to size/weight restrictions
     
  19. yawnalot29

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    I think you missed my point. I agree with you that P2V dropping out of sky can potentially kill people of course.

    The question was WHY should model plane YIELD to the full size.

    The answer is:

    If you DO, worse case is you might break your P2V for one reason or another (assuming there's no collision).

    If you DO NOT YIELD, worse case is you collided with full size. BOTH plane suffer and fall out of sky. Both properties destroy, lives lost in sky, and lives lost on the ground (from BOTH crashed plane).
     
  20. IflyinWY

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    I just had a conversation with a couple of Life-Flight nurses who are very concerned about drones. I asked what their pilots think of drones, the response, "they hate them". I found the response quite amusing when the conversation revealed that one of the nurses I was speaking with, and one of their pilots actually own's a drone.

    By the end of the conversation, we all agreed; it's the few bad apples or just plain ignorance that will make life difficult for the rest of us.

    FYI: Their company policy is to fly at or above 500' agl whenever possible.

    To answer the OP's question.
    It depends where you fly. Fly in front of their antenna = yes. Fly where I do = no. Fly somewhere in between = sometimes.

    At this point in time; I will not depend on ATC to report my position to a manned aircraft unless I have an altitude encoding transponder and have received prior approval from the controlling facility.

    Loss of life is enough reason for me to be as cautious as humanly possible when I fly. ;)