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Close Call?
1086 15 2016-2-22
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nepaphantom3
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Hello everyone, I wanted to share my “close call” experience from yesterday afternoon.

It was an unseasonably warm winter day. Temp: 9c. Wind: 16kph. I had been flying around a small town at approximately 50 meters, happily taking photos and video. Just as I swiveled the camera downward to land, I heard the buzz of a small airplane. I knew of the no fly zone across the river but the sound was approaching quickly.

I moved the camera upward and saw a faint line. Is that the plane? The line quickly grew into the shape of a Cessna.

My mind went into a tizzy. I descended, and as it got closer, I could tell I was well below the plane.

I totally support no fly zones and local laws, and to my knowledge, I was in full compliance with both. Thanks for any feedback.

<video removed>

2016-2-22
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microcyb
First Officer
Flight distance : 1095955 ft
United States
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You are near an Airfield! Seriously, that was not where or how to fly your bird.
  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles when possible.
  • Keep your sUAS in eyesight at all times, and use an observer to assist if needed.
  • Remain well clear of and do not interfere with manned aircraft operations, and you must see and avoid other aircraft and obstacles at all times.
  • Do not intentionally fly over unprotected persons or moving vehicles, and remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and vulnerable property.
  • Contact the airport or control tower before flying within five miles of an airport.
  • Fly no closer than two nautical miles from a heliport with a published instrument flight procedure.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions such as in high winds or reduced visibility.
  • Do not fly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Ensure the operating environment is safe and that the operator is competent and proficient in the operation of the sUAS.
  • Do not fly near or over sensitive infrastructure or property such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not conduct surveillance or photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy without the individual’s permission (see AMA’s privacy policy).

2016-2-22
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rreindl
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Flight distance : 6491926 ft
United States
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I would not have flown there knowing there is a landing strip so close and inline with the runway.

Scary!

I even get nervous in my area when I see "low" flying choppers and planes. I am well away from a no fly zone. The problem is I have no idea how low the choppers or planes are actually flying and hope they are above 400 feet.

Does anybody know if choppers and planes are required to fly above a certain altitude if they are beyond 5 miles from an airport?   

2016-2-22
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microcyb
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Small aircraft do sometime fly at or even below 400 feet even within 10 miles or a small airport.  I see pilots flying way too low sometimes.  To be really safe, look up the near by local airport for small crafts and look where the landing strips are.
The small aircraft's can get damaged if hit by a Phantom and could cause a crash.  very serious stuff.
2016-2-22
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nepaphantom3
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microcyb Posted at 2016-2-22 10:29
You are near an Airfield! Seriously, that was not where or how to fly your bird.
  • Fly no higher t ...

  • Thanks microcyb. Curious... where did you obtain this list of regulations? Are they FAA? You mention that this is not "where" or "how" to fly.  Where: call me oblivious, but if I was outside a no fly zone and without seeing the regs your just posted, I presumed I was ok. How: was there another issue with my flying beside being near an airfield? All in all, I posted this because it will be a learning experience for me and I'm sure some others.
    2016-2-22
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    rreindl
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    microcyb Posted at 2016-2-22 09:39
    Small aircraft do sometime fly at or even below 400 feet even within 10 miles or a small airport.  I ...

    The airport they are most likely going to or coming from is about 7.7 miles away. To bad I can't tell how low they are flying.
    2016-2-22
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    microcyb
    First Officer
    Flight distance : 1095955 ft
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    Have you registered your drone yet?
    https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

    https://www.faa.gov/uas/model_aircraft/

    That was way too close to an airfield, and just think you would have gone straight to jail if there was a crash.
    Here is an app also https://www.faa.gov/uas/b4ufly/

    2016-2-22
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    microcyb
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    nepaphantom3 Posted at 2016-2-22 10:46
    Thanks microcyb. Curious... where did you obtain this list of regulations? Are they FAA? You menti ...

    Rule of thumb is if you see an airstrip, don't be in a straight line of it.
    Your flying skills are great, and the way you panned around to follow him land were great, but if there was a collision, you would have been in some major trouble.

    I would suggest, keep droning on, and be happy, nothing happened.
    2016-2-22
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    nepaphantom3
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    microcyb Posted at 2016-2-22 10:54
    Have you registered your drone yet?
    https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

    Yes. I hope the DJI GO app expands nfz's to 5 miles in a future update in order to prevent ideas like mine: "I'm outside the red zone so I'm good to go". I'm printing the list of regulations, thanks again.
    2016-2-22
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    rskardon
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    If I were you i would probably take that video down... learn from the experience and observe the 5 mile rule from now on...
    2016-2-22
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    nepaphantom3
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    rskardon Posted at 2016-2-22 11:07
    If I were you i would probably take that video down... learn from the experience and observe the 5 m ...

    Good idea. Thanks all.
    2016-2-22
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    microcyb
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    rskardon Posted at 2016-2-22 11:07
    If I were you i would probably take that video down... learn from the experience and observe the 5 m ...

    I agree, might get you in hot water. Some might use it against us "Dronies".
    2016-2-22
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    WetDog
    lvl.3
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    microcyb Posted at 2016-2-22 06:54
    Have you registered your drone yet?
    https://www.faa.gov/uas/registration/

    Stop with the Sturm Und Drang.  You don't go directly to jail.  If the pilot was below 400 feet outside of a landing corridor, she/he is partially at blame.  That said, the OP did exactly what they were supposed to do - descend.  The lower you are, the less chance the Cessna will be in your face.

    The OP also started out lower than the plane.  It is incredibly difficult to judge heights from a P3.  The pilot could well have been 600 feet up and perfectly safe.

    But the OP seems to have failed to contact the tower - from his description he was well within the 5 mile radius for mandatory tower contact.  And, as has been mentioned, it's not so smart to fly anywhere near a glide zone.
    2016-2-22
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    terrylewis
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    Flight distance : 3517287 ft
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    WetDog Posted at 2016-2-23 01:14
    Stop with the Sturm Und Drang.  You don't go directly to jail.  If the pilot was below 400 feet ou ...

    For any quadcopter pilots reading this thread, if you registered with the FAA, then it's probably in your best interests to take a look at or a least be aware of the FAA B4UFLY APP

    It's available HERE on iTunes and still in beta for Android HERE on Google Play store. While the app still needs work, it is informative to help you understand flying in our National Airspace as a recreational pilot.

    If you registered, you are obligated to call any airfield and alert them of your intentions to fly within their airspace prior to flight if you are within their 5 mile radius. So this pilot should have called Skyhaven Airport (0.56 miles), Tunkhannock Hospital (3.15 miles), and CJK Airport (3.59 miles).

    Numerous other smartphone/tablet apps are available to assist with safe flying if you choose to bypass B4UFLY:
    UAV Forecast now includes mapping to show airports and FAA TFRs.

    Air Map partners with DJI and other vendors to provide information and can be used independently.

    Hover is available on both iOS and Android.

    There are probably dozens of others that fellow pilots can share.
    The bottomline is please don't allow yourself to become an enforcement example. Ignorance of your pre-flight requirements will not provide an adequate defense.


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    2016-2-22
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    microcyb
    First Officer
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    WetDog Posted at 2016-2-22 12:14
    Stop with the Sturm Und Drang.  You don't go directly to jail.  If the pilot was below 400 feet ou ...

    True, the OP was doing just fine, and the distance appears to be at least 200 feet between each other, but still, the general public who hate drones are just itching to ban the use of drones as a recreational activity.  Just want to make sure no more liberals have fuel to add to the fire for Quad flyers.

    He sadly could face fines, and also damages to the aircraft, and yes also possible jail time in the event of a air collision as the FAA owns the skies..

    The national drone registry is open for business. The federal government is requiring owners of unmanned aerial vehicles to share their information — and those who refuse or ignore the rules could face stiff penalties.

    The maximum civil penalty is a fine of up to $27,500. Criminal penalties can reach $250,000 or three years in prison. https://www.faa.gov/uas/regulati ... PO_LEA_Guidance.pdf  Model Aircraft that Operate in a Careless or Reckless Manner Section 336(b) of the Act, however, makes clear that the FAA has the authority under its existing regulations to pursue legal enforcement action against persons operating Model Aircraft when the operations endanger the safety of the NAS, even if they are operating in accordance with section 336(a) and 336(c). So, for example, a Model Aircraft operation conducted in accordance with section 336(a) and (c) may be subject to an enforcement action for violation of 14 C.F.R. § 91.13 if the operation is conducted in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

    Small aircraft's have the right of way in this case, so unless you have a good lawyer, you can indeed face jail time if your drone is not registered and did not pay the fines, and/or damages to the plane.




    2016-2-22
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    nepaphantom3
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    terrylewis Posted at 2016-2-22 12:31
    For any quadcopter pilots reading this thread, if you registered with the FAA, then it's probably  ...

    A wealth of information here! Many thanks terrylewis.
    2016-2-22
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