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Hope!!! Boosted Range Test

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I understand that one shouldnt fly out of sight but in rare cases if needed, whats the max range on the standard H anyone?
 
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I understand that one shouldnt fly out of sight but in rare cases if needed, whats the max range on the standard H anyone?
How long is a piece of string? Too many factors can influence it, interference, terrain, kp, weather etc, the EU model is around a mile ideal conditions.
 
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Not when the information is posted to encourage illegal and unsafe flight operations.

It’s bad enough that irresponsible multirotor operators have caused creation of laws that have pretty much wiped out several classes of fixed wing RC; turbines, thermal duration gliders, giant scale aerobatics, leaving the participants holding tens of thousands of $$ in equipment they can no longer use along with loss of the enjoyment they had experienced for decades. I have over $50k in planes and equipment I can no longer fly in the manner they were designed to be flown because of them.

Those same irresponsible, selfish, self centered multirotor operators are also placing the entire hobby at risk because they feel they should be able to fly BLOS without restrictions or certification, not to mention the safety of the public in general. Making the situation a little more irritating is that without a computer to perform the stabilization, GPS for guidance, and RTH to get back 95% of those flying multirotors couldn’t fly at all. They lack the talent and flight skills.

From my point of view anyone that makes videos that demonstrates and encourages BLOS ops without FAA approvals should be tracked down and prosecuted. A few publicized examples of people being arrested, having their equipment confiscated, and being levied with fines exceeding $100k would get the message across. That’s already happened with an east coast professional advertising outfit so it can be done again.

People that refuse to recognize the risk and dangers of illegal flight ops should do everyone in the hobby a favor and not fly at all. The damage they are causing the hobby by showing people what they can do and how to do it is irreparable, providing governments reasons to impose more and more legislation to further restrict us. Every BLOS video provides that much more ammunition to justify closure of the RC hobby entirely.
With the guidelines, is there at any point governmental overreach? I have seen agencies create rules to justify their own existence, Institute fines to become a revenue center and only when challenged in a court of law have they been brought back to the reality that the imposition of law still have to be written under the rights of the Constitution. Is there any data on how many people have been injured by drones falling out of the sky? Or how much property has actually been damaged? I am not asking for a big argument, just some clarification on the common sense side because not all laws are rooted in common sense and neither are all people. Unfortunately some laws by agencies seem to be written for the ultimate lowest common denominator of person and thus invades constitutional rights.
 

PatR

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hcforde,
I have to break my reply into 2 parts to satisfy site character count limitations.
Part 1

I believe there is a need to redefine and categorize your questions, particularly with regard to "drones falling out of the sky". We should establish up front that multirotors are radio controlled aircraft just as radio controlled airplanes are also "drones" as the term has come to be used. We might assume for the moment there are few databases for us to research that contain incident data specific to multirotors but there are some factual media reports where "drones" in general, with multirotors specifically noted as the aircraft in general. As the FAA elected to define all remotely piloted models as aircraft and all those operating them as "pilots" we might presume such a database will be developed by the NTSB as time goes by. We should categorize incidents as loss of control, system/equipment failures, and pilot error. Any incident can contain factors from any of the system/equipment failure and pilot error.

Using multirotors specifically, I can name two incidents where multirotors "fell from the sky" and caused injury. In one of the two a multirotor hit a tree branch and fell while under power to strike a child's eye. The child lost the use of that eye forever. We could also say that incident was caused by pilot error in directing the aircraft into the tree, which ultimately caused loss of control, but the fact remains it “fell from the sky”. There was also an incident where another multirotor hit a tree and flew into the spokes of a bicycle during a large cycling event, causing the bicycle to flip and throw the rider onto the pavement. Once again this was a case of pilot error extending though several categories including judgement, flight over and around people, and loss of control through pilot error.

There is at least one incident where a multirotor operator flying well beyond line of sight collided with a helicopter causing hundreds of thousands of $$ in damage to the helicopter. There were no injuries but that may well be a matter of simple luck. There is another well publicized video of a multirotor, again being flown beyond line of sight and above 400', being almost hit by a helicopter. There is one other event where a multirotor was claimed to have struck the tail rotor of a helicopter during a filming exercise where both a multirotor and a helicopter were supposed to be working together in the same airspace but I'm not counting that as it has not been proven the multirotor hit the tail rotor. To my knowledge there has been no evidence of a destroyed multirotor presented for proof.

If we were to include all model aircraft in the category of loss of control there have been a great many incidents where people have been injured or killed by the model aircraft. We could break those incidents down a little further and separate them by pilot error or system/equipment failure but the numbers still reflect that "chit happens". I could name at least three incidents where a system/equipment failure caused loss of control where the model aircraft either killed or severely injured a person on the ground. In one system/equipment failure, induced by radio interference, caused a large RC aircraft to depart operator control, hit a distant bystander and almost completely severed his leg at the hip. During a German publicaly attended RC airplane event a local radio station decided to broadcast on a frequency different from normally used, which caused a large RC biplane to receive severe radio interference, which in turn caused loss of control and killed a spectator. In another incident an operator lost control of his aircraft at a national air race event where an RC demonstration took place and crashed his aircraft with enough force to cause the engine to separate from the airframe, bounce over a K rail barricade and strike a child, breaking the child's leg. I could name two or three incidents where a model aircraft under the complete control of the "operator" caused death of the operators. The number of incidents where pilot error caused loss of control and caused death or injury is exponentially higher than system/equipment failure but the numbers are still pretty high for either category. Unfortunately the AMA does not release the statistics related to model aviation insurance claims but much of the information is out there if you look hard enough.

Are multirotors large enough or heavy enough to cause death, injury, or property damage? They certainly can be. If you want to test that statement all you need to do is stand on the ground and have someone take your, or any other multirotor, to the roof of a tall building and drop it onto your head. I'll venture you aren't willing to do that as you would fear being injured by the falling multirotor. Tests have been perfomed that something as "small" and "breakable" as a DJI Phantom can punch through the leading edge of an airplane wing in flight. We might take things a step further and try to establish what level of injury is "justifiable or acceptable" or when might a death be "acceptable" when induced by a model aircraft. If that death or injury is incurred by you or a family member I'll venture your answer will be "never". As to what a human life is worth, or the loss of an eye or limb, there are teams of lawyers and actuaries that compute that after an incident occurs. The airline industry puts a base value of about $800,000.00 on each occupied seat but actuaries are really good at reviewing the earning history of the deceased, along with future earning capacity to elevate that number considerably. Similar occurs in motor vehicle incidents. Note I use the word "incident" instead of accident. I use that word as most incidents are preventable, which removes them from the accidental category.
 
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PatR

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Part 2

No aviation related activity will ever be completely safe but there are means to make it as safe as possible. The same applies to BVLOS operation of model aircraft. From pretty much the beginning of remote controlled model aviation the most common questions that have come from observers have been: (1) How much does it cost, (2)How high can it fly, (3)How far can it go, and (4) How fast can it go?. The answers to #'s 2 and 3 have always been "higher and further than I can see it". The answer to #4 is quite important if an event occurs where someone is struck by a model aircraft as it factors into the amount of damage that will occur when combined with the weight of the aircraft. It has always been accepted that if you can't see it you are no longer in control of it. The addition of a forward looking camera does not change that a bit as once it it out of sight you really don't know where it is going or what it will fly over during it's travels. You have no control over the people on the ground it will fly over and no means of warning them should something go wrong, and when (not if) things go wrong you will very probably have no means to mitigate the situation. "Hope" is not a word that should be used when aviating.

BVLOS operations can be made much safer to conduct using methods, equipment, and training than what the average RC or multirotor model operator has available to them to make use of. BVLOS UAV operations have been in practice for quite some time, and those that have been conducting such operations train their operators to pretty high standards. They designed and tested their equipment rigorously to assure it will function to very high standards. They utilize very high quality components in the command and control systems, as well as the aircraft. They generally have a flight safety program where both the operators and equipment are frequently reviewed to assure they are in compliance with equipment and operating standards. In effect, they "certify" that every aspect of their operations are in some form of compliance with a recognized standard, even if that standard has not yet been published and made available to the general public. More often than not that "standard" meets the requirements put in place by military agencies that submitted those standards to governments for approval, which is where the vast majority of BVLOS UAV operations have been conducted.

As of this writing there are absolutely zero published manufacturing, system maintenance standards, or component certifications for consumer drones. There are zero controls in place to assure our multirotors are "safe" for operation. The only "standards" for the average RC aircraft/drone operator are those noted in the AMA's safety guidelines, Part 333, Part 336, Part 107, and the most recent Part 349. None of them contain anything that causes the operator to demonstrate their proficiency or competency in operating their aircraft. Many that obtained a Part 107 certification did no more than memorize the test questions and therefore have almost zero understanding of the rules involving our national airspace system. In truth, they really aren't qualified in anything but a title to operate commercially. As for consumer level equipment, there are absolutely zero design certification standards either published or in use for any component used in our equipment. We have nothing to refer to for level of accuracy, design limitations, safe operating distance limitations, factors involving RF propagation, signal strength or interfering signal rejection, system reliability, and certainly nothing to assure us that the very limited type of failsafe's provided will function reliably and as advertised. Until those items and more have been addressed BVLOS operations by the average, and even more advanced modeler, are not in any way safe, or even reasonable safe. Because a manufacturer provides BVLOS capability does not provide any assurance such activities are safe, or that BVLOS flight safety was even a design consideration at all.

The law often uses the term "reasonable person" to establish legal applicability. I don't know if that term is suggestive of a "reasonably intelligent person" but a reasonably intelligent person should be able to recognize the difference between a "want", a "need", and "required". Nothing requires us to fly BVLOS, we typically only want to. None of us need to fly BVLOS, again, we simply want to. Even most commercial multirotor operators don't need to fly BVLOS, they only want to. If we can't get physically close enough to something in order to maintain visual contact with our aircraft while taking pictures we certainly don't "need" to be taking pictures of whatever we desired to take pictures of. Self and/or instant gratification are not needs or requirements. Rarely if ever will the common commercial operator be required to fly BVLOS, they may want to for convenience but when and where they are required they will be required to be using equipment certified for such operations and very likely to have proven their competency before allowed to operate a flight system.
 
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Very, very well said PatR.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse, only stupidity gets you into trouble.
 

Fred Garvin

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Absolutely GORGEOUS biplane!
 

PatR

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A very good summary all around. I will rue the day that these two things were conflated into being the same thing:

View media item 88
View media item 80
I'm afraid that where the FAA, general public, and the media is concerned that has already occurred.

Flying this
Woodburn bigbird 6 26 10 336.jpg
or one of these
multiple-rc-helicopters.gif
is not the same as flying one of these
IMG_2116_blurred.jpg
but many seem to think flying one of these qualified them to fly,
Multirotor.jpeg
as currently available to the public and without any formal training, in a manner similar to what is done with the aircraft in the third photo. Not hardly. Unfortunately, where the public is concerned they might was well all be the same thing.
 
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