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Whose airspace was it ?

Joined
Jul 6, 2018
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aerocam.org.uk
#1
This was a depressing story I read today.

Obviously the guy was trying to hide his drone later, does seem to be flying in a built-up area, and the article suggests he was BVLoS, so clearly something dodgy there, but I also don't like the heli pilots language describing what he considers 'his' airspace. Primarily I am interested in how the drone pilot could have known his flight was interrupting a police search, especially if the heli was nowhere around when he launched. I'd also like to know why the headline is 'Drone could have caused Police helicopter catastrophe in Guyhirn'. In the footage reported the drone came nowhere near the helicopter, the helicopter pilot saw it, and followed it by his own volition ! That sounds to me like the heli flew into the drone's airspace if anything ! And then remained there, abandoning its intended search and instead following the drone home seeking to prosecute its pilot ! I wonder if the Police would have also taken this attitude had he been flying legally in a park area that they happened to be searching - the feeling I get from the article is that they almost certainly would, and were that to be the case that's not good news for any of us...

So I'm posting it here as warning and for discussion...
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
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#2
I didn't watch the video, I have ad blocker and it wouldn't play, not interested in giving out info to this site.
That being said, we're always going to have those who are against or for the drone industry, let alone squabbles about it.
How much of this hype/crap can you your really believe anymore?

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Last edited:
Likes: robbie2
Joined
Feb 7, 2016
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61
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South Manchester UK
#4
the helicopter pilot saw it, and followed it by his own volition ! That sounds to me like the heli flew into the drone's airspace if anything !
Indeed. But a drone always has to give way to manned aviation, it doesn't matter who is in the airspace first. Best thing to do if you hear a helicopter anywhere near where you are flying, is bring it down as low as you can and hover until you can ascertain where the helicopter is. Normally a helicopter, just like any other manned aviation, shouldn't be flying below 500ft. Except that is for emergency services helicopters. That's why the 400ft altitude limit exists for drones, so there should always be a 100ft area of separation between the two and never the twain shall meet, so to speak.

Having said that, the article again shows how the press hype things up just to make an otherwise dull story more newsworthy? I didn't like the way the article compared this incident to the Leicester City football ground helicopter crash. No suggestion that the Leicester City helicopter crash was caused by a drone and yet this article sort of suggested it was, without actually saying it.
 
Joined
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#5
I do not know the laws of the UK but as I read the story, and the Pilot's comments, I took it that if he (heli pilot) were on a SAR mission he would have had clearance to be there, and in that respect the use of the word 'his' in regards to the airspace makes sense. The moment there is another aircraft flying in that airspace, uncoordinated with the helicopter - the SAR would have to be called off. It was. Therefore the UAV pilot did in fact interrupt, and cause to cease, a search and rescue mission. If he was within line of sight of his drone, he would have seen or heard a helicopter. Further, that flight looks to be taken at night as the time stamp on the footage shows a time of 20:49. The drone pilot's actions tend to suggest he knew he was in the wrong. All pilots of UAV's; hobby and professional must yield to all manned aircraft.

That said, I have no love loss for the types of idiots in media that are free to print ridiculous and incendiary comments such as those in the first paragraph suggesting what 'could have' happened, when they likely have less knowledge of such things than 98% of the inhabitants on the planet.
 

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