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View Diary: Media Drones prevent Firefighting Helicopters from Reaching Burning Village in Norway (42 comments)

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  •  The FAA has set up test sites and while drones (17+ / 0-)

    aren't yet allowed, there's a good chance that they will be. There's even private drone testing areas being set up for private drones.

    They're cheaper than chopper crews for doing traffic reports and chasing cars.


    I have no doubt that with media money behind this, we'll have private drones. Hell, Amazon was talking about using them for deliveries.

    An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

    by OllieGarkey on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:09:26 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see why it should be a problem. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OllieGarkey, notrouble, Rogneid, craiger

      Let the media replace their helicopters with drones, but keep the same rules in place regarding where, when and how they can be used.

      •  Cardinal Rule of Flying #1 (11+ / 0-)
        §91.111   Operating near other aircraft.

        (a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.

        As a meat pilot, I have yet to be persuaded that the type of drones the media want to use can actually comply with this regulation in VFR operations.

        "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

        by craiger on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:06:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  They definitely don't. (6+ / 0-)

          The drone looks at the ground, not around itself. At night, or when conditions aren't clear, means that these drones would absolutely pose a hazard, and meat pilots would have to look out for them, because there's no way the drone team can see any other pilots or their aircraft.

          Considering that the US military has been responsible for major fuckups in the air, including almost nuking North Carolina, and killing 19 people in cable car when a prowler snapped some tram cables in Italy, it's only a matter of time before one of our drones collides with something civilian.

          I can't vouch for the veracity of the reporting, because it comes from a comedy site, but someone claiming to be a US drone pilot has posted that pilots are overworked because the military doesn't respect that they're in combat. They're underpromoted because nobody really wants to be a drone pilot and the job is both hard and demoralizing. They're rife with untreated PTSD because they sit around and watch the heat bleed out of the bodies of the people they kill. Their bosses don't know what they're doing with drones in the first place. And they all have stories of situations where they couldn't save the lives of our own soldiers and had to watch them die from a drone camera. That report is here.

          Even if none of that is true and is just something written by a very convincing fiction author, the military already doesn't have a great record with these things, and the record for crazy sheriffs in the US is even worse.

          So when it comes to putting drones up some of the most crowded airspace on the planet, I'm not going to be surprised if some police department rams one into a commuter airline at some point. To say nothing of good old fashioned private sector incompetence.

          An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

          by OllieGarkey on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:13:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Drones can't "see and avoid" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's rule #1 in aviation.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 07:28:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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