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Pilot says drone put Seahawks, fans in danger

Discussion in 'News' started by GoodnNuff, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. GoodnNuff

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    Some local guy flies his Phantom over the Seahawks bus, the crowds, and within 50 feet of a news helicopter. The story is all over the Seattle news tonight on the tail of the Whitehouse drone. FAA is supposedly investigating and considering a fine.

    http://www.kirotv.com/news/news/pilot-s ... ger/njyFh/

    Pretty poor video so I'm betting this guy got this for Xmas.
     
  2. Zinnware

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    If you read the last line of the story......

    "President Obama has directed the FAA to come up with a way to manage drones. Until then, they are illegal to fly."

    Illegal to fly? Was that a Freudian slip? I enjoy reporters reporting on drones. It amazes me how little they know about what they are reporting.

    One more point... Can you please clean your lens.
     
  3. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Both pilots are idiots.

    If that Phantom was 50ft below a helicopter, it would be road pizza. And what is a full scale news helicopter doing 100ft over a crowd? :shock:
     
    isopro likes this.
  4. GoodnNuff

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    Exactly Ian, and the helicopter pilot continues to fly towards it.

    My favorite asinine quote from the local news so far:
    News anchor takes a very serous tone and looks directly at the camera, "As you can see, these drones have the potential to cause grave (dramatic pause) concern."

    WTF? "the potential to cause grave... concern."
     
  5. Larry L

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    Does a news helicopter have to stay above the 500 foot mark? I think he was a lot lower than that. He should be reported also if he was.
     
  6. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Well, yeah, regardless of the rules, it would stand to reason that if a 2.5lb piece of plastic is considered an imminent threat to people on the ground, then a 2 ton heap of metal and jet fuel should be considered a friggin' catastrophe in the making and it should maintain a significant distance!

    Personally, I suspect the pilot of the news chopper saw the drone, realized he'll be out of a job soon and got pissed off.
     
  7. SteveMann

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    You are probably right on the mark there. The Airline Pilots Association (ALPA) and the Professional Helicopter Pilots Association (PHPA) will be most vociferous in their negative comments to the FAA when the NPRM for small UAV regulations come out.

    If the drone had hit the helicopter in the tail rotor (which would be so highly unlikely because the downdraft of the main rotors would literally blow it out of the way), it could have brought it down. But what was the helicopter doing that low over a crowd? (Legally they can fly at any altitude).
     
  8. sdtrojan

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    That is "factually inaccurate."

    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, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

    (1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA

    The FAA should be investigating this incident - because the helo pilot was not following FAA guidelines. Let's be careful where we throw rocks, "real pilots", because they can ricochet back!
     
  9. bald1eagle

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    [quote="sdtrojan"

    That is "factually inaccurate."

    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, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface—

    (1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA

    The FAA should be investigating this incident - because the helo pilot was not following FAA guidelines. Let's be careful where we throw rocks, "real pilots", because they can ricochet back![/quote]



    Whenever a news story of any worth breaks, not counting the Sheriff's helicopter which is generally in forward flight circling the scene there will be 2 or 3 news helicopters hovering near by. I suspect the Sheriff's bird gets to have some leeway depending on the action. If I'm reading the above regs (b) correctly the news copters need to be at 1000 feet above highest building within 2000' radius? I'm no genius, but they are nowhere close to 1000' up over this very populous city. 500' maybe so, but not 1000'.

    I don't believe this helicopter pilot was even aware of the drone until the news crew presented their footage combined with the footage taken from the drone to the pilot. I believe then he was put into the situation to sensationalize.
     
  10. sdtrojan

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    The way I read the section on helicopters is altitude restrictions are not of concern as long as the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. I would say flying over any inhabited metropolitan area qualifies as dangerous to persons and property on the ground. Helicopters, like drones, have a glide slope of a coconut. Would you rather have a coconut filled with flammable liquid, high velocity metal propellers, etc falling out of the sky or a 2lb piece of plastic. Viewing this story with an objective mind, both pilots were wrong, but "real pilot" was "wronger"
     
  11. dkovar

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    Greetings,

    You really think that after many years of helicopters flying over major metropolitan areas with very few incidents that they will be considered a hazard to persons or property?

    Helicopters do not glide, they autorotate, and do so rather well. Unlike drones, someone is still in command of the aircraft when it loses power, and they have a first person view of the action.

    Here is a good video on autorotations:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzWw5U3eCok

    -David
     
  12. ianwood

    ianwood Taco Wrangler
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    Autorotation would be useful with some altitude. At 150ft, you're SOL.

    http://www.ianwood.com/images/*******-chopper-11.jpg
     
  13. TeamYankee

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    I would argue the fact....

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014 ... flamed-out

    This police helicopter... flying at a safe altitude (1,000ft) fell out of the sky and killed people on the ground in Glasgow, Scotland... both engines ran ou t of fuel and the rotors where not turning at the point of impact.

    It glided like a "coconut"....
     
  14. peter west nz

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    Helis do autorotate, but they come down pretty quickly if they don't have any forward speed when the engine stops, and providing the pilot is quick to push the collective down through flat pitch. That part is somewhat exciting. I can assure you that it does feel like falling, although it gets better [ i.e slightly less pucker-factor] as the rotor speed comes up and the pilot can flatten the pitch a bit. Then, they glide quite well, and can get enough inertia in the blades to allow a running landing, or even a short hover . If too low and/or slow, then yes, they come down like a set of car keys. Hovering a couple of rotor spans off the deck [ no ground effect] is by far the most dangerous place to be. That is why they always try to fly away from a low-hover-in-ground-effect straight into translational flight, rather than just climbing up.
     
  15. isopro

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    Lot of Helicopter pilots all over Canada fly under 100m and are a danger to the public, I allready reported many but the problem is you need a Photo of the numbers on the side of the heli for the law to be enforced, and the arrival of flying Micro-Quads under 400'', make this even more risky, Often they come at 200km/h over the city NOT going for landing at 80m high, as a Drone operator it would be hard for me to avoid the collision if i was on it's path, and since he is under 400'' he as full responsibility in case of damage...But even if it is the Heli pilot acting illegally and wrecklessly, the drone operator would probably get more lights and the blame from the news story if this was to happen
     
  16. Arct1c0n

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    Seattle folks to tend to overreact *I live there now* but flying low over thousands of people in a crowded stadium and getting that close to a helicopter is just flat out stupid and unsafe in general.
     
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  17. Tallyrver

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    "Piolts reported seeing 194 drones this year" ... I saw three this past weekend .Do I need to report them? :D
     
  18. cjmwales

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    That's not quite correct.

    Barring a catastrophic failure in the airframe or transmission system, a heli afflicted by engine failure can autorotate and maintain directional control - the rotor disc carries a lot of inertial energy - provided the craft has sufficient altitude to pitch forward to gain airspeed.



    If a motor fails on a phantom, it's game over.