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Drone Near Miss.

Another nail in the coffin..?

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Wiltshire Flyer08/12/2014 02:07:04
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title says it all **LINK**

avtur08/12/2014 03:36:28
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I was going to post a link to the same story.

Personally I don't think that model flyers should over react to this, the powers that be (in particular the CAA and BMFA) know full well that the people causing problems with "drones" are not genuine 'model flyers' they are typically a new group of flyers who are drawn to "aerial antics" by the ever increasing availability and reducing cost of "drone type aircraft".

I would suggest that as responsible model flyers if we see (or become aware of) this sort of activity we should make the appropriate authorities aware. I think it would enhance the reputation of responsible model flyers if we were seen to be helping to 'police' such unsafe and irresponsible behaviour.

My general rule in life is "live and let live" but when I see reports of a 'drone' type aircraft being seen in close proximity to commercial aircraft then I believe action is called for.

In my opinion the worst outcomes of this behaviour could be a commercial aircraft having to manoeuvre to avoid a drone or at very worst a drone could be ingested into an engine which would most likely cause an immediate shut down, which is where it gets very serious.

A couple of months ago an aircraft arriving into Manchester had to carry out out a "go around", which is a perfectly normal procedure for commercial aircraft, somehow a passenger on board managed to convince the local paper that this was some sort of life threatening event and it resulted in a ridiculous and disproportionate amount of media coverage ... that said I dread to think what would be reported if there was an incident between a drone and a commercial aircraft.

Richard Norman08/12/2014 06:13:21
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My concern is not so much engine ingestion as it is a large drone, complete with DSLR, going through the windscreen of an airliner on finals.

I know that the screens are designed to provide some protection against birdstrike but a large metallic object would be a very different type of impact.

Peter Miller08/12/2014 08:49:33
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One of the troubles is that we are seeing really great stuff from drones (Sectrets From The Air, Cahnnel four)

Idiots instantly think "I'll do some of that"I am not sure, not having got involved with drones, that they are too darned easy to fly so any clown can buy one and fly it. They do not have any input or advice from anyone else as one would get learning to fly a model aircraft.

However, as has been said, I am pretty certain that the CAA will not tar modellers with the same brush. Mind you, Joe Public probably will.

Having seen what even a pidgeon can do to a Hawker Hunter....

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator08/12/2014 09:41:50
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Those of us that operate UAV's commercially are already under quite close control from the CAA. Formal training through a scheme such as BNUC-S, whilst not actually required by law, is effectively compulsary as it is more or less impossible to see a route to obtaining a CAA Permit for Aerial Work without it. Such formal training does of course include a significant element of interpreting aviation sectoral maps and knowledge of how to interpret "no-fly" zones - of which there are many in the UK and not just around airfields and nuclear power stations which are the oft quoted examples.

There is now talk of a UPPL (unmanned PPL) system as an extension to this current system, which the CAA clearly sees as an interim regulatory framework. We know that work is currently in progress at CAA on this scheme.

I can see that the obvious development will be restriction on the use of UVA's to such licenced users exclusively. CAA faces two main challenges in my opinion in achieving this:

1. Resources - currently the resources the CAA has available to deal with UAV's are pitifully small. However incidents like this may well provoke a shift in that area. That I suspect would result in an acceleration in the development of the UPPL.

2. How to frame the legislation so that it would not trawl up model fliers with it. This is real problem. It would be quite easy to do this if the regulations on UAV's only applied to "auto" operation via so-called "way-point flying". But most of the trouble-makers are not operating in this mode. Its possible that they could limit the legislation to "small surveillance UAV's" - but that would effectively ban modellers from putting a camera on a model - seems a bit unfair. I think the most likely angle they will take to separate UAV flyers from modellers is to say that the new requirement for a UPPL applies to any UAV equipped with stabilisation/GPS. It is the combination of these two, in so-called "GPS-lock" flight mode, that makes multi-rotor UAV's so easy to fly. Its actually quite difficult, even for an experienced RC flyer, to fly a multi-rotor with no stablisation/GPS aids (ask me how I know that!). We can do it - but the vast majority of the trouble-makers wouldn't stand a chance! Its interesting to note that the new BMFA A and B-certs for multi-rotors insist that the test must be flown in manual-mode - ie no stabilisation or GPS in use. Is this in preparation for the future as well is just ensuring that that they are a meaningful test of skill?

So, for modellers I fear that we are not completely "out of the wood" on this. I can foresee legislation that would effectively ban the use of artificial stabilisation aids in models - unless the operator has a UPPL - as this might be the only way of denying the lunatic fringe access to easy to fly UAV's. But maybe we'd consider that a relatively small price to pay to be rid of them?

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/12/2014 09:48:28

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/12/2014 10:31:55

Peter Christy08/12/2014 10:20:05
1910 forum posts

An interesting and well thought-out argument from BEB, as usual! However, I do wonder if "artificial stabilisation aids" might also inadvertantly sweep up so-called "flybar-less" systems in its wake?

Perhaps a better definition would be the one used by the FAI for competition aerobatics with helicopters, which bans the use of devices that use "external references"?

Whatever, I see a can of worms looming!

--

Pete

Dave Hopkin08/12/2014 10:24:35
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The concern I have is the in the run up to an election, the perceived terrorist threat and the way the media is hyping up these incidents (how many near misses with full sized aircraft get reported? in the national media?) that our esteemed, rational and not at all self serving politicians will rush through some ill-advised and badly framed legislation and lets be honest constructing a law that impacts upon the nutters but leave "respectable" model flying alone is not the easiest thing to do that could have serious implications on our sport/hobby

Wingman08/12/2014 10:38:26
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Unfortunately it doesn't matter how much legislation you put in place because as long as you can buy sophisticated multirotors on the open market the 'troublemakers' will continue to 'fly' them and they won't give a monkey's about licences, training, insurance etc. etc,. Also as they are not trackable with commercial radar there is very little chance of being caught. One thing that may happen is that the government (or the ITU) may decide to step in and heavily legislate (they're good at that!)the 2.4GHz frequency band being as that is the common factor with all multirotor craft pretty much regardless of size - don't worry though, we will be alright - we've got 35MHz haven't wefrown

Bob Cotsford08/12/2014 10:42:14
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I can easily see a limit being imposed on where RC model aircraft can be flown, maybe within a 1 mile radius of designated/registered flying sites or something along those lines. Effectively groups or individuals would have to register a flying location - not a hardship for those in organised clubs but a pain in the bum for lone flyers.

That would leave the average flyer largely unaffected, long range FPV/'drone' operation would then need to be a registered activity which would weed out all but the commercial or serious amateurs.

I could see something being implemented along those lines that wouldn't be too onerous for the majority of modellers.

 

Of course how it would be policed is another matter!

Edited By Bob Cotsford on 08/12/2014 10:43:59

John F08/12/2014 10:42:47
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Posted by Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/12/2014 09:41:50:

Its interesting to note that the new BMFA A and B-certs for multi-rotors insist that the test must be flown in manual-mode - ie no stabilisation or GPS in use. Is this preparation for the future as well is just ensuring that that they are meaningful test of skill?

So, for modellers I fear that we are not completely "out of the wood" on this. I can foresee legislation that would effectively ban the use of artificial stabilisation aids in models - unless the operator has a UPPL - as this might be the only way of denying the lunatic fringe access to easy to fly UAV's. But maybe we'd consider that a relatively small price to pay to be rid of them?

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/12/2014 09:48:28

I don't think that artificial stabilisation would be banned but, quite rightly, the test is on manual terms with no aids otherwise there's no test of the pilots abilities.

"Ill advised" and "rushed" legislation would not be forthcoming. Legislation is still done quickly when needed but with a heck of a lot of liaison with specialists in whatever field the legislation is affecting, terrorism, for example.

The easiest thing to do is fear that legislation will come and play down the implications to protect what we love as a hoby but the papers will, of course, paint a disastrous picture that we seek to calm down.

It must be emphasised though that it CAN happen and if it does the aftermath may well be an absolute disaster. We get flight safety bulletins all of the time and the consequences of a foregn object hitting and aircraft is simply not worth contemplating.

More info on flight safety here: **LINK**

or here : **LINK**

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator08/12/2014 10:59:45
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I share your concern Dave about "knee-jerk" legislation - but actually in practice it would not be so easy for the politicians to do that - the CAA would be strongly opposed to any UK only legislation for two reasons:

1. It would be unworkable - the internet would ensure that.

2. We are party to a number of international treaties which make unilateral legislation on aviation matters very difficult. Aviation is essentially an international matter - the CAA will want legislation that is at least pan-European and preferably would include the FAA in the States - ie equivalent legislation in all major countries. This is one reason why progress in these areas is so slow!

As to whether such legislation could be effective. Well to stop possible terrorist attack I think the answer is "no". Those people are hell-bent on death and destruction, 99% of what they already do is illegal anyway so one more piece of legislation isn't going to stop them. Its only advantage in that case is that it would give the authorities one more thing they could lock these nutters away for.

But in terms of the "cowboys" - the people who often inadvertently cause danger with these devices by using them in an inappropriate way largely out of ignorance or a misplaced sense of "fun" - then I do believe legislation would be effective. If it was illegal anywhere in Europe/USA to sell, purchase or use a combined stabilisation/GPS equipped UAV without a licence then that would effectively cut off the supply to the lunatic fringe. I believe most of these people are stupid - not evil.

BEB

Edited By Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator on 08/12/2014 11:02:32

Peter Miller08/12/2014 11:22:12
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I think that we have forgotten something or I have not seen it mentioned.

The CAA is pretty good at liasing with the BMFA. I am pretty sure that the BMFA will have some pretty sensible suggestions for how to differentiate between the two types of model/AUV.

Just as a point of interest, a few years ago a model was flying right in line with the end of the docklands airport and at a great height. It was mentioned in a full size aviation magazine. I believe he was jumped on hard.

Edited By Peter Miller on 08/12/2014 11:23:10

Levanter08/12/2014 11:46:31
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I was in the UK last week on business. The mandatory trip to the LMS led to an impulse buy of a small multi-rotor equipped with a basic video / still camera. On the counter there was a mountain of stuff that clearly indicated I was a genuine aero-modeller and I had to ask many questions that assumed I had a reasonable working knowledge. The multi-rotor came right at the end and came with a recommendation as the best low-budget value. Nothing else. It is indoor and outdoor capable.

A day or two later I was in a general electronic shop because I wanted a Garmin (English version) This time I bought a tiny contra-rotating helicopter for my girlfriend (yes really!) This is for indoor use only but slipped inside the box was an A4 sheet of safety and operational warnings, clearly stated in simple language. Well done Maplins I say, for setting a good example.

Martin Whybrow08/12/2014 11:50:47
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I noted this at the end of the article:

"Mr McAuslan said there was an urgent need for rules to be tightened before much larger unmanned cargo planes - potentially the size of a Boeing 737 - took to the skies."

Hmm, I'm fairly sure anyone capable of building / acquiring a 737 sized 'drone' will be aware of the exisitng regulations that apply!

John F08/12/2014 12:47:53
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Posted by Martin Whybrow on 08/12/2014 11:50:47:

Hmm, I'm fairly sure anyone capable of building / acquiring a 737 sized 'drone' will be aware of the exisitng regulations that apply!

I do believe that was aimed at the fact that unmanned cargo planes would not have the capability to spot these smaller dangers in the air and be able to respond if necessary.

Colin Bernard08/12/2014 12:58:13
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Whilst all the discussion above is good and relevant, I feel that any action on the part of the CAA will be wasted as far as controlling these incidents, and the only effect will maybe to impact on some of our activities.

While ever Joe Public can go into a shop and buy a quad then he is going to do so and he is going to fly it where ever he thinks will be fun.

He will not bother or even know about CAA rulings, and as far as he is concerned it is radio controlled by him and so it will be safe and a good laugh.

The only way I can see going forward is to somehow control the supply through legitimate shops who will take the responsibility for ensuring the buyer is aware of the rules - a simple hand out is a start.

But policing the sale, and the ultimate use, I see as impossible, so whatever the rules and controls that are dreamed up will not stop Mr Stupid, Mr Ignorant or Mr IDontCare from playing with his toy wherever he wants.

Barrie Dav 208/12/2014 13:28:52
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We can waste a time of time on this subject and speculation - 'What if' - 'Perhaps' - 'Possibly'. As Pete Miller says the BMFA has close laison with the CAA. I see no reason to panic. Lets just 'Keep Calm and Carry On', as I think we did once before over a more serious matter...........

Biggles' Elder Brother - Moderator08/12/2014 13:57:45
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Posted by Colin Bernard on 08/12/2014 12:58:13:

While ever Joe Public can go into a shop and buy a quad then he is going to do so and he is going to fly it where ever he thinks will be fun.

He will not bother or even know about CAA rulings, and as far as he is concerned it is radio controlled by him and so it will be safe and a good laugh.

The point is Colin - if it is illegal to sell them anywhere in Europe and US except to licenced individuals - then Joe Public won't be able to buy them.

Regarding the BMFA - yes they do have a very positive relationship with the CAA and that's very good. However, I regret to say I have very little faith in the currency of the knowledge the BMFA has about UAV's! In practice the CAA are also likely to work with UVAS (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems Association) a much more knowledgable body in this instance - and one that represents the trade.

BEB

Ian Jones08/12/2014 14:30:13
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Well I agree that we should be concerned but considering the pragraphs I have listed below I don't give the article much credit for it's accuracy. Paragraph 1 could apply, McAuslian though has made sure that in quoting the "Hudson River experience" that he has included plenty of scaremongering whilst failing to highlight that such an incident could be far more serious than a succesful water landing. As for paragraphs 2 & 3, well they both refer to full size aircraft and unless they have an exemption certificate would not be models. It seems McAuslin is unaware of the CAA involvement and legislation already in place

  1. The association's general secretary, Jim McAuslan said drones could cause a repeat of the "Hudson River experience", when a plane was forced to land in water in New York in 2009 after birds were sucked into its engines.
  2. "The risk of a 10 kilogram object hitting a plane is a real one that pilots are very concerned about" he said.
  3. Mr McAuslan said there was an urgent need for rules to be tightened before much larger unmanned cargo planes - potentially the size of a Boeing 737 - took to the skies.

Edited By Ian Jones on 08/12/2014 14:38:31

Edited By Ian Jones on 08/12/2014 14:39:17

kc08/12/2014 14:40:04
6736 forum posts
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Anybody who heard the comments by the WrightStuff newspaper review people on Channel 5 will realise this is likely to have dire consequences for aeromodellers. The BMFA needs to do something immediately to disassociate responsible aeromodellers from this.

Surely the thing that is causing the worry is models being flown by GPS or FPV. Otherwise they wouldn't be anywhere near Heathrow unless they were flown from a place under the flightpath. If you lose sight of a model they almost always crash nearby or when just out of range.so it's unlikely to be just a flyaway model.

So it's GPS flying and or FPV that needs to be banned or tightly controlled by the BMFA. We will surely lose insurance cover for normal aeromodelling if something is not done immediately.

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