Flying with Drones

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Jeff Cutler, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Jeff Cutler

    Jeff Cutler Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2005
    Messages:
    145
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jeff
    Flying home Friday afternoon, on decent, something caught my eye, 2 o'clock, same altitude, 2700 ft. Thought to myself, wow there's a bird at this altitude? Kept looking, waiting for it to move its wings or dive. Nothing. Dead level, and stayed in my 2 o'clock. As I got closer, it passed by my right. It was no bird, and the sun started to reflect a red color on its ...fuselage. I called Approach, and they asked more detail. Was about 5 miles from destination, and they were already giving warnings to departing aircraft heading north. The whole thing got my blood boiling. When drones first came out, it started to even bother my non pilot wife, just knowing some moron would get real stupid with a new toy. Well I guess this was my first brush with stupidity.
     
    skier likes this.
  2. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    6,638
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    It's to be known that the general public cannot operate them responsibly. Drones shouldn't even be able to fly at that altitude.
     
  3. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,018
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    The service ceiling of a Phantom 4 Pro is ‎19685 feet MSL by the way. Climb rate in Sport mode is over 1100ft/min. And max distance the transmitter will still control the aircraft is 4.3 miles. Food for thought.

    //edit

    The batteries last about 25-30min when moving around taking pictures on a no wind day without being at full throttle. Don't think you could actually get that high without launching from somewhere higher. Plus the POH...DOH? Says that operating the aircraft below freezing temps is not good and you will have to pre-heat your batteries.
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  4. BavarianPilot

    BavarianPilot Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2016
    Messages:
    11
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BavarianPilot
    The software won‘t let you get ~500m above the takeoff point.
     
  5. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2014
    Messages:
    8,725
    Location:
    NM or the emergency room...
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Billy
    Would a weather balloon make you mad as well..??

    I have never seen a drone in the air, yet I have been within a couple hundred feet of 3 weather balloons above 15,000, and have seen several in the air in the last 10 years.
     
  6. TRocket

    TRocket Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    Messages:
    811
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Uncle Jesse
    Agree. While some do operate them responsibly, I feel like it's a very small percentage that do. Plenty of idiots out there without a clue. I have encountered one in an airport traffic pattern and once on an approach. Hell I even had one fall out of the sky and land on the hood of my truck while I was sitting in a lawn chair because the moron let it get too far from the controller. I know there are some differences of opinion on the topic, but if I need a license to fly an airplane and am held responsible for what I do, joe blow with a drone should be too.
     
  7. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    4,167
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    You need one of these patches to keep you safe. I keep one on my backpack at all times.

    804B5F8B-22C1-45F3-B345-99B4F9D9F9C4.jpeg
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  8. champdriver

    champdriver Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    pi
    I just bought a DJI Mavic Pro about a month ago. Prior to this I had very little interest in owning a drone and was as anti-drone as anyone out there but the technology just got to me and I had to have one. It does some amazing stuff while recording rock steady 4K video. It seems that DJI is doing the best they can with geo-fencing software and education, they are at least trying. You shouldn’t be able to go over 400 ft (above your launch point) but of course launch off a mountain top and it will have no problem being 1500 ft AGL or more in no time and yes there are a lot of these things in the hands of complete yahoos that have no clue what they are doing.

    For me it’s a flying camera and the sorts of shots I want to take don't involve flying high or over my neighbors yard or really anywhere that it would pester other people. The thing I’ve found after reading some of the forums is that most of the yahoos tend to either crash or completely lose their new drone in short order so there is that bright spot.
     
  9. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    1,543
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim
    GA flies well over 20 million hours a year, and no one has hit a drone yet...I have bigger concerns.
     
  10. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    4,167
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CC268
    In all seriousness, the "drone" thing is always going to be a very polarizing subject. There are going to be folks who are on one extreme and folks on another extreme. I fly drones myself, both the camera drones and FPV racing drones. I could, theoretically fly my racing drones as high as I want. There is no "governor" to limit the height of these drones. I build them from "scratch" and the flight controllers I use run an open source software called BetaFlight (I do have one fpv racer that uses KISS software which is closed source - none the less it is very similar to BetaFlight). Point being there is nothing to stop you from going above 400 feet.

    I don't see it as a major concern. Unfortunately folks will ruin it for the rest of us and fly near airports, etc. My RC flying field is only ~4.5 miles Northeast of Deer Valley airport (where my plane is hangared - also the busiest GA airport in the United States) and in many cases it is right in the direct flight line if you are coming from the Northeast to land at Deer Valley. I have flown over the RC field many a time as I am coming in to land at KDVT. It has never been an issue. We have a large jet crowd at my RC field where these LARGE scale jets are flying north of 250MPH. The tower does call our field on occasion to report rc planes flying too high (reported by full scale aircraft). But we have never had any "close calls", etc. RC pilots flying have a spotter to keep a look out for full scale aircraft.

    The reality is that there will always be idiots flying where they shouldn't be. I don't actually see an issue with flying above 400 feet (not that this is something I do frequently) if you are in locations that are not conducive to frequent full scale aircraft. Camera drones are much more likely to cause issues than the racing drones as the camera drones are much more "consumer friendly". Having an altitude limit on these may or may not be very effective.
     
  11. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,018
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    The closest I have flown to an airport for work is 500 ft from the numbers at an uncontrolled airport. I don't have a handheld but I was keeping pretty good track of aircraft in the pattern and listening for them on the ground. I have also flown ~1/4 mile from a TFR and that was more nerve wracking!

    One of the roofers I had to meet with for an inspection said he also had a Phantom 4 Pro. We got to talking about drones and he said that he used it to take imagery for work. I asked him if he had his 107 cert - he said no and that he didn't really need it. I pointed out what the airspace in DFW looks like. He told me he'd never seen that before - all he does is X the window below when it appears.

    [​IMG]