Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




Martin3977
01-23-2019, 02:04 PM
Hi guys,
I am an airplane enthusiast as well as a 107 licensed drone pilot. I fly responsibly and by the FAA rules and use common sense. I realize that a lot of you have concerns on the safety over drones and how they are being used . The latest Rash of drones shutting down airports has me concerned and really questioning the validity of all the claims and if there isnít some sort of hidden agenda. Also what more of a perfect way to get something eliminated then to claim seeing a threat and shutting down an airport. As with most of the sightings, nothing has been proven nor no evidence other than hearsay. All this paranoia over drones need to be stopped and the fact that when a pilot sees something floating in the air ,now itís automatically a drone, for instance the last sighting over Teterburo, seeing two drones at 3500ft 30 ft off the wing?? Come on guys, letís get real. This blame drones has gotten out of hand. All it takes is one person to say it looked like a drone , induce paranoia and shut down an airport. But yet itís amazing that no proof ever comes to light, just hearsay.


JamesNoBrakes
01-23-2019, 02:15 PM
Hi guys,
I am an airplane enthusiast as well as a 107 licensed drone pilot. I fly responsibly and by the FAA rules and use common sense. I realize that a lot of you have concerns on the safety over drones and how they are being used . The latest Rash of drones shutting down airports has me concerned and really questioning the validity of all the claims and if there isn’t some sort of hidden agenda. Also what more of a perfect way to get something eliminated then to claim seeing a threat and shutting down an airport. As with most of the sightings, nothing has been proven nor no evidence other than hearsay. All this paranoia over drones need to be stopped and the fact that when a pilot sees something floating in the air ,now it’s automatically a drone, for instance the last sighting over Teterburo, seeing two drones at 3500ft 30 ft off the wing?? Come on guys, let’s get real. This blame drones has gotten out of hand. All it takes is one person to say it looked like a drone , induce paranoia and shut down an airport. But yet it’s amazing that no proof ever comes to light, just hearsay.

Pilots have better things to do than file drone reports if they don't have to. This is a real threat, when you look at the number of sightings, substantiated sightings, and impacts, this is actually happening. You can also plot out a catastrophic/critical situation from those data, looking at probabilities of occurrences (like mid-air collisions between aircraft).

It used to be that putting together a model airplane and learning to fly it was a big barrier that ensured only fairly responsible people operated them. One time, I found one in my traffic pattern at my altitude, just off my wing, but the frequency of those kinds of occurrences were exceptionally rare. Now, the economy of scale and technology allows anyone to go buy and fly, very few controls (like some other industries these days, but I digress). I have talked to pilots that have had encounters and I have no reason to dispute them. The evidence may be hard to get, as it would require radar, some way to pinpoint origin sites, video surveillance, etc., but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

I've done outreach on this myself, to UAS pilots. I've also found situations where they were being operated unsafely, such as over people, in the vicinity of airports, etc.

It's similar to the laser pointer issue. It's a real problem. There aren't enough barriers anymore to keep irresponsible people from gaining this technology. The best thing you can do is advocate within your community, report those that are using them against the rules, outreach to commercial pilots and airports, etc. It is clear to most pilots that if better barriers aren't enacted, there will eventually be a critical event where one goes into an engine, structurally compromises an aircraft, etc. That's just a matter of time given the data that already exists.

Martin3977
01-23-2019, 02:54 PM
James
While I agree with what you are saying, it doesn't take much nowadays , especially with the latest reports of drone sightings and with all the news reports , having the thought in the back of your head when something is sighted from an aircraft. That would be the first thing to think of logically when something is seen. It may have been two drones (not likely) or it could of been some kids birthday balloons.
No doubt the technology is there, but that doesn't mean that everything that is seen from an aircraft is a drone either. Pilots make mistakes, especially in a busy cockpit. Thats what makes us human.
I certainly don't want anything major to happen because of a drone. Almost Everytime there is a reported sighting, and nothing is proven, no evidence is found, it gives all of us legal and moral fliers who are following the rules a big black eye and more regulation, all in the interest of public safety and Paranoia.


JamesNoBrakes
01-23-2019, 03:15 PM
Almost Everytime there is a reported sighting, and nothing is proven, no evidence is found, it gives all of us legal and moral fliers who are following the rules a big black eye and more regulation, all in the interest of public safety and Paranoia.

Maybe some of the time, but I do this for a living and I can assure you that these events are happening. Again, just because we aren't finding a drone sticking out of an airplane doesn't encounters are not happening, heck we have footage from the drones themselves showing they are in approach paths, proximity of airports, etc. What are all these examples you have of it "not happening"?

EasternATC
01-23-2019, 03:35 PM
Well, it does appear that the Gatwick closures were much ado about nothing.

Martin3977
01-23-2019, 04:25 PM
James,
Thats the problem. Right now there is no way to prove either or, right now , when a pilot states he seen a drone close , 30ft to the wing, thats what its is , weather on not it was ,Case closed, all because of the negative views on them, and the perceived risk, and everyone runs with it and the damage is done. There is no doubt that some are factual, but no way in every case. I don't blame you guys at all for being concerned, I would be too, but before that drone word is casted across the evening news started by some pilot that thought he saw one, they need to be 100% positive thats what it was.
Eastern,
You are completely right, someone reported seeing drones and the airport was shut down, nothing was found , police even interrogated an innocent couple , just because they new they had interest in the hobby. Probably just another person afraid of drones.
I just find it interesting how the shutdowns across the pond are spreading just like the Paranoia against drones. I guess its the guilty until proven innocent world we live in.

Excargodog
01-23-2019, 05:10 PM
I just find it interesting how the shutdowns across the pond are spreading just like the Paranoia against drones. I guess its the guilty until proven innocent world we live in.

What it is is a LIABILITY and RISK MANAGEMENT issue.

Now personally, I would be willing to bet that I could survive hitting the average drone with a Piper Cub and emerge with less than a thousand dollars damage and no personal injury, but it isnít about me
and it isnít necessarily about an average drone either, itís about both the safety AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF THAT RISK BY THE PASSENGERS IN BACK.

Our carriage agreement doesnít say that we are going to fly the aircraft in a situation where we might be hit by a small kamikaze doing something the FAA has already deemed both illegal and unsafe. If we were to voluntarily do that, even if no damage whatever occurred, we buy the liability of ďpsychological traumaĒ by every white knuckle passenger aboard as well as any that really donít give a damn but see a chanc3 to make a fast buck. And if we really do hit something, both the equipment cost and the PTSD claims are going to skyrocket, and thatís just the TYPICAL drone.

Drones are getting bigger

https://www.airspacemag.com/flight-today/giant-drone-racing-swooping-get-more-legit-180963214/

And although illegal without a waiver from the FAA, some of these puppies can go up to 18,000 feet.

https://www.dronethusiast.com/high-altitude-drones-for-sale/

So no, this isnít much ado about nothing and the damn things need to be reined in.

And yeah, while your at it, get off of my lawn and out of my airspace. :D

Martin3977
01-23-2019, 05:39 PM
Lol, they are working on reigning them in, Well DJI is anyway. Mine won't go any higher than 1600ft Period. I personally won't go any higher than 400.
Yes I get they are a risk and a liability to all aircraft, hence my thinking that it wouldn't take much influence to start causing false claims of seeing some and getting airports shut down to expedite more regulation and possible banning to eliminate the said risk. And with the fear people would believe it. There are alot of pilots out there , and alot of them would like to get rid of drones altogether. As well as alot of government that wants to see more regulation.

rickair7777
01-23-2019, 07:54 PM
Lol, they are working on reigning them in, Well DJI is anyway. Mine won't go any higher than 1600ft Period. I personally won't go any higher than 400.
Yes I get they are a risk and a liability to all aircraft, hence my thinking that it wouldn't take much influence to start causing false claims of seeing some and getting airports shut down to expedite more regulation and possible banning to eliminate the said risk. And with the fear people would believe it. There are alot of pilots out there , and alot of them would like to get rid of drones altogether. As well as alot of government that wants to see more regulation.

What's going to end up happening, is they are all going to have built-in hard boundaries to keep them out of controlled airspace. Updated daily before flight to account for TFR's. Access to controlled airspace by prearranged exception.

It's too easy for just about anybody to obtain and use one of these things. By far the lowest common denominator in the skies. Too low, and it's going to get fixed. Unless the entire drone community can demonstrate remarkable collective self-restraint and avoid any incidents which scare the 121 community. Or even the 91 community. Good luck with that.

We'll know soon enough.

JamesNoBrakes
01-23-2019, 08:15 PM
Well, it does appear that the Gatwick closures were much ado about nothing.

What do you mean, in that it didn't happen?, or they just never found the people responsible? There's a big difference there. One example isn't going to prove much either...There are numerous examples where it did happen, including video footage from the drone itself. Unfortunately, that doesn't often lead to prosecution by itself, because there's no proof necessarily that the person that posted the video is the one that operated the drone, but this is absolutely happening. I've been "fortunate" enough to have been lasered a couple times and I know many other commercial pilots have been as well. Not believing that these things are happening is naive. To all the drone pilots that are making sure to operate as to not create a hazard, who have gone through all the right channels and hoops, thank you.

JohnBurke
01-23-2019, 09:52 PM
Hi guys,
I am an airplane enthusiast as well as a 107 licensed drone pilot. I fly responsibly and by the FAA rules and use common sense. I realize that a lot of you have concerns on the safety over drones and how they are being used . The latest Rash of drones shutting down airports has me concerned and really questioning the validity of all the claims and if there isn’t some sort of hidden agenda. Also what more of a perfect way to get something eliminated then to claim seeing a threat and shutting down an airport. As with most of the sightings, nothing has been proven nor no evidence other than hearsay. All this paranoia over drones need to be stopped and the fact that when a pilot sees something floating in the air ,now it’s automatically a drone, for instance the last sighting over Teterburo, seeing two drones at 3500ft 30 ft off the wing?? Come on guys, let’s get real. This blame drones has gotten out of hand. All it takes is one person to say it looked like a drone , induce paranoia and shut down an airport. But yet it’s amazing that no proof ever comes to light, just hearsay.

You're an "airplane enthusiast," but not a pilot, then?

No proof? Hardly.

James,
Thats the problem. Right now there is no way to prove either or, right now , when a pilot states he seen a drone close , 30ft to the wing, thats what its is , weather on not it was ,Case closed, all because of the negative views on them, and the perceived risk, and everyone runs with it and the damage is done. There is no doubt that some are factual, but no way in every case. I don't blame you guys at all for being concerned, I would be too, but before that drone word is casted across the evening news started by some pilot that thought he saw one, they need to be 100% positive thats what it was.
Eastern,
You are completely right, someone reported seeing drones and the airport was shut down, nothing was found , police even interrogated an innocent couple , just because they new they had interest in the hobby. Probably just another person afraid of drones.
I just find it interesting how the shutdowns across the pond are spreading just like the Paranoia against drones. I guess its the guilty until proven innocent world we live in.

There's no paranoia. They're a security concern and a safety hazard, and there's nothing "spreading across the pond." The problem has been ongoing, but it's just had a bit more publicity of late.

Increasingly over the past five or six years, we've had numerous cases every year in aerial firefighting in which unmanned aircraft intruded in operations, and the air ops had to be shut down. That puts lives in danger in flight and on the ground, and costs ground resources valuable air support. It's not new and it's not a fad, this issue, but with the ever-increasing numbers of those playing with these toys, the problem also continues to increase, and you're going to see more and more attention drawn to it. For every person that elects to fly one across an airport boundary or into the final approach course of an airport, or that has to get their pictures of an emergency such as a fire or car crash, there will be increased scrutiny and eventually more regulation and loss of privilege.

For those who keep doing it, by all means, have at it; sooner than later you'll find yourself constrained to a gynmasium with real legal consequences.

awax
01-23-2019, 10:06 PM
What it is is a LIABILITY and RISK MANAGEMENT issue.

Now personally, I would be willing to bet that I could survive hitting the average drone with a Piper Cub and emerge with less than a thousand dollars damage and no personal injury, but it isn’t about me
and it isn’t necessarily about an average drone either, it’s about both the safety AND THE ACCEPTANCE OF THAT RISK BY THE PASSENGERS IN BACK.

Our carriage agreement doesn’t say that we are going to fly the aircraft in a situation where we might be hit by a small kamikaze doing something the FAA has already deemed both illegal and unsafe. If we were to voluntarily do that, even if no damage whatever occurred, we buy the liability of “psychological trauma” by every white knuckle passenger aboard as well as any that really don’t give a damn but see a chanc3 to make a fast buck. And if we really do hit something, both the equipment cost and the PTSD claims are going to skyrocket, and that’s just the TYPICAL drone.. :D


If this is true, why don't we shut down airports when birds are reported in the area? It seems like Sully was elevated to hero status, not the emotional scar of a nation.

EasternATC
01-24-2019, 04:55 AM
What do you mean, in that it didn't happen?, or they just never found the people responsible? There's a big difference there. One example isn't going to prove much either...There are numerous examples where it did happen, including video footage from the drone itself. Unfortunately, that doesn't often lead to prosecution by itself, because there's no proof necessarily that the person that posted the video is the one that operated the drone, but this is absolutely happening. I've been "fortunate" enough to have been lasered a couple times and I know many other commercial pilots have been as well. Not believing that these things are happening is naive. To all the drone pilots that are making sure to operate as to not create a hazard, who have gone through all the right channels and hoops, thank you.


Other than reports of drone sightings, no evidence exists there was ever any actual drone threat at ELGW in mid-December. This despite significant involvement by law enforcement and the military to identify and nullify the supposed threat.



If it was a hoax or plot of some sort, it seems to me it was accomplished not with drones, but simply by reporting that drones had been seen in the vicinity. Paranoia and overreaction did the rest.


Also, James, I've been retired a couple of years now, but I did work on the front lines at DCA and PCT for 34 years as a controller and supervisor. I probably did a thousand hours on the DEN. I am well aware of the anomalies that occur in the system; I was involved somehow or another in hundreds of them, many of which made the news. What's naive is for you come on this forum and present yourself as the only person with a valid opinion on the subject.

JamesNoBrakes
01-24-2019, 08:20 AM
Other than reports of drone sightings, no evidence exists there was ever any actual drone threat at ELGW in mid-December. This despite significant involvement by law enforcement and the military to identify and nullify the supposed threat.


I read the same stories, police interviewed several "credible witnesses" according to the story. I freely admit that eyewitnesses aren't the best "evidence", but according to investigators, there was enough of a perceived threat to take the action they took and investigate.

Drone next to aircraft (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzXmxjGbeIk)

Don't take my word for it, do your own research.

Like John says, this is happening with increased frequency:

Increasingly over the past five or six years, we've had numerous cases every year in aerial firefighting in which unmanned aircraft intruded in operations, and the air ops had to be shut down.

EasternATC
01-24-2019, 11:50 AM
...there was enough of a perceived threat to take the action they took and investigate....


Perceived threat. I think you are right on about this.



Any objective after-action report on the incident would disclose that their perceptions lead them to make very poor decisions.

Excargodog
01-24-2019, 02:22 PM
What's going to end up happening, is they are all going to have built-in hard boundaries to keep them out of controlled airspace. Updated daily before flight to account for TFR's. Access to controlled airspace by prearranged exception.

It's too easy for just about anybody to obtain and use one of these things. By far the lowest common denominator in the skies. Too low, and it's going to get fixed. Unless the entire drone community can demonstrate remarkable collective self-restraint and avoid any incidents which scare the 121 community. Or even the 91 community. Good luck with that.

We'll know soon enough.

What I think is coming is that all UAVs are ultimately going to need ADS-B out individually coded to the owner. It’s easily achievable:

https://www.nwuav.com/products-uavionix.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzOLbr8aH4AIVibxkCh 03ig6uEAAYASAAEgJaN_D_BwE

And anyone caught flying without ADS-B on, or if their UAV is detected in an area and altitude where flying is illegal, winds up losing the UAV, some money, and three or four months of their personal freedom.

Excargodog
01-24-2019, 02:27 PM
If this is true, why don't we shut down airports when birds are reported in the area? It seems like Sully was elevated to hero status, not the emotional scar of a nation.


Risk management. The reality is that more people die of bee stings than they do from snakebites or shark attacks, but the PERCEIVED risk by the general public is what matters. Most homeowners associations wonít bat an eye if you put an apiary in your backyard. And improbable or not, nobody wants to be a fishís dinner.

Politicians donít react to ACTUAL threat risk, they react to perceived threat risk.

JamesNoBrakes
01-24-2019, 05:02 PM
Because birds aren't made of metal. The can also "see and avoid", not that it works every time though.

Super27
01-25-2019, 05:52 AM
Come on guys, letís get real. This blame drones has gotten out of hand. All it takes is one person to say it looked like a drone , induce paranoia and shut down an airport. But yet itís amazing that no proof ever comes to light, just hearsay.

What's gotten out of hand is the number of people flying drones that have absolutely zero clue what they are doing. It is a VERY real hazard to public safety, and if anything I believe that it is not being taken seriously enough. Like everything else in aviation safety, it's probably going to take a serious accident before these devices are regulated to the extent that they need to be, with real safeguards in place to protect the public.

That said, I understand your position, and appreciate the fact that you have taken the time to learn the regulations and obtain a Part 107 certificate. I totally get that you don't like seeing your hobby trash talked and threatened. Unfortunately, there are a TON of people that aren't doing things the right way, and they are the ones that are causing problems.

In a perfect world, it would be illegal to purchase a UAS over 0.55 lbs without already holding a Part 107 certificate. That would protect access for folks who do things the right way, and eliminate the "rogue" operators. I don't see that ever happening, though, so it's up to the FAA and industry to work together on this to try and prevent a tragedy from occurring.

rickair7777
01-25-2019, 08:35 AM
What I think is coming is that all UAVs are ultimately going to need ADS-B out individually coded to the owner. It’s easily achievable:

https://www.nwuav.com/products-uavionix.html?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzOLbr8aH4AIVibxkCh 03ig6uEAAYASAAEgJaN_D_BwE

And anyone caught flying without ADS-B on, or if their UAV is detected in an area and altitude where flying is illegal, winds up losing the UAV, some money, and three or four months of their personal freedom.

Yup, build the boundaries into the device.

Also need to institute draconian penalties for operating home-built devices without the limiters... those would probably be crooks best case, or terrorists worst case, so not unreasonable.

How do you account for RC airplane hobbyists? I don't know.

kaputt
01-25-2019, 12:26 PM
Wow, I had never seen that video from Vegas. That is pretty dang scary.

Edit: Talking about an earlier post where someone linked to this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzXmxjGbeIk

FlyJSH
01-25-2019, 02:58 PM
How do you account for RC airplane hobbyists? I don't know.

First, RC airplane and helicopter pilots are controlling the plane bylooking at it rather than a monitor downlinked from an onboard camera. At a distance of 400 feet, it starts to get hard to tell the heading or attitude of "average" sized planes, so keeping the craft close is pretty important.

There is a long history of keeping models away from airports because, back in the '60s and on, the better radios operated between 72 and 75 mhz. With Marker Beacons transmitting on 75 mhz and the wider bands the RCs were using, it was quite possible to have a meaconing event.

Since a decent sized field is required to keep an RC plane out of the trees, most folks fly outside of town and usually at an RC club. All clubs I ever heard of required membership in the Academy of Model Aeronautics. Some even required a written and/or flight check before becoming a full member.

Martin3977
01-25-2019, 03:16 PM
I totally agree that it needs some sort of regulation for sure. And the ones that are causing an issue, like dampening firefighting efforts, taking the mini racing drones and flying right next to an aircraft on final, and if there are truly drones popping up near airports, the ones responsible need to be prosecuted. I've been a long time RC airplane and helicopter hobbyist for close to 30 years and flying the Multrotor (drones) about 3 years now. I got my 107 to be able to take advantage of the technology of drones and make a little money on the side to offset the cost of the RC Hobby Addiction. What has happened from the beginning of the invention of multirotor is that the word DRONE is now applied across the board to all of flying rc model by the general public. Thats why I cringe when I see the multirotor aircraft make headlines and I fear than an all out ban to all RC aircraft is coming down the line someday as a result.
Guys , I love my hobby, I intend of enjoying in for years to come ,I don't want to see it gone. I realize that there are many valid cases of truly seeing them, all I can ask is before playing that Drone card, Please Please make sure that you have without a doubt seen one.

atpcliff
01-28-2019, 05:58 PM
I saw a drone in the ATA of Bogota, just after takeoff. It was going very fast, and definitely a safety hazard. I assumed it was a military drone.

Venkman
01-30-2019, 04:44 PM
I hear the point you're trying to make, but if we're talking about jumping to conclusions, you're making a pretty big leap yourself in assuming professional pilots have a desire to sabotage drone hobbyists due to "paranoia." I have literally never heard another pilot express anything close to such a desire. Frustrations sometimes, sure. But it's always situational and directed at a drone operator, not their existence.

Another point worth making is that professional pilots, particularly 121 pilots, are rightfully regarded as extremely reliable witnesses. We've passed countless hurdles, examinations, background screenings, and have years (if not decades) of experience. So yes, when we report a drone sighting it's taken without much cross-examination. We see all kinds of wild and crazy things out there. We can tell the difference between birthday balloons, drones, birds, you name it.

snowdawg
03-12-2019, 08:39 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2rCB-1AlGc

Stoked27
03-13-2019, 06:03 AM
hi guys,
i am an airplane enthusiast as well as a 107 licensed drone pilot. I fly responsibly and by the faa rules and use common sense.

I can empathize with your position and passion for RC/Drone aviation, but (and I promise I'm not trying to be a troll) I recommend keeping in mind that the term "Common Sense" is very subjective. What's common sense to you is not common sense to another. We see this in political arguments where a proposed law is just "common sense," yet the opposing side considers the opposing view to be common. If you try to step back and view this more analytically instead of from your common sense perspective, it'll probably become clearer (whether you agree or not in the end).

the latest rash of drones shutting down airports has me concerned and really questioning the validity of all the claims and if there isnít some sort of hidden agenda.

There is no hidden agenda. RC is a fond past-time for quite a few pilots.


and the fact that when a pilot sees something floating in the air ,now itís automatically a drone, for instance the last sighting over Teterburo, seeing two drones at 3500ft 30 ft off the wing??

Unless a pilot's head was looking down at a checklist or elsewhere to where they didn't see it until the last second, 30ft is quite easy to identify whether it was a drone or bird. With 30ft, I can most likely tell you the type of bird or brand of drone.

But yet itís amazing that no proof ever comes to light, just hearsay.

What type of proof do you recommend pilots start supplying?

I'll caveat that I'm only a general aviation pilot, so a faster approach speed might make it more difficult to identify the specifics of the drone, but I doubt it would be so drastic that the pilots of airliners are flipping coins as to what the item was that they saw.

From my GA perspective, the outcome will be a lot different for a drone to impact a propeller and acrylic windshield of a GA aircraft traveling 80kts/92mph than someone might expect if they pictured the ramifications to be similar to that of hitting a car windshield (not saying you are). We owe it to be responsible to ourselves, our passengers, and people on the ground by managing risks that are within our control. Like others have mentioned, we'll probably see technological restrictions implemented at some point.

Personally I think the reputation of drones are more at risk from intrusive drone pilots; i.e., the drone pilot who hovered over my secluded backyard at one-story roof level while my wife was on our patio and kept coming back ~once per week for a couple of months.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1