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Flying near hospitals
6706 37 2015-8-24
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myTehi
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Just wondering if there are guide lines that regulate how far is safe to fly from hospitals. I was flying the other day down low about 50 ft taking some pictures of a waterfall at the river. As i look up i see the life flight helicopter overhead. I immidiately landed and put my bird away. Never really donned on me that hospitals close by could be a No No. I will definately think next time if one could be in the area. Just wondering when everyone is talking about NFZ i have never seen the topic of a hospital come up. Any input would be appreciated. Obviously there needs to be some distance to stay away....
2015-8-24
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richardmartin
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I've never heard of anything about hospitals being NFZ, although I've thought about that myself.  Sure was prudent of you to put yours away.
2015-8-24
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ag0n
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United States
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When I was researching the actual regs, I found mention of it.  A hospital is the same as an airport if they have a heliport.  To be fair, I don't know if I read this in the PROPOSED rules, or in the existing ones, but it is there.
2015-8-24
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jayhkr
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That's a great thought.  The lake I fly at is less than 5 miles away from a hospital.  Fortunately I've never seen or even heard a copter fly over the lake, but I guess it's possible.  Another reason to always keep your senses about you while she's up in the air.  
2015-8-24
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Willie Wonka
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Any major hospital has a helipad, so you have to be extra careful as helicopters will be below 1000 feet when approaching and below 500 feet when as close as 1000 feet from the hospital heli pad, as i saw it happen myself, and they are aggressive at the approach as they carry life or death situations.
So in such situations get an aviation reciver and tune to the approch freq of the hospital tower or local control tower and listen for any, also you can try and play with and ADS-B reciever which listens for any aircraft transponder and tracks it on the tablet on a map.
2015-8-24
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Dive-N-Dog
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-25 12:16
Any major hospital has a helipad, so you have to be extra careful as helicopters will be below 1000  ...

Very very true.  And that is the last thing this hobby needs is more media attention on drone interfering with medivac helicopters!!  Make sure there is no H pad at the hospital your intending to fly near. See this thread http://forum.dji.com/thread-27965-1-1.html
-Dog


2015-8-24
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Dive-N-Dog
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Please see above post.

-Dog
2015-8-24
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CaveDrone
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-25 12:16
Any major hospital has a helipad, so you have to be extra careful as helicopters will be below 1000  ...

Sounds cool, "ADS-B receiver and track on a tablet" another fun hobby in the making!
2015-8-25
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venomx15301
lvl.3

United States
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My local hospital has a pad and they get medevac/lifeflight helicopters often. I just listen for the noise. They are loud!
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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CaveDrone Posted at 2015-8-25 20:00
Sounds cool, "ADS-B receiver and track on a tablet" another fun hobby in the making!

It's very cheap ! You get a USB SDR dongle (software defined radio) and a usb OTG cable and download ads-b software on an android phone or tablet, then fire it up and you are rocking a reciever all for 20$ from eBay or Amazon.

Plus with another software you can listen to all the bands from 30mhz to 1700mhz with the same setup.
2015-8-25
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gregg1r
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Hospitals don't have control towers. The trauma teams teams that work there monitor the frequency that the paramedics use to calculate when the helicopter is gong to arrive.

Where I live, the local hospital also has a helipad. The typical flight path from the interstate highways usually doesn't come within a mile or so of me.

Not sure how you would be able to plug anything additional into your tablet as all of the tablets I've seen only have one port, which would be in use for your FPV on the transmitter.

The OP did the right thing by immediately landing and not making himself an impediment to the helicopter. Using a handheld radio to monitor FAA traffic might not turn out well as the private air ambulances don't use the same type of call names like government helicopters do.  
2015-8-25
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Sling Shot
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I would treat hospitals the same as airports. This only makes sense and you are not taking any chances. My thought.....
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-8-25 22:28
Hospitals don't have control towers. The trauma teams teams that work there monitor the frequency th ...

There has to be communication between the hospital and the helicopter and in most cases that is not encrypted and usually on the air band AM, any thoughts ?
Yeah you would need a dedicated android device for the ads-b.
2015-8-25
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Trilithon
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Ours has a helipad, so I stayed away out of common sense....
2015-8-25
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jimcloud74
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Trilithon Posted at 2015-8-26 01:32
Ours has a helipad, so I stayed away out of common sense....

Stay away from the hospitals. If you do fly near one, be hyper vigilant. Try and use a spotter and stay low. I am a paramedic and have a great deal of experience with these services. They generally circle the LZ pretty high and then descend at a safe speed into the wind. At least here they do.
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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jimcloud74@yaho Posted at 2015-8-26 01:42
Stay away from the hospitals. If you do fly near one, be hyper vigilant. Try and use a spotter and ...

In Virginia I used to see them skim the horizon low just above 500 feet, here in nj it depends on the hospital but thank god the Hopital near me does not have one, any hospital that has a trauma center has to have one and it's the designated go to when something serious happens.
2015-8-25
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gregg1r
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-26 00:36
There has to be communication between the hospital and the helicopter and in most cases that is not ...

The hospital Trauma team is using the police departments/fire department for initial alert.

After that, whatever frequency that the para medics use to request medical guidance from the trauma team. They provide updates from the copter pilot on ETA.

I've done clinical studies at the R Adams Crowley Shock Trauma in Baltimore. All of the communications were handled via the para medics. The head trauma nurse was a woman named Carmen.

If you monitor the FAA flight frequency for the Baltimore area, the MSP helicopter crews were call signed Medivac 1-6, but that was just between the helicopter and the BWI airport control tower. Once they did the scoop and run, they notified the tower there was one inbound. Once in the area, they communicated with the city helicopter crew known as Foxtrot.

On the 7th floor of Shock Trauma, (the roof was the 8th) the trauma nurses/doctors followed the flight inbound via the paramedics. Shock Trauma was in the middle of Baltimore City, 4 blocks west of the Inner Harbor.
Maryland charged a surcharge on vehicle license plates per year for medivac services, all of which were handled by the Maryland State Police, no private companies involved. The legislature tried a few times to hand off emergency helicopter services to private companies, but ran into issues how they were going to get paid.
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-8-26 02:45
The hospital Trauma team is using the police departments/fire department for initial alert.

After ...

Wow that's an amazing insight, thanks for sharing.
2015-8-25
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gregg1r
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Willie, if you watch an Orioles baseball game when they are home at Camden Yards, you will sometimes see shots of the helicopter flying into Shock Trauma. If you had to be critically injured anywhere in the world, this would be the place you'd want to be taken into.

A company that I was part of the start up on, develops medical devises that are tested at Shock Trauma and the MD Air National Guard. My friend John had lots of contacts that got us into the trauma community for testing.

Me personally, I hate working on electronics, but do it because the limited number of employees in the company dictated that you needed to be versed in a lot of different things. I'd rather do mechanical design and machine the prototypes looking for ways to get the cost out.

The helicopter exposure came from doing aerial photography, medical devise testing and having friends that I made while testing.
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-8-26 03:20
Willie, if you watch an Orioles baseball game when they are home at Camden Yards, you will sometimes ...

I am very interested in that because if something transmits i gotta listen to it that is if its not encrypted in anyway, as my main two hobbies are ham radio and network security, so listening to anything that is transmitted weather its analog or digital.
If its something that can help people avoid disasters then why not as those can be encountered more than regular flights and are irregular and random as transport can be from a random location each time whether its a highway or a sudden disaster area.
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-8-26 03:20
Willie, if you watch an Orioles baseball game when they are home at Camden Yards, you will sometimes ...

I am very interested in that because if something transmits i gotta listen to it that is if its not encrypted in anyway, as my main two hobbies are ham radio and network security, so listening to anything that is transmitted weather its analog or digital.
If its something that can help people avoid disasters then why not as those can be encountered more than regular flights and are irregular and random as transport can be from a random location each time whether its a highway or a sudden disaster area.
2015-8-25
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rayrokni
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i say again and i know i will be thought of as irresponsible:
a heli will beat the crap out of a 3lb p3, i do not see any danger. if we had a nfz because of hospitals, not many of us would be flying!!!
now i do not say go fly by hospitals when there is a heli approaching, no. what u did was very thoughtful and respectful but u were not putting the heli at risk, imo . the biggest danger flying near manned aircraft is the human response and over acting to a, IMO, harmless (for the heli) encounter.
Either way i am glad you did what u did, we dont need any bad publicity.
2015-8-25
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lasuncion
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i learn something new everyday, thanks for this.
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-8-26 07:19
i say again and i know i will be thought of as irresponsible:
a heli will beat the crap out of a 3lb ...

Yep... You are so wrong on this on.  If your three pound quad were to collide with the tail rotor, there would be a high chance it would render the tail rotor inoperative.  That would cause the chopper to have no rudder or yaw if you will.  The pilot would be forced to put it down immediately, since he is now being placed into a uncontrollable yaw spin and will not be able to reach LZ. That will equal a crash or a hard set down that end with a rollover with the main rotor at speed.  So yes a three pound quad can inflict serious danger to and low and slow flying aircraft.

Imagine the damage that your quad would suffer if you were to toss a golf ball into the blades when I was hovering.

-Dog
2015-8-25
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rayrokni
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Dive-N-Dog Posted at 2015-8-26 07:39
Yep... You are so wrong on this on.  If your three pound quad were to collide with the tail rotor,  ...

the air displacement from the main rotors would not let the p3 any where near it.
anything is possible, but u got to take in to account the probabilities too
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-8-26 07:44
the air displacement from the main rotors would not let the p3 any where near it.
anything is poss ...

The tail rotor sits farther back for that reason, so it doesn't get interference from the main rotor wash.  therefore the main rotor wash would not blow the quad away from the tail rotor.  In fact, depending on which side of the tail rotor the quad were to be on and how much rudder pitch the pilot could be applying.  The quad would get sucked into the tail rotor, if close enough.


-Dog
2015-8-25
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rayrokni
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Dive-N-Dog Posted at 2015-8-26 07:52
The tail rotor sits farther back for that reason therefore the main rotor wash would not blow the q ...

can we agree to disagree on it or should i say yes p3 if aimed correctly could down a heli?
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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rayrokni Posted at 2015-8-26 07:57
can we agree to disagree on it or should i say yes p3 if aimed correctly could down a heli?

The only thing that I would agree on is that our hobby has no business flying anywhere near real aircraft.   It doesn't matter whether or not the pilot were to get lucky and suffer a drone strike and survive or have a fatal crash.  

This hobby has a black eye right now. The media is jumping on any stories that they can report about drones. Wouldn't it be great if the only stories that they can report on are good ones?  I would like it to be around for a while.

-Dog
2015-8-25
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gregg1r
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-26 06:06
I am very interested in that because if something transmits i gotta listen to it that is if its no ...

The radio systems used by police and fire departments are trunked systems. They bounce from frequency to frequency depending on the channel that's open at the time.

I know you can receive transmissions via a newer hand held scanner. My old scanner scanned 10 channels and if there was nothing being used skipped to the next.
2015-8-25
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rayrokni
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Dive-N-Dog Posted at 2015-8-26 08:09
The only thing that I would agree on is that our hobby has no business flying anywhere near real a ...

i agree %100
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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gregg1r Posted at 2015-8-26 08:15
The radio systems used by police and fire departments are trunked systems. They bounce from freque ...

You will want to get a scanner with trunking. Depending on the phone you have there is an app that'll do it by linking to trunking scanners that are on the Internet.

-Dog
2015-8-25
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SpunOne69
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I don't know where you live, but if you look at DJI's NFZ map of San Francisco, every hospital is RED.  You have to really zoom in, to see what color they are, but its RED.  On the same note, a good friend of mine works at the SF VA Hospital, he has personally witnessed the Federal Police confiscate a drone flying in the empty parking lot at the west end of SFVA.  The new hospital is a few blocks east of the old abandoned hospital, but it is still a NFZ.  He asked the cops why they confiscated it, they told him all Federal property is considered Federal air space above it.  They told him that the guy could get his drone back if he showed up to pay the $750 ticket in Federal Court.
2015-8-25
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garrylane2
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Beyond whatever the proposed regs or existing FAR's that specifically address heliports and emergency flights, we would also be subject to the careless and reckless catch all regulation (at least for those of us in the USA.
2015-8-25
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garrylane2
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Anyone know of a source that collects state laws applicable to UAV's? As I cross New England borders I'd like to know what the applicable state laws are. Some of the state laws are horrible but we need to avoid violating them as well.
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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Willie Wonka Posted at 2015-8-26 00:36
There has to be communication between the hospital and the helicopter and in most cases that is not ...

All EMS  communicates to the hospital to give vitals and in some cases seek recommendations by a physician while in-route they also provide their ETA even if they are an ambulance or a medevac there are certain websites on the net to provide live audio feeds from scanners that are tuned into these frequencies. There's also this website that has a list of the frequencies available.  https://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?ctid=1191 not sure if this is your area, but here you go http://www.broadcastify.com/listen/ctid/1191/?rl=rr

-Dog
2015-8-25
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Dive-N-Dog
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garrylane2 Posted at 2015-8-26 08:46
Anyone know of a source that collects state laws applicable to UAV's? As I cross New England borders ...

That's an awesome idea! Maybe we could get a website put together that would have all of the rules and regulations for flying right down to the city level, that way you can check it before you fly in that area.

-Dog
2015-8-25
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Willie Wonka
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Dive-N-Dog Posted at 2015-8-26 08:54
All EMS  communicates to the hospital to give vitals and in some cases seek recommendations by a ph ...

I know radio reference as its my bible for finding local frequencies, but since medical airlifts are rare they don't have a set freq and in some cases they have talk group if its a trunked system, we need to take into account for all aspects and have location awareness while flying to make it safe for everyone.
2015-8-25
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brycerichert
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I fly mine around our hospital all the time. If you hear a helicopter coming in, just back off a couple hundred feet and record.
2015-8-26
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