Reporting low altitude aircraft?

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

  1. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    So if it was up to you you'd lock up 100% of the human population in nuclear bunkers to keep them safe? Sometimes freedom isn't safe.
     
  2. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    And you have less airspeed and power to react to sudden situations? :confused:

    How do you know he will? How do you know he hasn't done this before and hasn't been reported before and has flown dangerously :dunno: How do you know the FSDO won't just talk to the guy if he's cooperative and send him on his way? If he's truly dangerous, what is there to be lost?

    If he's innocent and the video isn't enough for the FSDO to consider him dangerous, nothing happens to him...and you said it was the nuclear option? Either way he gets what he deserves :confused:

    Huge boners for the rules. Yeah, okay buddy. Shame on me for seeing dangerous behavior and wanting to report it :rolleyes2: A true menace right here. Also, I doubt you represent all of the bush pilots in Alaska or around the world the same way as some pilots here claim that "most" pilots are real men or whatever bs that was.

    So if it was up to you, you'd let the Middle East get a nuke and then do nothing about it when they start waving it around because you don't want to "bother them" about it?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  3. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    At 100kts in an aircraft that stalls at 50kts you have plenty of energy to avoid obstacles. As far as power....that's why I said in non-mountainous terrain.
     
  4. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Thats a different story.
    If your going to compare this to the Middle East then I suppose we should thank the god that you didn't grab an anti-aircraft gun and shot him.
     
  5. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Fair enough, but the glide ratio on a Cessna 172 is like 9:1 - at 500 feet that leaves less than a mile worth of glide ahead of you with less than a minute before you meet whatever is in front of you :dunno: doesn't sound very safe to me, even though jets may be less safe lower.

    I was using the Middle East as an example of a thing that would be dangerous and irresponsible, not to get into the spin zone btw.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  6. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    How do you know he won't? It's worth a try, isn't it?

    If he's done this before and been reported before then your report isn't going to stop him, so stop wasting your time.
     
  7. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Never said that it was safe. I don't know his training nor the terrain, so I can't comment about safety. My point is that a faster aircraft is much harder to fly at low alt, so if your okay with F-16s doing it, leave this guy alone.
     
  8. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    So pilots who have shown a past of reckless behavior don't have to worry because current evidence showing that they are being reckless won't count against them? Like some sort of double jeopardy rule?

    Assuming I did hunt the guy down after the fact and tell him who I am and he just says "yeah okay bye" without being a jerk but without really taking it to heart, what then? What if he just totally blew me off, would you concede that it's worth calling the FSDO up even though you're vehemently against reporting anything in the first place?

    If you're not for me reporting him to the FSDO if trying to talk to the guy fails, then why are you even trying to suggest talking to the guy first? Or why are you so against reporting people who break the rules? You can't have it both ways :dunno:

    And you're basically saying here that even with less than a mile ahead and less than a minute below, which is a situation in which even you say isn't safe, to lay off the guy?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  9. matthammer

    matthammer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    A word of advice: You really need to reevaluate your attitude. Just because a lot of people on here don't agree that it's your responsibility to report every unsafe thing you see to the FAA, does not mean those same people have no interest in safety. I disagree with you. I'm a 2000+ hour airline pilot (haven't really been keeping up with the logbook, TBH). I'm also far from the most experience pilot on here, and many of those who disagree with you are those very same more experienced pilots. You're responsible for the actions of one person and one person only; yourself. Same goes for me and everyone else on here. My opinion of your posts on here has been swinging between those of either an inexperienced pilot or a troll. I'm inclined to go with the former, especially after hearing you're a 100 hour private pilot (you have the enthusiasm and zeal of a new private pilot and religious FAASTeam seminar attendee). There's nothing wrong with being inexperienced (or religiously attending FAASTeam seminars). But no one likes a snitch, or someone who takes the attitude that everyone's actions are somehow his responsibility. As a low-time private pilot the single greatest contribution you can make to aviation safety is to develop your own skills and increase your own knowledge; not police other pilots by reporting their questionable actions to the FAA. Trust me when I say the aviation community is a small one. You may be able to hide behind some level of anonymity on this forum, but if you demonstrate these attitude "offline" as you do "online," you're bound to unnecessarily step on toes and build yourself a reputation you'd rather not have. Same goes for those dangerous pilots. Most pilots with any amount of experience have done something stupid in an airplane before. If they're wise they'll realize their foolishness and quit while the metal is unbent and their certificates intact. If not, they'll get an undesirable reputation as well. Before you know it, they'll slip up. If they're lucky they'll get violated, if they're not, well, physics can be unforgiving. That's their responsibility and theirs alone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  10. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    All I'm saying is give the guy a chance. If you recall I have previously defended you on this forum, and I'm telling you the right way to go about it. Save the video, and talk to the pilot. Don't mention you are going to take it to the FAA, just tell him you saw some behavior that concerns you and tell him why. If he legitimately seems to heed your advice just let bygones be bygones. If he doesn't, do what you will. Here's another clue - the Mideast has nukes, and they are all in Israel.

    I do not claim to represent all bush pilots, nor do I consider myself a bush pilot.

    edit: trying to post from my phone and I repeated myself
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
  11. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    That's because you don't have any experience flying at 500'

    It is quite safe, and gives you a much better view of what's good to land on and what's not. Honestly these days I prefer flying at 500' instead of 5000'
     
  12. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    You don't have to lay off the guy, just leave the FAA out of it until you clearly run out of all other options and it still remains a problem.
     
  13. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    You're not at embry-riddle anymore, dude. Welcome to aviation. (Directed towards overdrive)

    It is terribly unfortunate that riddle-ites such as yourself Machfly are the exception and not the rule.
     
  14. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    :yeahthat:
     
  15. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Appreciate you saying that.
     
  16. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    My attitude of believing safety is everyone's responsibility (and that the rules exist because some pilot died doing something stupid that the FAA wanted to avoid in the future) sure doesn't sound like it needs to be evaluated to me...as well as a good number of people both high and low time, old and young pilots who have PM'd me over the thread. :dunno:

    If you saw some other aircraft ahead of you about to take off with a flat tire or some other problem, what would you do? Since it's their responsibility alone, are you going to let them just take off without telling them? Or are you going to sit there and let it hit the fan because it's all his fault and his responsibility?

    I ask how to report ONE pilot who was flying without a doubt (again in my humble opinion, take it like you will like the rest of the thread does) recklessly and breaking the rules and you and a few other pilots stand up and tell me that I'm a snitch or that I'm just out to get pilots. Really? I'm not even "policing" - I took down a tail number and shot a video. I'm not out on the flight line walking around with a whistle getting in everyone's business, hawking over pilots and waiting for them to screw up. It was dangerous. Sue me for wanting to report the guy :dunno: and sue me for using the system that the FAA itself put in place for doing so.

    I'm not "hiding" behind anything, you make it sound like I'm some kind of sniper or something, taking a kill shot on some pilot and then moving and disappearing into the night :rolleyes2: If anyone is so upset by a pilot asking questions about aviation safety on an internet forum that they seek to sink his reputation or career, or talk about him in hushed whispers because he's "the one", then those pilots obviously have something to worry about in the first place by flying in a way that they could lose their certificates. Especially those who just automatically and incorrectly assume that "the one" is in the habit of reporting everything he sees.

    You only know what I've said in this thread - don't assume that I am out to get anyone or that I have reported anyone before because you're dead wrong to do so.

    If the industry is full of places that hate pilots who fly by the rules and report those who are truly dangerous (note that those two are disjoint, then that needs to change. Because the rules are there to increase safety, not provide a way to just nuke someone's certificate.

    If they are lucky, they'll get violated? Isn't what I'm trying to do - report him before he kills someone by being dangerous? Could be me or my family or my friends. I'll be damned if I let some idiot pilot slide because it could end up sinking his career or heaven forbid inconveniencing him for the sole reason that he was the one who flew dangerously for the report to be made in the first place, because if he continues, he could take those people from me.
     
  17. BG305

    BG305 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Overdrive... The first thing you have to ask yourself is who was flying that plane??? Did you get the owner in the video or a picture of him entering/exiting the plane??? It could be that a career pilot lent his personal toy out to a friend with bad judgment. Now you go and report the owner of the tail # without knowing who was actually piloting that plane.

    Take your cape off for a minute and get in touch with the owner before you pull your whistle out.
     
  18. ClimbnSink

    ClimbnSink Ejection Handle Pulled

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    No one would type that much to keep a joke or troll going, this guy is a prize.
     
  19. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Where did you previously defend me? It's been a while :confused:
    And if he doesn't, do what I will? As in let it go or still pursue it? I respect you for previously defending me but at the same time, this isn't something that makes much sense to me. I'm still curious what there is to be lost by going to the FSDO for the inspectors to deal with the phone call instead of me. Bad publicity for me? If he really did something wrong the FSDO will take care of it - if I am in the wrong, then he doesn't have anything happen and the report goes away. :dunno:

    I've been at 500 on takeoff and landing and looking for engine-out spots even in the desert is pretty uncomfortable. Low time experience may vary.

    That's a more reasonable response. At the same time, it won't remain a problem because the guy is long gone from here :dunno: then I'm back into the same position I have been holding the whole time of who has already talked to the guy and unchanged his behavior?

    So what, do you expect someone who graduated with a minor in Aviation Safety to have disregard for the rules? In what textbook does it say "it's okay to not report someone for being dangerous because thats how aviation is and you'll make people upset with you"? And obviously my entire motivation for safety is from ERAU alone. Nowhere else, not from training, not from other sources, not from seminars, hell, not from other pilots? And if that's how aviation safety is being trained in schools and then totally flipped on its head in practice in the aviation industry, that's something that needs to be addressed by all pilots. In which case you can't really blame me for being "wrong" by that count. Not that I agree with that.
     
  20. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    As in, do what you will. If he doesn't take your advice to heart, report him.

    You are striking me not as someone who wants to improve aviation safety but as someone who is looking to get someone violated.

    Have I seen people do dumb stuff? Yes. Have I told them what they were doing was dumb ****? Yes. Did they do it again? Nope.
     
  21. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    Passing 500ft while taking off or landing is very very different from cruising at that alt.
     
  22. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    Yup. Very.
     
  23. MachFly

    MachFly En-Route

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    That's the problem, your reading a textbook. Spend a few years flying in the real world, you'll see a major difference.
     
  24. matthammer

    matthammer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    :yeahthat:

    He's also more or less ignored the actual point behind pretty much everything I've actually written. So I'm done responding. I still find it mildly amusing that this thread only exists because the OP apparently didn't even take a cursory glance at the FAA's website. Seriously, how hard can it be to find www.faa.gov/contact?
     
  25. JHW

    JHW En-Route

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    The correct analogy is "the lady across the street has parked her car too far from the curb. I estimate from my front porch that her tyres are at least 200cm from the curb. Council ordinance clearly states cars are to be within 150cm from the curb in order to not cause a hazard to passing traffic. Call the police on her."

    My neighbor (a policeman) related this exact story to me this morning, and I immediately thought of you.
     
  26. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Interesting way to put it.

    I might point out that the pilot class that has the hugest "boners" for the rules and procedures also happen to be statistically head and shoulders above the rest regarding accidents, sometimes going years without a fatal in spite of millions of flights flown.

    To repeat, I wish someone had cared enough to report my renter pilot's antics before he killed himself and one other and destroyed my beautiful little Citabria.

    But I guess that would have been immature, right?

    To be honest, if I had gotten wind of his antics, I don't know if I would have dropped that dime. Certainly I would have no longer rented to him. But knowing my plane had been involved in illegal activities, I think my inclination would have been to report him.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  27. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach

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    I'm not saying you should go off and fly into known icing in a 172, but as I said earlier there can be things that are legal but not safe, or vice-versa.

    The pilots who have the hugest boners for the rules also manage to prang an airplane every few years because they actually have no clue how to fly, and sometimes kill a couple hundred people in the process.

    If you don't mind me asking, what was the guy doing in your citabria?
     
  28. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    To avoid repetition, easy to find by perusing my prior posts to this thread.
     
  29. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    You sort of helped justify my point about why you SHOULD try to talk with him first. You appear to default to "he may have already been been told by someone else?" The problem with that, is that it's just as likely that NO ONE has spoken to him about any unsafe behavior, so he continues to do so. I would fully endorse you going to the FSDO if, after you spoke with him, he retorted that, "you were just a kid and didn't know anything." As I mentioned, it could be the difference in making a friend or making an enemy. In my limited experience (not just with aviation), there's often no need to bring out the wrecking ball when a tack hammer will suffice. If you do decide to change your mind about speaking with the pilot, I would strongly suggest you be as non-aggressive as possible. Entering into a conversation by scolding someone generally is the best way to unfavorably influence the end result.

    I will agree with your statement about many of the FAA regs being written in blood. Just keep in mind that the chances of an engine failure in normal flight (i.e. not taking off/landing) is an extremely-low probability event, likely a 1 in a million kind of thing. Unless he was flying slow and/or using high angles of attack, the likelihood of putting the aircraft into a stall or spin is unlikely as well, but certainly more likely than the chance of an engine failure at that moment.

    The best comparison I can make to your statement about the government legislating safety is looking at the TSA's impact on aviation since 9/11. Everything gets pushed through "in the interest of public safety", despite apparently having almost no effect whatsoever on the overall safety. I'm not arguing that his flying was safe as I didn't see it, and I'm also not saying that any particular FAA reg is pointless. I'm simply implying that if there is a way for you to resolve the situation without adding fuel to the FAA or other government entity for more rule-making, it's always in your (and mine) best interest to do so.

    I do appreciate the warm welcome and polite discourse.
     
  30. noobJohn

    noobJohn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Did you report him? If not, why not? I think everyone on this thread has stated their opinion. You were the one who saw the flying. If you're 100% sure you witnessed something illegal then report it! If you're not 100% confident then you need to drop it. What is the point of continuing to argue about something that looked suspicious to you but noone else in the thread has enough data to go on one way or the other?
     
  31. SoonerAviator

    SoonerAviator En-Route

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    You've used that analogy a few times in this thread, but it's not a very good one. On one hand, you have a guy getting ready to take off with a flat tire, which puts the pilot (and others) in imminent danger. No FAA reg is technically being broken by taking off with a flat tire, that I know of, so it is in the PURE INTEREST of safety. You wouldn't ignore the pilot and file a grievance with the FAA instead of flagging him down, right?

    In the situation at hand, you are talking about an FAA reg being broken, and you are taking on the responsibility of enforcement. Safety isn't the "goal" with your approach of contacting the FAA without speaking to the pilot, it's a byproduct of whatever action they hand down. You are saying that the "flat tire" and "flying too low" are synonymous in terms of safety issues, but your approach to solving each situation is markedly different.

    You have the opportunity to flag that pilot down to directly affect the safety of his actions, so take that opportunity. If you approach it right, you can be an excellent liaison for your airport and the aviation community.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  32. Pinstriper

    Pinstriper Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The op is probably not going to listen anyway..12 pages and he doesn't get it..
    [​IMG]
     
  33. Alexb2000

    Alexb2000 En-Route

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    Let's consider the possibility that the pilot really was doing these things AND it was legal.

    For example, just the other day I was out practicing approaches. I was talking to ATC and flying the approaches down to the MDA 200' or so. Then I would go missed, fly over the runway at low altitude, climb up, and do it over. We haven't seen the video, but this is certainly one possibility that is 100% legal, and one the OP wouldn't have the training to recognize.
     
  34. SoonerAviator

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    In the interest of discussion, I'll add a recent experience that involves the same FAA regs regarding low flight over terrain:

    I recently got engaged by flying my now-fiance over her father's boat dock on a nearby lake, which had the question on a banner affixed to the dock's roof. We were ~700AGL over the water with a few boats doing their thing below. I made a second pass in order for the newly-minted fiance to take some pictures of the sign and her family waving down on the shoreline. While we were making the second pass, we spotted another aircraft who was traveling on our reciprocal heading, about 2-300' below us. We saw him, and he likely saw us . . . he passed beneath us and we flew on without another thought. Her family down below saw it (actually has a photo of the other plane) and asked if it was dangerous when he passed under us, which I replied, "not at all."

    Was the other pilot breaking FAA regs? Likely. Given the circumstances, was it a threat to safety? Absolutely not, in my opinion. Two aircraft out flying VFR and having fun, and the boats down below got a benign airshow between a couple of passing aircraft, lol. Obviously there's a bit more of a grey area as to whether this was a congested area with only a dozen boats on the water below, and some houses dotting the shorelines, but the safety/risk factor is synonymous.

    If any of you are on the red board, I had posted a thread about it several months back when I was trying to get some info on the height requirements for the letters on the banner to be read at altitude. There were a number of pages of posts discussing the dangers of flying low over water, and other possible options for the proposal, etc., but it's a bit of a fun read.

    http://forums.aopa.org/showthread.php?t=90566
     
  35. Direct C51

    Direct C51 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You'd think for someone that has graduated from an aeronautical university, and wants to flaunt their knowledge of the regs, that you would have a little more knowledge of the FARs. Military aircraft are not "different than part 91" as you say. We have to follow the same rules you do regarding FAR 91.119. Maybe you should read that particular paragraph and maybe you can deduce why I don't have to follow the 500/1000ft rule in my AH-64. It has nothing to do with being a military aircraft.

    The F-16s and A10s that fly at low altitudes are doing it in a MOA or Alert Area, which just so happen to be located in sparsely populated areas and are not operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure. Again, read Far 91.119.

    Your attitude about me not knowing what applies when I fly professionaly shows that you have some sort of superiority complex that is absolutely unfounded. You have way too much to learn in this business to be passing judgement on myself, or that pilot you saw flying on Saturday.

    You keep saying you don't want to confront the pilot because you assume he has been confronted 3 or 4 times already and will just shrug you off. This is a silly excuse and just doesn't make sense. Maybe you are the first to talk to him. Be a man about it. If you haven't figured it out by now, you might as well just stop posting here. You are obviously not getting anything from these forums, nor are you trying to take any advice from those that have thousands of hours and many many more years of experience.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
  36. DeeG

    DeeG Line Up and Wait

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    LOL. I've been out on sick time for over a week. If anyone called about you buzzing their house.... And I apologize for all the smoke. Its been pretty crappy here since July 5th.
     
  37. JoseCuervo

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    Yeah, not hiding, but not willing to post the video. Got it.

    What's gonna be the harm in posting a video of a small plane shot with a cell phone (likely???) from a distance? If the N-number doesn't show up without binoculars, it is a pretty anonymous video to post on the internet.

    You spend more time typing responses than it would to get the video posted.

    Then you could put the peanut gallery in their place, and nobody would be questioning your judgement.

    I'm on the withhold judgement until the video is posted. And, given that it is now Wednesday, I am guessing there was plenty of time to get the video posted.

    Did you call FDSO?
     
  38. skylanerg

    skylanerg Pre-takeoff checklist

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    :yeahthat:

    Casting one more opinion to make direct contact with the owner first. You have options beyond that. Dropping a dime leaves very few options. Your lame excuses for not doing so are extremely weak. It will be a learning experience, college boy. And congrats on the foot-in-the-door job. :thumbsup:
     
  39. N53KL

    N53KL Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Display name:
    Kevin
    Actually, I doubt the guy or gal flying will remember the flight after this much time :):)
     
  40. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2005
    Messages:
    39,482
    Location:
    Ft Lauderdale FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    iHenning
    I used to work below 10' and fly under roadside power lines. Had another pipeline patrol job where my cruise altitude was 100' and my maneuvering altitudes ranged between 20' and 200' in tight, sometimes near vertical turns following the pipes and hoses in the gathering fields. Mainline was an easy cruise at 100' all in single engine airplanes, often over un survivable terrain. There was one woman I may have gotten closer than 500' to, she sunbathed nude regularly and waved as I'd pass by.

    Should all that be reportable? People have different comfort zones to operate in. What seems really dangerous to you is just another day at work to someone else whether or not they're flying their work plane. It's all a matter of perspective and experience vs. fear. Really, flying low doesn't add any extra hazards, it just potentially limits your options (sometimes not, I've flown over water, mountains, and forests where glide range was irrelevant, even 1000' over most cities doesn't buy you any better options than roof top cruise.), maneuvering precisely though is actually easier next to the ground as variances are easily and swiftly determined and dealt with. Judging your wing tip to an obstruction is the same at 130 as it is at taxi speed when you're between the telephone poles. Once you understand it and have done it a few times, you realize that it really isn't all that dangerous.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014