My first drone encounter ??

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by brian], Nov 25, 2017.

  1. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,473
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    brian]
    Well, my trip into class "B" was the non event everyone talked about. It's leaving class "B" that caught my attention.

    Question: is there a place where the FAA would like to see comments about drone encounters?


    Since I know a number of you are in the DFW area, here are the particulars (from notes I took after I decided I was just mad):

    Departed KGPM a little after 1:30 on 2017-11-25 at 2500 with a southerly heading until clear of cedar hill (all the big towers). Once clear, I started to turn left to overfly KJWY and climb to 3000. (I noticed a nice looking fixed gear airplane turning north and it sounded like they were headed to KGPM). After Class "B", I started my climb to 7500 toward the Little Rock area.

    I was using Terrell (KTRL) as a fix and a check for weather (altimeter) when I noticed something that looked like a bird. Since I fly a lot in the KSGT area, I see a lot of birds of different types - and I thought I was seeing a bird at first. I thought - good, I'm higher and the bird should not be a factor. Then I tried to re-focus my eyes as the movement wasn't quite like a bird - close, but not the same. Worse, by brain was not making sense of what kind of bird this might be as I was trying to "see" a black vulture. What my eyes kept telling me is this black vulture had four evenly space red dots on it's back!

    Then I got mad - that's a drone. And since I don't know a lot about them, I have no way to process how close the drone was.

    My position: about 6 miles Southwest of KTRL at 7500' flying a magnetic heading of 065.

    So - if anyone sees a youtube video of a polished A35 - send me the link. I have a few choice words to post - after I talk to a few folks from the FAA ...
     
  2. Cykoguy

    Cykoguy Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    328
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cykoguy
    I have looked for a place to report instances in which I believe a drone was in violation of the regs and have not been able to find one other than the FSDO which never returned my calls. Frustrating since we could narrow down exactly who was piloting it since it was a local TV station.
     
  3. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,405
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danhagan
    Don’t fly my area. Ours are full size, and often there’s a NOTAM for all night lights ON for flight near the border. They’re supposed to be using their thermal imaging, so not sure why this is required. Heaviest use is Deming NM towards south of Tuscon
     
  4. JustinD

    JustinD Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    662
    Location:
    Port Orange, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    JustinD
    Perhaps filling out a NASA report would help get the data documented and collected
     
  5. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,247
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kevin
    Report drones to ATC. If you are VFR not talking to anyone just look up who owns the airspace and call them and tell them the alt and basic description. If it was a near miss/near midair then advise them of this as well. ATC will report it to the FBI and the DEN (domestic events network). As mentioned, you can also report on a NASA but you should still try to advise ATC as well real time.
     
  6. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,473
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    brian]
    I actually though about it - but about 10 miles after the event. Hopefully I won't see another one - but next time I won't hesitate.

    Thinking about it this morning, I would have hated to be on an instrument flight plan and assigned 7000' in the same area at the same time. I could very well have a drone in the baggage compartment this morning ... but I would have been talking to ATC.
     
    Radar Contact and Wade like this.
  7. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    239
    Location:
    Klamth Fall, OR
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Smith
    Mount a GoPro on top of the panel and get some documented footage. Send that to the Feds and see what response you get. This drone problem is not going to go away and will be an issue that won't be given the proper attention until a drone causes a major catastrophe. It's only a matter of time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
    Todd82 likes this.
  8. Stephen Shore

    Stephen Shore Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2017
    Messages:
    102
    Location:
    Longview, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    sshore
    I took my IR written this morning and asked the attendant if the testing center was busy with PPL or IR tests. She replied"neither". She said that by FAR their most popular test was the Drone written exam.

    I didn't even know there was a Drone written exam.

    This problem is going to do nothing but get worse.

    BTW - one of my employees has one and he showed me some video he took with it. Absolutely amazing technology.
     
  9. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,473
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    brian]
    I have family with one of the nicer drones. It is amazing tech. It auto stops at some altitude (500’ or so) and has a few other safeguards. We talked about the drone being used in the back yard. When I pulled up foreflight on my phone , the little blue plane was flashing INSIDE a class D airspace.

    We had a talk.

    Yea, it’s gonna get worse.
     
  10. Jeff Cutler

    Jeff Cutler Pre-takeoff checklist

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

    Display name:
    Jeff
    ^this^
     
  11. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    One of the roofers from an appointment earlier today said he's got the same drone as me (Phantom 4 Pro). We got to talking while I was flying the inspection and I asked if he had his 107 cert. He said no and told me that whenever he flies it tells him he's in "Class _ Airspace) and he just x's it out because it's not important. He had never seen a VFR chart before.
     
  12. F01LA

    F01LA Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    5446
    Wow, interesting experience. Any idea what kind of shape it was, e.g. the classic white DJI Phantom quad, or a larger hex or even octocopter? 7500' is pretty high for a standard consumer drone. I'm curious about what kind of drone would be up there.
     
  13. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2013
    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    overdrive148
    Max Service Ceiling Above Sea Level: 19685 feet (6000 m)
    https://www.dji.com/phantom-4-pro/info
     
  14. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,473
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    brian]
    It was definitely a black quadcopter and I think the blades were red. I was indicating about 150 MPH at 7500’. Not sure were that trues out at. (I don’t have the temp.) The encounter didn’t last long.

    13 inches square?? I was within a few hundred feet of that sucker. Hoping my wake turbulence knocked the SOB out of the air!
     
  15. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,188
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Twin_Flyer
    "He's too close for missiles Goose, I'm switching to guns"...:goofy:
     
  16. F01LA

    F01LA Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2012
    Messages:
    501
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    5446
    Yes; however, maximum flight altitude (from launch) defaults to around 400 feet. You can modify the setting up to 500 meters (1640 feet). The software won't let you set it above that. There appears to be a hack to get around it, but it's not easy (firmware hack). I've seen a high altitude DJI Mavic flight video (8200 feet). Highest I've seen for the Phantom 4 line is 4500 feet.

    Thanks for the info. Maybe a Mavic (although they're pretty small) or some kind of custom build.
     
    overdrive148 likes this.
  17. brian]

    brian] Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2014
    Messages:
    1,473
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    brian]
    I figure I can swap out the lights in the wings with...hmmm....M203 w/o the M16...shrapnel rounds...close counts.
     
  18. Twin_Flyer

    Twin_Flyer Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Messages:
    1,188
    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Twin_Flyer
    :rofl: Seriously, something needs to be done before someone gets hurt.