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Banner Towing Airplane
605 8 2018-2-17
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LouisP
First Officer
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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All afternoon there has been a little airplane towing a banner flying over my house.  He might be at or above 500 feet but it sure doesn't look like it.  I am not close enough to an airport to be in restricted air space and I usually can take off in my backyard and fly straight up to get some panorama shots.  But what about the banner plane?  If I was sure that his altitude was over 500 feet I would feel safe enough going up to the 200 feet I usually do to take pictures.
Do I call the airport and ask his altitude??

Anybody know what altitude these banner tows fly at?


2018-2-17
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1915335 ft
Netherlands
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They tend to fly rather low, but not as low as 500ft if I'm correct.
But even if they do, you will have to them priority at all times. (decent quickly in sportsmode I would say)
2018-2-17
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LouisP
First Officer
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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Montfrooij Posted at 2018-2-17 13:24
They tend to fly rather low, but not as low as 500ft if I'm correct.
But even if they do, you will have to them priority at all times. (decent quickly in sportsmode I would say)

He takes about 3 minutes to make a loop around so I would have time to pop up and take a picture. I only want to go to 200 feet and I am sure he is well above that.  I am guessing he is at 500 feet.
I guess I am not concerned about safety... like I said.. he is way over 200 feet..
But if he sees me and reports a drone in use even though I am not in controlled airspace I worry I could get into trouble if  there is a rule about how close to a manned aircraft you can be.
I would guess he is making one mile circles.. so theoretically I would be 300 feet below him and less than one mile away.   
I know.. if it seems wrong don't do it.., and I probably won't   just wondering what the rule might be.
I tried to find a number for the airport control tower where he is flying out of but I can't find it.
I guess I can all the little airport during business hours and ask who I should speak with.
2018-2-17
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Montfrooij
Captain
Flight distance : 1915335 ft
Netherlands
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LouisP Posted at 2018-2-17 13:36
He takes about 3 minutes to make a loop around so I would have time to pop up and take a picture. I only want to go to 200 feet and I am sure he is well above that.  I am guessing he is at 500 feet.
I guess I am not concerned about safety... like I said.. he is way over 200 feet..
But if he sees me and reports a drone in use even though I am not in controlled airspace I worry I could get into trouble if  there is a rule about how close to a manned aircraft you can be.

I did contact a local airport close to where I work. They told me the planes were over 120m, so I was fine.
As long as I stayed outside 3km.
(sorry for the metric nrs)
But I'm of course not sure how it is in the USA
2018-2-17
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13620525 ft
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United Kingdom
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LouisP Posted at 2018-2-17 13:36
He takes about 3 minutes to make a loop around so I would have time to pop up and take a picture. I only want to go to 200 feet and I am sure he is well above that.  I am guessing he is at 500 feet.
I guess I am not concerned about safety... like I said.. he is way over 200 feet..
But if he sees me and reports a drone in use even though I am not in controlled airspace I worry I could get into trouble if  there is a rule about how close to a manned aircraft you can be.

Thats a good question. 5 miles from an Airport, 150m from congested areas, 50m from people etc but there is no regs on how 'close to a manned aircraft'. The main rule is that you must not place manned aircraft at risk and if your drone collided with the aircraft you will automatically be at fault and it's a criminal offence... I would never take off where there are manned aircraft flying around at low altitude in the area I intend to fly.
2018-2-17
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LouisP
First Officer
Flight distance : 41952 ft
United States
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A CW Posted at 2018-2-17 14:49
Thats a good question. 5 miles from an Airport, 150m from congested areas, 50m from people etc but there is no regs on how 'close to a manned aircraft'. The main rule is that you must not place manned aircraft at risk and if your drone collided with the aircraft you will automatically be at fault and it's a criminal offence... I would never take off where there are manned aircraft flying around at low altitude in the area I intend to fly.

You are correct, and I didn't fly.  The question being how close is too close to maned aircraft. Also, as I am just barely outside of five miles from the airport (like within 100 feet of five miles) I am tend to be extra cautious.  
2018-2-17
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A CW
Captain
Flight distance : 13620525 ft
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United Kingdom
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LouisP Posted at 2018-2-17 14:58
You are correct, and I didn't fly.  The question being how close is too close to maned aircraft. Also, as I am just barely outside of five miles from the airport (like within 100 feet of five miles) I am tend to be extra cautious.

That's my point, I don't think there is any official distance other than not to collide with one. It's a good question. The most logical answer would be 50m/165' as that is the minimum distance from vehicles - in the UK anyway. But I think thats more to do with reg plate numbers under privacy laws than the safety of people.
2018-2-17
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Jezmo
Second Officer
United States
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The FAA rule --- (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. --- If he is obeying the law you, should be a problem for him, but "if" is one really big word.
2018-2-18
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S-e-ven
Captain
Flight distance : 5817516 ft
Thailand
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Actually, I probably WOULD fly .
The plane is coming often, you know when, you know from where and where he is doing his circle.
I would worry more about that he is not flying counter clockwise, so that I do not have a chance to get the plane twice in one Sphere.
Anyway, if you wanna know how high the plane is, you need to ascend and check it out ;-)
2018-2-18
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