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Are Drones truly a threat to planes? NO.
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fans90d4f438
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https://www.mercatus.org/publica ... ildlife-strike-data

*post edited by mod to include article contents*

Do Consumer Drones Endanger the National Airspace? Evidence from Wildlife Strike Data

                     In  December 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced a  new interim final rule that for the first time imposed regulation on the  operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) as model aircraft. In the  name of a safe national airspace, the new regulations require operators  of drones weighing more than 250g (0.55 pounds) to register with the  agency.
   Yet many drones weighing more than 250g are little more than toys. Do  they really pose a risk to the airspace? To explore this question, we  examine 25 years of data from the FAA’s wildlife strike database.  Although aircraft collide with birds many thousands of times per year,  only a tiny fraction of those collisions result in damage to the  aircraft, much less human injuries or deaths. The most serious reported  incidents typically involved flocks of large birds. Since the addition  of UAS to the airspace is similar in many respects to an increase in the  bird population, we conclude that the risk to the airspace caused by  small drones (for example, weighing up to 2kg, or 4.41 pounds) flying in  solitary formation is minimal.
   Overview of the Data

   US national airspace is home to an estimated 10 billion birds, some  of which occasionally interfere with civil aviation. To track the risk  this wildlife poses to human flight, the FAA has been collecting reports  of aircraft collisions with wildlife in the National Wildlife Strike  Database since 1990. Strike reporting is voluntary. When a wildlife  strike occurs, airlines, airports, pilots, or other parties report the  incident through an online portal, with data about the aircraft, the  flight, the species of wildlife struck, and extent of damage caused.
   Compared to the enormous population of birds, damaging bird strikes  are rare. Since 1990, there has been a sevenfold increase in reported  bird strikes owing both to growing bird populations and to the growing  ease of reporting strikes online. But as figure 1 shows, strikes causing  damage have actually declined from a peak of 764 in 2000, thanks to  bird management efforts from airports. Specifically, airports have  mitigated bird hazards by focusing on eliminating natural attractants of  the large bird species that are responsible for the most serious  incidents, like waste disposal areas and wetlands.
   Figure 1. Reported Wildlife Strikes Causing Damage, 1990–2014
   
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.
   When large birds are ingested in jet engines, they may cause  substantial damage, including crashes. While these birds do not number  in the billions, they still maintain a significant presence. The US is  home to nearly 1.9 million turkey vultures, for instance, and between 2  to 3 million snow geese enter the United States each winter. Contrary to  sensational media headlines, the skies are crowded not by drones, but  by fowl.
   Figure 2 illustrates that while the FAA has recorded over 160,000  wildlife strikes since 1990, only 14,314 bird strike incidents have  resulted in damage. Of these, 80 percent were caused by medium- to  large-sized animals. On average, only 3 percent of reported small-bird  strikes ever result in damage, compared to 39 percent of large-bird  strikes. Given the voluntary nature of strike reporting, the true  percentage of strikes causing damage is probably much lower, as strikes  that do not cause damage can be either missed or underreported.
   Figure 2. Reported Wildlife Strikes, 1990–2014
   
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.
   Injuries are even less common. Among the 398 people who have  sustained injuries as a result of bird strikes, 100 stem from a single  incident: the famous 2009 crash of US Airways Flight 1549 into the  Hudson River. This spike can be seen in figure 3. Prototypically, the  culprit was determined to be a gaggle of geese, an unknown number of  which were sucked into both jet engines immediately following takeoff.
   Figure 3. Casualties from Wildlife Strikes, 1990–2014
   
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.
   In total, there have been 238 wildlife strike incidents in which  there were injuries or fatalities. To get an idea of how many of these  affect commercial aviation, we can exclude incidents in which the  operator is listed as “business,” “privately owned,” “government,” or  “unknown” to narrow the total number of commercial incidents to 37. We  should view these 37 incidents over more than 25 years in the context of  approximately 27,000 commercial flights per day.
   In more than 25 years of data, only 12 wildlife strike incidents  resulted in fatalities. Out of these incidents, three of the aircraft  were helicopters, one was a homebuilt aerobatic plane, one was an  experimental aircraft, and one was a privately owned McDonnell Douglas  A-4 Skyhawk, a Vietnam War–era fighter jet. One aircraft was a Cessna  Citation jet, and four others were small Cessna or Piper  propeller-driven aircraft. Out of the 12 incidents with fatalities, only  one involved a commercial airline: In 2000, an Embraer EMB-120 operated  by Atlantic Southeast Airlines hit a pair of white-tailed deer on its  landing roll. The passenger in seat 3C suffered injuries and eventually  died from an infection. Not a single one of the fatal incidents involved  a bird that was reported as “small.”

   Estimating the Probability of Casualties and Damage
   Although the number of reported bird strikes has increased  substantially since 1990, the increase is probably due to the improved  ease of reporting. Figure 4 shows over time both an increase in the  number of reported wildlife strikes and a decrease in the proportion of  reported incidents with reported damage. This is consistent with the  hypothesis that in the early part of the observed period, reports were  frequently not filed at all if there was no damage to the aircraft. For  our econometric analysis of the probability of a strike causing damage  or injury, we focus on the years 2009 and later to compensate for the  effect of limited participation in reporting in earlier years.
   Figure 4. The Relationship between Wildlife Strike Reporting and Damage, 1990–2014
   
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.
   We use probit regressions of casualty and damage reports on bird  species weight for birds (and flying mammals) for collisions taking  place in 2009 or later with a single animal to estimate the probability  of casualty or damage conditional upon a strike with an animal of a  certain weight. Figure 5 shows our estimate that damage to an aircraft  will occur in around 20 percent of strikes with animals weighing around  2kg. And in figure 6, we further estimate that the probability of the  incident resulting in passenger injury or death is about 0.2 percent for  animals weighing around 2kg.
   Figure 5. Probability of Damage by Bird Size, Single Collision
   
   Note: This chart uses data from 2009–2015 only.
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.
   Figure 6. Probability of Injury or Death by Bird Size, Single Collision
   
   Note: This chart uses data from 2009–2015 only.
   Source: Federal Aviation Administration, Wildlife Strike Database.

   Estimating the Probability of a Collision
   Bird strikes provide an excellent parallel phenomenon for estimating  the magnitude of damage a small UAS could cause by colliding with a  manned aircraft. But as previously mentioned, without an estimate of UAS  strike frequency, the magnitude of damage is insufficient to properly  gauge risk. The size of the effect has to be multiplied by the chance of  it actually occurring.
   In 2014, there were 13,414 reported collisions with birds and flying  mammals, counting incidents in which flocks of birds hit an aircraft as a  single collision. As there are on the order of 10 billion birds in US  airspace, this means that plausibly 1 bird in 1 million collides with an  aircraft every year.
   Even if we take UAS operators to be about as deliberate and skilled  at avoiding aircraft as birds, we cannot similarly estimate that 1 UAS  in 1 million UAS will collide with aircraft every year. Not only are UAS  operators able to reason about human-piloted aircraft and airfield  landing patterns better than birds are, UAS have very short battery  lives and may sit idle for months at a time. In contrast, an  observational study of bird behavior near wind turbines found the  average bird spends roughly equal amounts of time flying as perching.  Flight time is much more variable, however, with some migratory birds  potentially flying as long as six months nonstop.
   FAA commonly refers to “acceptable risk levels” for general aviation  in terms of fatalities per 100,000 flight hours. Using the  aforementioned finding that birds spend roughly half their lives in  flight, the fact that there were 13,414 bird strikes in 2014, and an  estimate of 10 billion birds in US airspace, we estimate that there are  3.06x10−5 bird strikes (both damaging and not) per 100,000 bird flight  hours. This risk level is comparable to the 5x10−5 fatality risk  cited by the drone registration task force as acceptable for general  aviation, without even adjusting for the probability of injury or  fatality.
   To date, no commercial drone or consumer quadrocopter has ever  collided with an aircraft in US airspace. Given that there are likely  now more than 1 million UAS in US airspace, if they had equivalent  flight hours to birds we might expect at least one UAS collision with an  aircraft per year. However, taking into consideration human agency and  the far more limited time most UAS spend in the air, the true UAS  collision rate is likely orders of magnitude lower.

   What Bird Strikes Reveal about UAS Risks to the Airspace
   The FAA has based its rationale for a consumer UAS registry on a  growing incidence of UAS sightings and “near misses.” As its docket  argued, “Pilot reports of UAS sightings in 2015 are double the rate of  2014. Pilots have reported seeing drones at altitudes up to 10,000 feet,  or as close as half-a-mile from the approach end of a runway. . . . The  risk of unsafe operations will only increase as more UAS enter the  national airspace.”
   In a 2015 investigation, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)  called the validity of these near miss reports into question. Of the 764  near miss incidents recorded by the FAA, the AMA found only 27, or 3.5  percent, were genuine UAS near misses. Instead, the FAA had been  counting simple sightings as near misses—even when the operators were  fully compliant with current UAS regulation. The FAA has also counted  several cases where the pilot had explicitly reported that it was not a  near miss, and more than a dozen cases where the flying object was  officially unidentified. The AMA therefore accused the FAA of creating  fuel for sensationalized and inaccurate media reports which, with the  benefit of hindsight, helped build momentum for its rulemaking.
   Our analysis has been based on actual bird strikes, not near misses  or simple sightings. We find in general that small UAS under 2kg pose a  negligible risk to the safety of the national airspace. We estimate that  6.12x10−6 collisions will cause damage to an aircraft for every 100,000  hours of 2kg UAS flight time. Or to put it another way, one damaging  incident will occur no more than every 1.87 million years of 2kg UAS  flight time. We further estimate that 6.12x10−8 collisions that cause an  injury or fatality to passengers on board an aircraft will occur every  100,000 hours of 2kg UAS flight time, or once every 187 million years of  operation. This appears to be an acceptable risk to the airspace.
   Our analysis has some limitations. First, birds and UAS are composed  of different materials, so it is possible that UAS-aircraft collisions  are more likely to cause damage or casualties than bird-aircraft  collisions. Although the FAA requires jet engines to undergo bird strike  tests, it does not require them to undergo UAS strike tests, so it is  not possible to empirically assess the additional degree of damage  potentially caused by more rigid materials. Second, our assessment of  the damage and casualties caused by birds has focused on incidents in  which aircraft collide with individual birds, as opposed to flocks of  birds. The rationale for this decision is that UAS do not typically fly  in flocks, and therefore, collisions with individual birds provide a  better point of comparison. However, if swarms of UAS were to become an  increasingly common operational pattern, one would want to revisit our  analysis to account for that fact.
   Since the probability of any collision with any UAS is around  3.06x10−5 per 100,000 flight hours, countries that have even higher  cutoffs for regulation than 2kg can be said to be acting responsibly.  For example, the United Kingdom and Denmark have a 7kg threshold above  which recreational UAS operators must inform their nearest air traffic  controller or fly in an approved flying site. For registration, France  recently moved to a 2kg threshold, while Canada still has a generous  35kg threshold.
   Although UAS at the above thresholds are more likely to cause damage  and injury than the 250g cutoff adopted by the FAA, we still estimate  that the probability of a collision remains at an acceptable level.



  
      
2017-2-23
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DRONE-flies-YOU
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Pointless. There's no data. Unless you want to compare 15-pages about apples to tell us oranges are safe. Birds are not hard plastic and metal. Until drones are launched at aircraft with a cannon, there won't be good data.
2017-2-23
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swk
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Just more government overreach
2017-2-23
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AG0N-Gary
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You fly an airplane into a drone at over 100MPH and tell me there's no damage.  That's a crock.
2017-2-23
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fans90d4f438
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If one reads and truly comprehends this detailed and thorough study, it clearly explains why PROBABILITY of collision between drone and plane is extremely low.
2017-2-23
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fans90d4f438
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Of the 764 near miss reports by FAA, only 3.5 percent were actually close. FAA reports ANY sighting of drone by pilot as 'near', even in cases where drones were flying in compliance with FAA guidelines.
2017-2-23
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Jdwyier
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Regardless of the data presented, the fact is we cannot control birds, they are a hazard of our natural world.  We can however control how humans utilize public space to reduce hazards to others. That's why there are speed limits and punishments for exceeding them on public roads, and airspace is regulated.  

There is always a some clown somewhere that will push well past the limits of common sense and defend their reckless behavior that endangered or caused others harm with the "Well, there was no law against so I didn't do anything wrong!".  Which is always followed by the creation of... you guessed it, a new and quite probably overly restrictive law or regulation.  

Youtube is full of people flying drones in places and in ways that clearly show a lack of common sense or respect for others or their property. Where common sense fails laws and regulations get created and they will always be written to the extreme of over regulation in an effort to keep the extremely stupid among us in check.

2017-2-23
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msisrael
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I am all for flying responsibly but I think that the perception of the true risks posed by Phantom (let alone Mavic) sized drones is way overdone.  We clearly don't want these things getting near commercial airliners, but a lot of the hysteria around flying around skyscrapers and so forth is just that - hysteria.  Could someone get hurt by a falling Phantom or Mavic?  Of course they could.   Is it likely?  How many Phantom sized drones have been sold since they first came out?  2 million?  3 million?   I am virtually certain there has not been a fatality from one of these drones yet and while I am less certain I don't believe there has been a dismemberment of a life threatening injury.  With any new product it is tough to determine the risk profile, but after 2 or 3 million of these things have been sold with no human toll other than perhaps some emergency room visits for stitches one can start to make some long term risk assessments.  The absence of bad events becomes the proverbial dog that didn't bark in the night.  Again I am not in any way saying people shouldn't be careful and above all stay away from airports and airplanes.  That being said, the amount of ink that has been spilled on the dangers of drones is completely disproportionate to the observable risk.    What galls me is that in the United States anyway any idiot can walk into a Wal Mart and walk out with an extremely dangerous consumer product called a firearm.  These products not only can hurt and kill people, they DO hurt and kill people on a daily basis.  It would be the equivalent of a drone knocking a 737 out of the sky every month or so.  And yet it continues and I would guess if you took a survey of the public about whether drones or guns posed more risk to public safety the latter would be seen as being less dangerous.  Thus my two cents.  
2017-2-23
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aesculus
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Clearly this article is about the probability of a drone strike, not whether hard plastic and metal will cause more damage.  We all know it will cause damage if someone intentionally flies a drone into the path of an oncoming aircraft.  Given that all drone pilots always acted in good faith and never tried to harm an aircraft, it would indeed take several million years to cause injury.  But there are stupid people out there.

So the FAA needs to make a rule to prohibit the 999,999 other drone pilots from flying over 400 feet because that 1 in a million moron will do something stupid?  C'mon.  How about we prohibit cars from crossing bridges since someone could force you off the edge?
2017-2-23
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Lee Drone
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Its not a question of how much damage can be done.
What everyone needs to understand is that airline pilots have several “missions” per work day and they are supposed to be able to pilot many souls unencumbered once given clearance by air traffic control. Any traffic not reporting to ATC is a problem if in air traffic airspace. Below 400 ft at the legal distance from an aerodrome is not going to be a problem unless the pilot is going outside his bounds. Then he is in the wrong. Above that and in no fly zones and training zones…..it could be a meeting. A meeting could be not serious if we’re talking a B737 or larger however a drone could take down any aircraft if the stars align in the wrong way…...even the 737.  Pilots are very busy below 10000 feet and any distraction is a problem. Even the flashing lights of a drone far away will get a pilots blood running thinking there is unexpected visual traffic. I personally think that anything but department store drones should require a license and skill/knowledge test. Otherwise the hammer will drop and all will be banned…..except for the gov.
Are we all in favour of allowing giant scale RC cars playing around on the interstate? Ya we can just run them over…..but what if you freak out and roll?
Fortunately most dumb drone pilots crash and burn early….unfortunate for the rest of us that have to hear about the inevitable drone malfunction.
2017-2-24
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onetyme
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swk Posted at 2017-2-23 15:16
Just more government overreach

You can say that again.  Overreach and a new funding source $$ to take advantage of.   Even though it still is considered a model aircraft.
2017-2-24
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fans90d4f438 Posted at 2017-2-23 18:40
If one reads and truly comprehends this detailed and thorough study, it clearly explains why PROBABILITY of collision between drone and plane is extremely low.

The chances of a plane crash while flying is extremely low as we all know, do you think we should become less stringent on safety laws and rules about flying and preparing aircraft, I can only surmise but I think your answer would be No.

If there is only a very very slim chance of a drone putting manned aircraft in danger then everything humanly possible should be done to prevent this happening.
2017-2-24
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RearViewMirror
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fans90d4f438 Posted at 2017-2-23 18:40
If one reads and truly comprehends this detailed and thorough study, it clearly explains why PROBABILITY of collision between drone and plane is extremely low.

I truly did read and comprehend what you posted. Clearly the probability is low. But the probability is not 0% so that's a chance that I'm not willing to take. I will willingly follow the guidelines set forth by the FAA when I signed for my card. I know for certain that my craft will not strike a manned aircraft because of where and how I fly. IIRC I've read some of your posts and IIRC you posted that you flew directly up at a high elevation (WiFI signal thread I think? Correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to me that you want to argue the fact that you want to fly however you want to fly and interpret the regulations how you see fit. You can put up all the graphs of improbability you like but until the probability of a drone strike of a manned aircraft is 0% I will follow the rules set forth that you signed for your FAA license. Just my opinion. You don't have to agree or like it but it will remain my opinion. I will continue to fly safely.
2017-2-24
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aesculus
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RearViewMirror Posted at 2017-2-24 09:41
I truly did read and comprehend what you posted. Clearly the probability is low. But the probability is not 0% so that's a chance that I'm not willing to take. I will willingly follow the guidelines set forth by the FAA when I signed for my card. I know for certain that my craft will not strike a manned aircraft because of where and how I fly. IIRC I've read some of your posts and IIRC you posted that you flew directly up at a high elevation (WiFI signal thread I think? Correct me if I'm wrong). It seems to me that you want to argue the fact that you want to fly however you want to fly and interpret the regulations how you see fit. You can put up all the graphs of improbability you like but until the probability of a drone strike of a manned aircraft is 0% I will follow the rules set forth that you signed for your FAA license. Just my opinion. You don't have to agree or like it but it will remain my opinion. I will continue to fly safely.

A 0% chance of a collision?  Nonsense.  If you're not willing to take a chance greater than 0% then burn your aircraft and find another hobby, because that's the only way to assure with 100% probability that you will not cause harm.  As soon as you leave the ground you have increased the risk many times over.
2017-2-24
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RearViewMirror
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aesculus Posted at 2017-2-24 10:08
A 0% chance of a collision?  Nonsense.  If you're not willing to take a chance greater than 0% then burn your aircraft and find another hobby, because that's the only way to assure with 100% probability that you will not cause harm.  As soon as you leave the ground you have increased the risk many times over.

Not of hitting a aircraft I don't. And that's what we're talking about here.
2017-2-24
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fans90d4f438
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Again, for those of you who choose to register and follow FAA guidelines to the letter? That's wonderful. Please continue to do so.

I for one, will not.  I will continue to fly above 400 feet when I choose to (there is NO law stating that I must remain below 400 feet) and as the craft fully allows me to (including the Mavic), and will fully utilize the FPV functions available to me via DJI's offering. On my phone and when they are made available, via their goggles.

DJI continues to increase the range of how far their craft can go.  I plan to continue to utilize the tech that DJI makes available to me.
2017-2-24
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aesculus
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RearViewMirror Posted at 2017-2-24 10:09
Not of hitting a aircraft I don't. And that's what we're talking about here.

We're talking about the probability of a drone strike on an aircraft.  If you choose to share the airspace with full-scale aircraft, then once you've left the ground you've left your 0% probability behind.  Even if you consider yourself the most conscientious pilot, errors still happen, whether they are human or mechanical.  Drones fly out of control, pilots get disoriented.  It happens.  Will it happen to you?  Probably, if you continue to fly drones every day for at least the next several millenia.  That's without any government oversight.  Now if you need the FAA to help you ensure that it will more likely take 187 million years to cause injury, then you're on the right track.  We all have our comfort zones.
2017-2-24
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RearViewMirror
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aesculus Posted at 2017-2-24 10:34
We're talking about the probability of a drone strike on an aircraft.  If you choose to share the airspace with full-scale aircraft, then once you've left the ground you've left your 0% probability behind.  Even if you consider yourself the most conscientious pilot, errors still happen, whether they are human or mechanical.  Drones fly out of control, pilots get disoriented.  It happens.  Will it happen to you?  Probably, if you continue to fly drones every day for at least the next several millenia.  That's without any government oversight.  Now if you need the FAA to help you ensure that it will more likely take 187 million years to cause injury, then you're on the right track.  We all have our comfort zones.

I'll concede the loss of control of the drone scenario. That is a valid point and you are correct with that point. As long as "I" am in control of the drone and no malfunctions are present then I'm comfortable. Maybe 0% is a unrealistic / unattainable target but I'm going to remain as close to that as possible. Flying over 400ft that percentage continues to rise (pun intended).
2017-2-24
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fans90d4f438 Posted at 2017-2-24 10:25
Again, for those of you who choose to register and follow FAA guidelines to the letter? That's wonderful. Please continue to do so.

I for one, will not.  I will continue to fly above 400 feet when I choose to (there is NO law stating that I must remain below 400 feet) and as the craft fully allows me to (including the Mavic), and will fully utilize the FPV functions available to me via DJI's offering. On my phone and when they are made available, via their goggles.

Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”
2017-2-24
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RearViewMirror
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hallmark007 Posted at 2017-2-24 10:42
Never argue with an idiot. They will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

Lol
2017-2-24
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Mavic 007
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I think it is also important to point out the anatomy of bird's bones, as the rest of their bodies are mostly water.

Taken from wikipedia: "Birds have many bones that are hollow (pneumatized) with criss-crossing struts or trusses for structural strength. The number of hollow bones varies among species, though large gliding and soaring birds tend to have the most. Respiratory air sacs often form air pockets within the semi-hollow bones of the bird's skeleton."

Compare that to the drone made of plastic and a dense lithium battery. I would certainly believe a bird strike is far more manageable than that of a drone.
2017-2-24
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fans90d4f438
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Mavic 007 Posted at 2017-2-24 10:48
I think it is also important to point out the anatomy of bird's bones, as the rest of their bodies are mostly water.

Taken from wikipedia: "Birds have many bones that are hollow (pneumatized) with criss-crossing struts or trusses for structural strength. The number of hollow bones varies among species, though large gliding and soaring birds tend to have the most. Respiratory air sacs often form air pockets within the semi-hollow bones of the bird's skeleton."

true. But as the study points out, chances of bird strike occurring is exponentially higher than a bird strike.
2017-2-24
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rydfree41
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For decades before drones that fly themselves at 4+ miles range we the RC community had guidelines . Now there's that that damn word “Must” ‘lol

3.    Do I need permission from the FAA to fly a UAS for recreation or as a hobby?
There are two ways for recreational or hobby UAS fliers to operate in the National Airspace System in accordance with the law and/or FAA regulations. Each of the two options has specific requirements that the UAS operator must follow. The decision as to which option to follow is up to the individual operator.
Option #1. Fly in accordance with the Special Rule for Model Aircraft (Public Law 112-95 Section 336). Under this rule, operators must:
a.     Fly for hobby or recreational purposes only
b.    Follow a community-based set of safety guidelines
c.    Fly the UAS within visual line-of-sight
d.    Give way to manned aircraft
e.    Provide prior notification to the airport and air traffic control tower, if one is present, when flying within 5 miles of an airport
f.     Fly UAS that weigh no more than 55 lbs. unless certified by a community-based organization
g.    Register the aircraft (UAS over 0.55 lbs. and less than 55 lbs. can be registered online at registermyuas.faa.gov; UAS 55 lbs. or greater must be registered through the FAA's paper-based process)
2017-2-26
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AG0N-Gary Posted at 2017-2-23 18:32
You fly an airplane into a drone at over 100MPH and tell me there's no damage.  That's a crock.

That is not what the article was about.
2017-2-26
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RMD 1960
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I dont want to be riding in the plane that eventually collides with a drone. I have seen the results of two private planes that struck birds. No one was killed but it was a dire emergency situation. One a Cessna struck group of blackbirds causing extensive wing damage and pilot landed it in a field. The other was a six passenger Piper that struck a duck at 3000 feetAGL Duck went through the plexiglass windshield, and struck the pilot injuring him badly. Luckily there was a regional airport directly ahead of him and he managed to somehow get it on the ground. Inside the plane was a bloody mess. Bird strikes can cause an emergency situation on huge airliners.
2017-2-26
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msisrael Posted at 2017-2-23 21:48
I am all for flying responsibly but I think that the perception of the true risks posed by Phantom (let alone Mavic) sized drones is way overdone.  We clearly don't want these things getting near commercial airliners, but a lot of the hysteria around flying around skyscrapers and so forth is just that - hysteria.  Could someone get hurt by a falling Phantom or Mavic?  Of course they could.   Is it likely?  How many Phantom sized drones have been sold since they first came out?  2 million?  3 million?   I am virtually certain there has not been a fatality from one of these drones yet and while I am less certain I don't believe there has been a dismemberment of a life threatening injury.  With any new product it is tough to determine the risk profile, but after 2 or 3 million of these things have been sold with no human toll other than perhaps some emergency room visits for stitches one can start to make some long term risk assessments.  The absence of bad events becomes the proverbial dog that didn't bark in the night.  Again I am not in any way saying people shouldn't be careful and above all stay away from airports and airplanes.  That being said, the amount of ink that has been spilled on the dangers of drones is completely disproportionate to the observable risk.    What galls me is that in the United States anyway any idiot can walk into a Wal Mart and walk out with an extremely dangerous consumer product called a firearm.  These products not only can hurt and kill people, they DO hurt and kill people on a daily basis.  It would be the equivalent of a drone knocking a 737 out of the sky every month or so.  And yet it continues and I would guess if you took a survey of the public about whether drones or guns posed more risk to public safety the latter would be seen as being less dangerous.  Thus my two cents.

Good Points
2017-2-26
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Mustang1993
lvl.2

Canada
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The speed of the drone is not really relevant as it's the speed of the larger aircraft that will determine the possible damage.  Majority of large aircraft are flying in excess of 100 knots during take off and landing much higher than most over the counter drones.  Another point is that I'm pretty sure all of the drone pilots in the incidents did not want to have their drone crash into anything after spending a good sum of money on one.

That is exactly what the study says.  Birds are not aware of the dangers from airplanes at all.  Pilots are aware of the danger from birds and other aircraft however.

I recommend everyone read the CARs on the TC website http://www.tc.gc.ca/eng/acts-reg ... tions-sor96-433.htm
If you search for AGL you'll find the regs quickly about elevation requirements

You should realize that manned aircraft must fly much higher then 300 feet except during take off and landing.
2017-4-17
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Xman1
Second Officer

United States
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I will have to say, hitting a sparrow at 200 MPH sheered off the nose cone and would have probably penetrated the windshield had it been a bit higher.

This is a soft body small bird we are talking about here.

So I will say that the drone, even the Mavic, represents a danger to aircraft of all types having experienced it first hand.

Just an additional note:  We were finding body parts of that sparrow for at least year after impact inside the engine cowling every time we took it apart.  It gets a little crispy over time.

To the person that said an aircraft must fly higher than 300 feet, there is no hard set rule for that over non-populated areas.
2017-4-17
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DroneFlying
Captain
Flight distance : 10774613 ft
United States
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Xman1 Posted at 2017-4-17 18:34
I will have to say, hitting a sparrow at 200 MPH sheered off the nose cone and would have probably penetrated the windshield had it been a bit higher.

This is a soft body small bird we are talking about here.

To the person that said an aircraft must fly higher than 300 feet, there is no hard set rule for that over non-populated areas.

Actually there is. You can only fly below 500 feet "over open water [and] sparsely populated areas" and only as long as you don't get "closer than 500 freet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure":

§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
(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.
2017-4-18
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Xman1
Second Officer

United States
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DroneFlying Posted at 2017-4-18 02:23
To the person that said an aircraft must fly higher than 300 feet, there is no hard set rule for that over non-populated areas.

Actually there is. You can only fly below 500 feet "over open water [and] sparsely populated areas" and only as long as you don't get "closer than 500 freet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure":

This is exactly what I just said.  I said no hard set rule over non-populated (change the word to sparsely if you want) areas.

Note the part about 500 feet from structures, people, and vehicles does not mean 500 feet in altitude.  It could be 500 feet latteral if you want.  You could be 2 feet off the ground as long as you are 500 feet from said object or person.
2017-4-18
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DroneFlying
Captain
Flight distance : 10774613 ft
United States
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Xman1 Posted at 2017-4-18 06:10
This is exactly what I just said.  I said no hard set rule over non-populated (change the word to sparsely if you want) areas.

Note the part about 500 feet from structures, people, and vehicles does not mean 500 feet in altitude.  It could be 500 feet latteral if you want.  You could be 2 feet off the ground as long as you are 500 feet from said object or person.

This is exactly what I just said.

I guess that's a matter of opinion, but "non-populated" is a meaningless term. And in my opinion you implied that you can fly below 500 feet whenever you're in "non-populated" areas, but as the information I posted shows it's not nearly as simple as that. And yes, there definitely is a "hard set rule": flight below 500 feet is allowed, but only in a fairly narrow set of circumstances.
2017-4-18
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Xman1
Second Officer

United States
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DroneFlying Posted at 2017-4-18 06:47
This is exactly what I just said.

I guess that's a matter of opinion, but "non-populated" is a meaningless term. And in my opinion you implied that you can fly below 500 feet whenever you're in "non-populated" areas, but as the information I posted shows it's not nearly as simple as that.

I think you are reading into my post too much outside what I intended to convey.  What I am referring to is there is no hard fast rule that an aircraft will be at 500 feet altitude in a sparsely populated area and you shouldn't expect that it will be.

500 feet from you is pretty dang close.
2017-4-18
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rnrnrn
Second Officer
Flight distance : 430932 ft
Germany
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I must say that this discussion is both interesting and a little bit unfortunate. Why interesting? Because it tries (from the first post) to point out things which are not being considered when drafting and implementing regulations. That is a shame. It is a bit unfortunate because the automatic reaction of most people is "drones will knock planes out of the sky" and that's it. No discussion is possible with such an outlook. And yes I've read all the more sensible posts above and I do take note - but the general reaction is what it is and it will drip onto forums such as this one, yet again unfortunately.

I'm not a pilot, just a drone user. I do know a few pilots and we do sometimes talk about this whole thing over a pint. The most common approach is: if it's your Mavic or even a Phantom - who cares, can't do much damage either way. Of course it can happen that a plan will be coming in for an emergency landing after loosing one engine and then a drone will get sucked into the second and the last engine and this could be tragic. Can you solve it with regulations? No, you can't. Doesn't matter what kind of regulations you introduce those that don't care won't start caring. You can only penalize those few who have made a small judgment error and will be penalized for it - the rest is not solvable. I would definitely try to appeal to people's senses to apply common sense in all aspects of both carrying out a flight and commenting on one - throwing paragraphs at people is pointless, a remainder may be useful to the uninformed but to be honest - let's just skip that, please.

I work in the maritime sector. Fortunately up to this moment I have been dealing with practical stuff - so I advise and assist (based on my experience) and solve practical problems, not policies. But one thing I do take care of when talking to our crews onboard our tankers - I never use the word "safety" in my statements. Why? Because the industry is so polluted with idiotic safety regulations that when you use the word you have a guarantee that the next couple of sentences won't be heard. People switch off to protect themselves from stupidity because most of those advisories are simply stupid. Remember when you were a kid and you could filter out what your parents were saying? In that case it wasn't so that they didn't make sense, but you just didn't give a damn. This is the case with all the safety stuff we are dealing with drones at the moment as well - mostly makes no sens whatsoever.

Therefore - as a closing point - let's stick to the facts and related opinions - let's not start a holy war when someone is trying to raise a point which we might not agree with. Let's talk and let's discuss. Please. It's not difficult - actually it is rather simple to do ;-)
2017-4-18
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