It was just a question of time....

Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone and also referred to as an unpiloted aerial vehicle and a remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard.

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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Kid » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:05 am

And you will find that the cowboys don't post here or they put up a holy face.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Wayne01 » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:09 am

There is no high ground to be claimed here by Drone Operators, I have been operating comercially for 6 years and now am forced to work over the borders of SA. i Operate large fixed wing aircraft, the attitude of and ability to engage with the owners and operators of full size aircraft is very important, especially on forums like this, I have many years invested in building a viable Uav business and get tears in my eyes reading some of the gung ho attitudes from drone pilots. We are at a very crucial time with regs being drawn up, lets develope an attitude of engagement.

I agree with Justins comments regarding the heli at low altitude, but that doesnt mean I agree that the Drone operator was blameless.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by ehs » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:12 am

Kid wrote:The one in a TWO helicopter and his TWO passengers actually died.
Without a ouija board expert on tap it's a little difficult charging the dead. Who does the Sheriff serve the papers on?
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by sting » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:21 am

avcom is AMAZING... no one here knows all the fact, neither have the Drone Pilot or the Heli pilot posted here as to what EXACTLY happened...

BUt immediately the Drone pilot was in the wrong.... amazing.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Christo » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:31 am

I wonder how much of this article could be found in this story?!?!?!?

http://www.popsci.com/article/technolog ... g-confirms
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Klaas » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:41 am

Ek en die ander voorsitters van die RC klubs in ons omgewing streef daarna om veiligheid eerste te stel, ons het al gesien hoe maklik 'n ongeluk kan gebeur. Ongelukkig is daar altyd een of meer lede wat nie dieselfde sentiment dra nie. By ons klub spesifiek probeer ek dat daar hoofsaaklik binne die reëls van SAMAA gevlieg word en ek laat nie FPV vlug buite die normale grense van model vlieg toe nie. Almal daar weet dat hulle op die uitkyk moet wees van volgrootte vliegtuie en moet padgee indien hy te naby kom.

En ongelukkig is dit ook so dat nie al die volgrootte vliegtuig vlieëniers by die wet en algemene veiligheid hou nie. Ek kan self getuig van mense wat baie laag oor mense en beboude areas vlieg. ‘n Paar jaar terug het dit by Lomac gebeur dat terwyl daar modelle in die lug was en die vlieëniers by die aanloopbaan gestaan het, daar ‘n volgrootte helikopter skielik laag oor die aanloopbaan gevlieg het. Niemand het dit gehoor of gesien voordat dit omtrent op ons was nie. Dit het so laag gevlieg dat die rotor lemme van die lae doring bome se takke afgekap het. Niemand kon eers die registrasie sien so vinnig is dit daar verby. Verder het dit gereeld gebeur toe ek by die vorige klub was en nou gebeur dit ook dat volgrootte vaste vlerk vlieëniers doelbewus laag oor die model vliegveld vlieg, moontlik om ‘n “showoff” te wees.

Ek weet nie of dit dieselfde geval was as hierbo beskryf nie, maar ook so paar jaar terug het ‘n persoon met ‘n klein tweesitplek helikopter en sy kind en die se vriendin by die klub verbygevlieg. Moontlik omdat dit oorlaai was, het die enjin oorverhit en so 2 kilometer vêrder het dit geval en al drie mense is dood.

Ek weet ook persoonlik en mens lees van mense wat vliegtuie en helikopter gebruik vir allerhande onwettige bedrywe, soos onwettige jag uit ‘n vliegtuig. Dit was ‘n ruk terug hier bespreek. Wat dit beteken is dat mense moenie die houding inneem dat almal in hulle bedryf of sport engeltjies is nie.

Ek wil hier glad nie die blaam in een rigting stuur nie, ek wil slegs daarmee sê dat die almal mense met verskillende persoonlikhede is en in beide die volgrootte en model wêreld is daar mense wat onverantwoordelik optree en dan word daar vinger gewys na die een of ander rigting. PPL of kommersieel maak geen verskil nie.

En ja, die geval onder bespreking is al die inligting nie bekend nie en sal seker nooit wees nie.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by ehs » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:47 am

sting wrote:avcom is AMAZING... no one here knows all the fact, neither have the Drone Pilot or the Heli pilot posted here as to what EXACTLY happened...

BUt immediately the Drone pilot was in the wrong.... amazing.
This is the academy - speculation is encouraged, hopefully with some of us learning thereby - unfortunately a byproduct of speculation are flights (geddit?) of fancy that have little to do with the actual events on the ground. Nothing wrong with that. We can still learn from the responses to the speculation.

@ the news article about the police helo - actually proves my point, if there is no legislation that actually covers the situation revert to normal legal principles. If the drone was allowed to be where it was and the helo chased it down and it caused a problem then clearly the pilots would be at fault. The question to be answered is none of this "pilots have a duty" or "drone operators are reckless" etc etc that's all missing the legal point entirely

Absent specific legislation, the questions a court would ask are quite simply would a reasonable uav operator have continued to operate in airspace where a helicopter was clearly at work (you really can't miss them [-( ) or could you expect a reasonable helo pilot in a drastically loaded situation to give way to a uav that he might not even know is there, with the caveat: "Is it reasonable to expect a helo pilot in a very busy pilot environment to spot a small object flying around erratically?"

Who would a reasonable person expect to give way. Rocket science it is not #-o
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by skytrooper » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:48 am

It's very simple really, if you are a drone pilot, and see a full sized plane/chopper approach, you don't INTENTIONALLY go towards the plane/chopper or put it in a potential dangerous altitude, attitude towards it if so you are a psychopath.

I've been flying rc for many years.I believe many drone,rc pilots are sensible, but the morons and goons you get will stuff it up for all.

An attitude that says, i was here first so bugger off is ludicrous, full sized aircraft are PILOTED, people can DIE. What you do, do is, take evasive action the full sized plane/chopper won't stay fixed in the air, it passes, i know someone that flies often at his club and boeings/airbus's sometimes seem to be passing low over the field, he always tells me how uncomfortable it makes him feel, so he lowers his altitude immediately, if you go and chase the darn plane you should not be allowed to get near any sort of remote/transmitter ! and ask yourself if your mommy knows where you are !

Darting towards any full sized craft is ludicrous, such "drone pilot clowns" need not be given the square box in their claws to begin with.
Last edited by skytrooper on Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:07 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Viking » Mon Oct 13, 2014 10:52 am

Lets try and make sense of this debate, and bring it back to something constructive.
I am a fixed wing pilot, glider pilot and I fly UAV's for a living. I also fly RC aircraft as a hobby.

I do not have my finger on the latest rules and regs as far as flying UAV's in SA goes, but I have discussed the matter with SA CAA, when they asked me for some advice.
I am involved in the formulating of the rules and regs regarding flying UAV's commercially in Sweden, and am on the panel regarding the upcoming EU rules.

This is how I see the matter.
As far as I know, there are not many people with the authoroty to fly commercial UAV's in SA.
If the chap flying his UAV at the marathon did it to take pictures/video to publish and/or to sell the footage, and he did not have authoroty to fly from CAA, he was in the wrong and the law book should be thrown at him.
If he was flying under 50 meters, and did it for fun. He had the fullest right to do so.
One would hope that he had some form of common sense to get out of the way when the helicopter came in to the area.

If the helicopter pilot had permission to fly at the event, and had a commercial license, and the event was notamed, he also had the fullest right to be there.
If he did at any stage operate his helicopter in such a way to put the public at risk, or if he did not have a commercial license, and carried camera crew, then he was not allowed to be that low.
Yes I know that helicopters do operate at off-airport locations, and that he had the right to land and take off basically where he wanted to, but this was a public event, as far as understand, with lots of spectators and competitors around. The pilots that I have seen at these events are normally very skilled, professional and operate in a very, very safe way. I am sure this was the case here.

But.
This was uncontrolled airspace as far as I know.
Let's say the UAV (if it was a UAV, we need to define UAV versus quadcopter, versus toy...) was operated privately and the operator just wanted to have some fun, and take some footage of the event for himself.
Lets say the helicopter pilot was a commercially licensed pilot, with all the i's dotted and t's crossed and allowed to fly at the event.

They were both right.
They were also both wrong.

It is ALWAYS the pilot's responsibillity to make sure his or her craft is operated in a safe way. It is the pilot's responsibillity to make sure he or she does not fly in to things.
Every take off is optional, every flight is a choice.
What both pilots did was completely legal, if the above parameters were met.

If they did fly in such a way that anyone would have been in danger, they would have to be held accountable.
Yes, it is diffucult for the helicopter pilot to see the quadcopter, but the quadcopter is not smaller that most bird, and have, from the helicopter pilot's point of view, the same predictabillity. None.
The onus is therefore on the quadcopter pilot to make sure he does not become a hazard for the helicopter pilot. Mutual respect int this case would go a long way.

The big problem that exists today, as was mentioned above, is that the skills level is vastly varying when these craft are flown. There is very little formal training outside the commercial enviroment, and even within.
The next big issue is that, these "toys" are freely availiable.

As a pilot on full size aircraft, I do not fly low, and I do keep my eyes out the cocpit...
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by ehs » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:01 am

Klaas wrote:Ek en die ander voorsitters van die RC klubs in ons omgewing streef daarna om veiligheid eerste te stel, ons het al gesien hoe maklik 'n ongeluk kan gebeur. Ongelukkig is daar altyd een of meer lede wat nie dieselfde sentiment dra nie. By ons klub spesifiek probeer ek dat daar hoofsaaklik binne die reëls van SAMAA gevlieg word en ek laat nie FPV vlug buite die normale grense van model vlieg toe nie. Almal daar weet dat hulle op die uitkyk moet wees van volgrootte vliegtuie en moet padgee indien hy te naby kom.

En ongelukkig is dit ook so dat nie al die volgrootte vliegtuig vlieëniers by die wet en algemene veiligheid hou nie. Ek kan self getuig van mense wat baie laag oor mense en beboude areas vlieg. ‘n Paar jaar terug het dit by Lomac gebeur dat terwyl daar modelle in die lug was en die vlieëniers by die aanloopbaan gestaan het, daar ‘n volgrootte helikopter skielik laag oor die aanloopbaan gevlieg het. Niemand het dit gehoor of gesien voordat dit omtrent op ons was nie. Dit het so laag gevlieg dat die rotor lemme van die lae doring bome se takke afgekap het. Niemand kon eers die registrasie sien so vinnig is dit daar verby. Verder het dit gereeld gebeur toe ek by die vorige klub was en nou gebeur dit ook dat volgrootte vaste vlerk vlieëniers doelbewus laag oor die model vliegveld vlieg, moontlik om ‘n “showoff” te wees.

Ek weet nie of dit dieselfde geval was as hierbo beskryf nie, maar ook so paar jaar terug het ‘n persoon met ‘n klein tweesitplek helikopter en sy kind en die se vriendin by die klub verbygevlieg. Moontlik omdat dit oorlaai was, het die enjin oorverhit en so 2 kilometer vêrder het dit geval en al drie mense is dood.

Ek weet ook persoonlik en mens lees van mense wat vliegtuie en helikopter gebruik vir allerhande onwettige bedrywe, soos onwettige jag uit ‘n vliegtuig. Dit was ‘n ruk terug hier bespreek. Wat dit beteken is dat mense moenie die houding inneem dat almal in hulle bedryf of sport engeltjies is nie.

Ek wil hier glad nie die blaam in een rigting stuur nie, ek wil slegs daarmee sê dat die almal mense met verskillende persoonlikhede is en in beide die volgrootte en model wêreld is daar mense wat onverantwoordelik optree en dan word daar vinger gewys na die een of ander rigting. PPL of kommersieel maak geen verskil nie.

En ja, die geval onder bespreking is al die inligting nie bekend nie en sal seker nooit wees nie.
Two wrongs don't make a right. Because some pilots are irresponsible/reckless doesn't give a licence for toy aerie operators to be reckless/irresponsible.

I suspect the two-seater crash (with three on board) was probably George in a AK1-3 where it is suspected that an unauthorized governor affected the normal operations of the engine and effectively caused the crash. Again because someone did something wrong doesn't give a licence to others to also do wrong.

Incidentally, having followed this thread quite carefully I cannot recall a single instance of a pilot claiming that all pilots are "angels".

What has illegal hunting by some other people got to do with reasonable and rationale behaviour expected from a different set of people?

Quite simply, absent specific legislation, what would a reasonable person be expected to do in the situation that kicked off this thread? In my view, had there been an indictable result, a court would have expected the toy operator to get his machine out of there when the photoshoot helo started it's work.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Trevorn » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:17 am

Common sense says that as a minimum the drone pilot should have an airband radio and a radio licence to communicate with other air traffic. Then limitations on size, weight and height need to be applicable. The drone pilot should also be complying with Visual flying rules.

Finally given the work load of the full size pilot, the drone should always have to give way, much like a full size power giving way to gliders.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Klaas » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:30 am

Ek het nêrens gesê ‘n verkeerd aan aankant maak dit reg anderkant nie. Ek het ook nie gesê ‘n RC vlieënier het die reg om onverantwoordelik op te tree nie. As jy mooi lees sal jy sien ek staan verantwoordelikheid voor.

Daar is nie in direkte woorde gesê dat ‘n vlieënier ‘n engeltjie is nie, maar daar is wel duidelik deur sommige geïmpliseer daar volgrootte vlieëniers nie die wet oortree nie, dus altyd reg optree. Dit is hoekom ek aangehaal het oor die jag storie om vir daardie persone aan te dui dat nie almal die wet in ag neem nie.

En weereens, soos ek duidelik gesê het, wet of hof verwagting uitgesluit, ek verwag almal by die klub om pad te gee vir ‘n volgrootte vliegtuig.

En, as jy praat van “toy” sluit dit in volgrootte vliegtuie wat ook maar net as speelgoed gebruik word? Moet hulle ook padgee vir ander vliegtuie wat in onbeheerde gebiede vlieg? Of moet altwee met respek die algemene lug etiket uitvoer en vir mekaar padgee? En ek sê nou nie RC het dieselfde regte nie, as iemand dit so wil lees nie. Ek sê net dat “toy” ‘n wye spektrum dek maar soms neerhalend gebruik word, soos soms in hierdie bespreking voorkom.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by heisan » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:38 am

henk-indabush wrote:If pilots of aircraft have to do position reports when flying in uncontrolled airspace, for safety reasons, should drone pilots not have to do similar? Same airspace, same rules?
OK - I am going to throw the kites in here again. I use kites as an example, because:
1) they are treated very similarly to model aircraft in the CARs, and
2) every one of us has at some stage run up and down in a park, towing a kite through the sky, without an air band radio.

Should you really be required to have a responsible adult in the park, with an air band radio, warning pilots of kites operating in the area? Or should it be a heli pilots responsibility to keep an eye out for kites, when flying extremely low.

Note that this only applies below 150'AGL - models (and kites) may not be flown higher than this except in specially declared air space.

PS Your original statement is actually not accurate, as pilots are not even required to have a radio, never mind make position reports, in uncontrolled airspace, below 1500' AGL. In tiger country VFR is king.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by Viking » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:53 am

In France a UAV pilot has to have a ppl.


When I fly in the CTR, I have a radio and a modeC transponder.
I am NOT allowed to fly IFR.
I am NOT allowed to fly out of line of sight.
I am NOT allowed to fly higher than 120 meters in Sweden.

I do keep my flights as low as possible, mostly mapping jobs, so I fly at 50 meters.
Most of my flights with the UAV is autonomous, where I pre-program the UAV to fly a certain route, while my co-pilot/assistant looks for conflicting traffic, at some of the important telemetry data and read out battery voltage, GPS count, height etc. to me, while i keep a keen eye on the UAV, ready to take over as soon as something goes wrong, like the wind picking up and the UAV gets blown off course, or when GPS is lost and I have to switch to maunual.
Not that easy to do at 400 meters away, so I rather fly max 300 meters, and move to a different starting location for the next flight.
I treat my UAV, like I treat any full size aircraft.
If you treat your equipment like toys, you will get toy results.
My Aibotix weighs 6.7kg all up. Not something you would want careering off in to the unknown, and go through a windscreen of a car, or an aircraft...

I think that there should be a built in limit on toys, that they cannot fly more than 25 meters high, and 50 meters raduis from the pilot. Most of these GPS based toys have the capabillity to do so. If you want to get beyond those limits, you will have to have done formal training at a recognised institution, and you must have a commercial UAV license.

I doubt that people who fly willy-nilly all over the place are actually RC flyers otherwise.
Most of the RC pilots I know, fly at the club, and they are well aware of the risks involved.
To lambaste all RC pilots that fly UAV's, multi rotors or whatever you want to call it, is just not fair.
As said before, there are a lot of people flying these things with no idea of what they actually are doing.
Most RC pilots do have a fair idea, and do not fly dangerously near or over public.
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Re: It was just a question of time....

Unread post by GCronselaar » Mon Oct 13, 2014 11:58 am

I don't wish to be an instigator but as I have a love for aviation in general, currently I only have money for flying RC/UAS/"Toys" and not full size... What i do not like is the whole attitude of PPL/CPL pilots towards UAS in general... Any UAS/RC operator flying above 150 ft should have his nuts squeezed by authorities, but should this then also apply to all full size pilots? From my limited time in life I should then have reported about 50 incidents I've witnessed, from microlite pilots skimming rooftops, to planes and helos doing stupid things... Recently while flying on a sports field (never higher than the light posts) an idiot pilot came chasing through between the light post, not once but a few times forcing us to dive our RC "toys" for him to pass but we just left it and off we went...

My suggestion to this whole matter, have the UAS/RC guys do an actual course on aviation safety and safe operating procedures... And everyone just stick to their allocated airspace/ height restriction...
Last edited by GCronselaar on Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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