Reporting low altitude aircraft?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by overdrive148, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Hey guys, just had an aircraft buzz over the airfield here. Very low passes, repeatedly over the field. No radio call either. After buzzing the field a few times, the pilot flew over the town at the same low altitude and did some pretty steep turns. One of the other pilots here got a video and I got the tail number with binocs. Curious as to where exactly to report it to the right channels. Thanks

    //edit
    Pilot was maybe 500 AGL and there's a 400 foot chapel tower right near where he was flying. Luckily there were no aircraft in the pattern or skydiving operations in progress (clouds too low).

    Changed field to airfield to prevent confusion
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  2. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Call the FSDO on Monday, and tell them what happened and that you have video and the N-number. They'll ask you some questions about it, and then tell you if they want to investigate further and whether they want the video.
     
  3. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Why the hell would you want to report him? Do you call 911 when someone passes you on the highway too?
     
  4. Timmer

    Timmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If they are drunk, definitely.

    If they endangering others recklessly, I would love to, but it's hard to get license plate numbers. When someone nearly hits me and the car next to me as they squeeze within a foot of my car at 80+mph and continue to do the same with the next few cars, you betcha I want them off the road. I don't care for people acting homicidal around me.
     
  5. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Just because someone is moving fast doesn't mean their drunk. If he has a legitimate reason to do what he did, reporting him will create a whole bunch of problem which you yourself may end up regretting in the future. Specifically regarding the low level bit, what you see from the side may look much lower because of the perspective. Maybe that guy was well beyond FAA's required 500ft.
     
  6. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    You are authorized by the Administrator in EA-5129 to terminate that aircrafts flight with deadly force and extreme prejudice. :yes:
     
  7. garyb

    garyb Pre-takeoff checklist

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    +1

    The world would be better off with less do-gooders and zealots.
     
  8. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    :dunno:
     
  9. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lame

    This is right next to that old lady who calls the cops when she hears anything (music, car, talking).

    I'd just let it be, or if you want to be a man about it run the N number and send him a letter with a picture of his plane doing that, or do a spokeo search for his phone number based off address. Guessing he won't come around anymore.
     
  10. Cpt_Kirk

    Cpt_Kirk En-Route

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    :yes:
     
  11. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Yeah...you really do look and sound lost. First, the regulation you sited is only for congested areas, so unless it was over something like a major city it doesn't apply. The minim is 500ft away from any man made objects or people, that 500ft doesn't have to be exactly vertical. Second, you're perception may make it look like he was much lower than he really was. Imagine if you report him and he really was completely innocent and complied with all FARs, you'll make him go through a whole bunch of trouble just because you didn't have enough information to begin with.
     
  12. Timmer

    Timmer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey MachFly, I didn't say driving fast is the same as drunk. I said I would happily report a drunk driver. I would also love to report homicidal sober drivers. Please accept that my comment above came with judgement of my own that I could tell the difference between someone who mistakenly changed lanes too closely versus someone who thinks the freeway is his personal NASCAR track and putting my life in danger. I always find it odd that we give the guy who nearly killed me a pass but if I want to try and stop him from killing me or others, society looks down on me.

    I get the concept that we get annoyed at those calling in the law for silly reasons. I was, however, just answering the question you asked if you would report drivers. There are some times I wish I could.
     
  13. Rwsavory

    Rwsavory Pre-Flight

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    Report him to the FSDO. No hesitation.
     
  14. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Then allow me. I see aircraft at pattern altitude around the airport all day at work, I'd like to believe that I can judge aircraft altitude near an airport on that basis.

    The city has a population of ~35k, not sure what your definition of "congested" is but:

    http://www.aerolegalservices.com/Articles/Congested Areas Under FAR 91-119 2008-08-28.shtml

    I understand that it's a case by case basis, but there's a university full of students next to the airport that has that 400 foot chapel tower that he flew close to more than once. Your argument of 500 feet horizontally is technically true, but when you're directly over a town and an airport, that's 500 feet vertical no matter how you slice it.

    Also, while the 'possibility' of him being inconvenienced is there, the possibility of a dangerous or reckless pilot being removed before he ends up slamming into a skydiver or another aircraft on takeoff or landing or running into the ground is also there.

    Also, pardon me for being a "zealot" or "do-gooder" by following the FAR's; I don't have to remind you that most of them are written in blood. I don't get to choose if the FSDO goes after him or not. It's my responsibilty to report it as an airman.

    If you're going to pick and choose the FARs that you want to follow, then why not go fly off into known icing in a C-150? :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  15. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    Although the FAA doesn't clearly define "congested area", the term certainly isn't limited to "something like a major city". Towns and residential suburban neighborhoods also qualify.

    Using the video and the aircraft's known dimensions, its distance and height can be calculated to double-check the witnesses' perceptions.
     
  16. Jumper_Dumper

    Jumper_Dumper Filing Flight Plan

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    So apparently youre saying that a town with 35,000 people is not a congested area? you know congested doesnt mean having 20 skyscrapers around the area this town has 35K people thats congested. doing multiple fly bys at BARELY 500FT towards a college church tower passing close to the exact same altitude at the tower which is at 400ft is not okay as well as right over the college filled with students. If you have no radio i get it, its uncontrolled than just LAND... dont go flying around over the airport that low. there is NO REASON to fly around like that. Report will be made to the FSDO and footage of multiple passes will be given to them. i work at an airport FBO all day long and fly skydivers youre talking as if NOBODY knows how high 500 feet is except you. its people like that who think they own everything because they have their own plane and own the skies and the airport. get back to reality
     
  17. Morgan3820

    Morgan3820 Line Up and Wait

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    Using the contact info from the registration number and talk to him person to person. Let him know that you think that he is being irresponsible.
     
  18. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    +1

    Welcome to PoA by the way! :yes:
     
  19. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'd report him. Not much room for error or malfunction that close to groundings. Get the FSDO on his case. Odds are nothing will come of it, he'll claim he was plenty high and its your word against his. But he might think twice about doing it again, making the call well worth the time.

    We look bad enough without yahoos like this.
     
  20. Mistake Not...

    Mistake Not... Cleared for Takeoff

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    What about when you know with ABSOLUTE CERTAINTY a plane was not legal?

    I was in the pattern (800' AGL) on downwind. Something caught my eye as I'm looking at where base is prior to turning. Freakin' biplane so low he had to pull up to go over a house, pushed back over, and continued on across a subdivision and then some fields before pulling up and circling back around. The whole time well below where I am. If I had that tail number you'd better believe I'd be reporting him.

    Do gooder? Tattle tail? Is this elementary school? Idiots like that ruin it for the rest of us and the sooner he's out of my sky the better.
     
  21. acrophile

    acrophile Line Up and Wait

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    It's his word against a video.
     
  22. Jumper_Dumper

    Jumper_Dumper Filing Flight Plan

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    yes! just making the call with get him back into reality reminding him he cant just do what he wants, i guarantee if there were jumpers, he for sure wouldve hit someone
     
  23. Jumper_Dumper

    Jumper_Dumper Filing Flight Plan

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    Its so close to the ground. If you have any emergency you're not making the runway that low, you're going into a house
     
  24. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    I've dropped that dime exactly once.

    I was on Key Biscayne watching the SuperStars competition. 1980's.

    Some clown came flying down the beach, I'd say about 50' over bathers and spectators.

    Don't know if I would have reported it, but when I saw the "N" number, it was my rental Grumman Traveler!

    I assumed others would report it, and I wanted it to be absolutely clear that although I was the owner, I was not the pilot. I did not hesitate giving the FAA the renter's information.

    In favor of reporting things like this is the feelings of guilt one might have NOT reporting it and having the pilot continue his behavior until a fatal - maybe even one killing people on the ground. I know it would haunt me, knowing I just might have prevented it.
     
  25. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Okay if you really can identify that he's drunk then I can understand you. I don't necessarily agree, but I understand it.
     
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    His word won't mean anything if FSDO gets a hold of the radar tapes from OK City. Hopefully the pilot was either below radar or was smart enough to turn his transponder off.
     
  27. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Hell of a first post.
     
  28. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    "Wow, those people across the street are sure slugging it out! It could be domestic violence or a mugging or just two friends fighting. I'm not sure so I won't call the cops." :rolleyes2:
     
  29. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Are you willing to put his certificate on the line simply based on your judgement?
     
  30. vdehart

    vdehart Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'd like to vote in favor of contacting the pilot directly if possible. There's something about our society these days that people are afraid to confront each other and they want somebody else to be the middleman.

    Neighbors too loud? First time I'll go right up to their door and ask them to keep it down. If it becomes a pattern and my talks don't work then of course I'll get the police involved, but if you don't have the guts to talk to them the first time then shame on you and grow a pair.

    OP, this is in no way directed at you by the way, it's just a general observation that it may be a better idea to go man to man with somebody then behind their back. Once again, this is not directed at you specifically, just a general observation about life.
     
  31. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    When did pilots become such backstabbing catty little girls? Makes me want to go down to the airport video and report everything that ain't perfect. Cause that is the world you ladies have built.
     
  32. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Good question.
     
  33. Kelvin

    Kelvin En-Route

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    Darwin has a strange way of dealing with people who flaunt the rules in a reckless way...
     
  34. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Are you willing to live with the consequences of not reporting it and it becoming a bunch of fatalities on the ground? You'd think a real acro pilot would know that there are aerobatic areas for a reason, and those are assuredly over sparsely populated areas and not directly over towns. Just my two cents.

    I'm not putting his certificate on the line - he is, by flying too low over populated areas. The FSDO gets to review the information and decide if that's a necessary course of action, not me.

    Backstabbing? Like I said, the FAR's are more often than not written in blood. The rules are there for a reason - safety. If you want to contend that, be my guest, but don't pick and choose what FARs you want to follow and which you think are built by "ladies".

    Pilots lost their lives to allow us to create rules and regulations on doing one thing - preventing more accidents. Calling them (and the process of improving safety) girlish is, in my opinion, pretty disrespectful. The NTSB accident report database is chock full of pilots who have done this kind of thing and killed themselves and people on the ground.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  35. Jumper_Dumper

    Jumper_Dumper Filing Flight Plan

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    I dont know how the whole drunk flying thing came into play here but regardless its going to be reported and yes i will put his license on the line and show the FSDO that clip
     
  36. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dammit.

    That old lady across the street watered her lawn AGAIN. This is the SECOND TIME THIS WEEK!

    We have a drought condition. This is an emergency. There is now a $500 fine for wasting water.

    I'm calling 911 to report it. I'll show her ass a lesson.
     
  37. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    I didn't decide that it was an "emergency" to "waste water" - it's not to spite the pilot or "show anyone", it's in the regs. :dunno:
     
  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm pretty sure that "flaunting" the rules has never caused an aircraft accident!
     
  39. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Had to remind me of a Phil Ochs song from the 60's, "Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends"

    Oh, look outside the window
    There's a woman being grabbed
    They've dragged her to the bushes
    And now she's being stabbed

    Maybe we should call the cops
    And try to stop the pain
    But Monopoly is so much fun
    I'd hate to blow the game

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Ridin' down the highway
    Yes, my back is gettin' stiff
    Thirteen cars are piled up
    They're hangin' on a cliff

    Now maybe we should pull them back
    With our towin' chain
    But we gotta move and we might get sued
    And it looks like it's gonna rain

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Sweatin' in the ghetto
    With the colored and the poor
    The rats have joined the babies
    Who are sleepin' on the floor

    Now wouldn't it be a riot
    If they really blew their tops?
    But they got too much already
    And besides we've got the cops

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Oh, there's a dirty paper
    Using sex to make a sale
    The Supreme Court was so upset
    They sent him off to jail

    Maybe we should help the fiend
    And take away his fine
    But we're busy reading Playboy
    And the Sunday New York Times

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Smokin' marihuana
    Is more fun than drinkin' beer
    But a friend of ours was captured
    And they gave him thirty years

    Maybe we should raise our voices
    Ask somebody why
    But demonstrations are a drag
    Besides we're much too high

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends

    Oh, look outside the window
    There's a woman being grabbed
    They've dragged her to the bushes
    And now she's being stabbed

    Maybe we should call the cops
    And try to stop the pain
    But Monopoly is so much fun
    I'd hate to blow the game

    And I'm sure
    It wouldn't interest anybody
    Outside of a small circle of friends
     
  40. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    :thumbsup: