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The risk from drones.


Steve
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A couple of months ago I was flying with a mate at about 800 feet and I saw what I thought was a kid's balloon coming up to meet me very quickly. When I realised that it was actually a drone and that the owner obviously thought it would be a good idea to fly it into our path I did the fastest tightest turn I've ever managed, went to full trim and ran away from it. I couldn't see if it tried to follow us but I kept my course for ten minutes to get as far away as I could.

Since then I keep reading about how popular these things are becoming and I can't help but wonder how long it is until one of us ends up with one twisted into our risers or hacking through our wings (are they capable of doing that?). I know we are unlicensed and unregulated but I can't help wondering whether thousands of cheap aerial vehicles in the hands of people with no idea of the vulnerability of anything foot launched is a big issue and needs some basic common sense instruction. It'll never happen of course but it's just a thought.

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It's not legal in the UK to fly any for of RC controlled toy aircraft over 500ft.

The risk is most likely fairly real, as may people have no idea that there are laws surrounding the use of RC kit

There is one doing the rounds at the moment in the USA where a Police heli had to avoid a couple of drones.

SW :D

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The 400' rule only extends to UAV's used for surveillance or commercial operations so technically you can fly one higher if you can keep it in sight. Of course the whole point of keeping it in sight is to be able to avoid other aircraft. There is a growing issue here with complete muppets buying this kit. Running away is very sensible in that situation.

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Had a couple of electric model flyers round here tonight. One had a drone (quadcopter) I asked him how high he was allowed to fly it and he said the limit had recently been raised to 1000 feet AGL. With GPS locked on he reckoned he could confidently send it straight up out of sight in a 4 minute climb to well above the clouds and bring it back to land within 2 feet of take off point. It'll hammer round at about 50 mph too. Faster than a PPG !!! I asked him if he fancied a weekend mucking about down at EXMOUTH ! :o)

But seriously.....I did have a little chat with him re. mid air collisions with us. It transpired that he had 500 quids worth of machine and go pro that he didn't want to loose either

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I am not sure that the plane or heli pilot taking a drone to the tail rotor would be too happy with that as a justification LOL

It seems stupid and irresponsible of whoever made the decision to allow this to send 'items' up into fast flowing air traffic alts.

I guess, its not if.. it's when.

SW :D

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