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How to insure no helicopter will every be forced to land because of a drone...

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Easy peasy.

Strict speed limit laws (30 knots?) for all aerial vehicles under 400' AGL.

Problem solved.

Discuss.

D
 
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How to insure no helicopter will ever be damaged by a drone ever again...

Strict velocity laws for all aviation flying under 400' AGL. I think 30 knots should be the limit. Wanna fly faster? Climb. We'll call it "Class H Airspace."

Discuss.

D
 
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I'm a little pro manned aircraft even though I love my drones. Mostly because when I am flying an aircraft I am in it if something bad happens and I fall from the sky. Whereas flying my drone, if the drone falls from the sky I am safe by my controller.

30 mph is below the stall speed for any fixed wing aircraft (other than a glider perhaps) so that isn't really a practical thing. Not a possiblity for seaplane operations or the like.

The tips of the main rotor blades on a helicopter are spinning at just under the speed of sound (~350-400 Mph? that's the whop whop you hear from a two bladed helicopter). So 30 knots still equals a main rotor blade strike at ~400 Mph. That is a big impact even with a small drone. So I think that should be avoided.

I had an engine out landing in a helicopter autorotation once (practicing an autorotation which we did a hundred times or more but the engine killed when we cut the throttle so unbeknownst to us at the bottome it became a real auto... surprise no engine on recovery). We hit a touch hard (felt like sitting down in a seat a little hard) and the harmonics in the blade system caused a rotor tip to hit the tail boom (not supposed to happen but it did somehow) The blade strike put a 1" dent in the tail boom. But the energy of that 1" strike cleaved the whole tail boom and tail rotor shaft. When I looked back they were vertical pointing to the tarmac. Those blades have a lot of energy!

Helicopters typically fly 500 AGL. No sense going higher since your speed doesn't increase. I think that is why they have drones flying up to 400 to avoid normal flight of helicopters. So unless a helicopter is landing or taking off they are almost always at 500 feet AGL or above.

I think the 400 ft AGL and giving way to aircraft rule is the safe thing to do. I don't want to hit a drone in my helicopter slow or fast.

But I agree that that article kind of puts bad light on a supposition that it was a drone that hit the helicopter. And if it was a drone the article should have pointed out it was flying illegally (on two accounts). It is hard enough to see other large aircraft in the sky. Spotting drones is a real challenge.

Seems like adding ADS B to our drones and manned aircraft world will help avoid this (even though I don't like the idea). of course the illegal drone operator will still probably fly his drone illegally without that feature too.

I hope this doesn't go the way of gun control where illegal uses make everyone want to ban Drones!
 
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30 mph is below the stall speed for any fixed wing aircraft (other than a glider perhaps) so that isn't really a practical thing. Not a possiblity for seaplane operations or the like.
Agreed. That's why fixed wings must stay above 400' AGL. Exception made for the flight path to the runway, which should be clear of drones the entire length of the glide slope and then some anyway. And if you can't hit 400' within a 4 mile radius on take off, then something is seriously wrong with your fixed wing. I think we can both agree on that. My idea for "Class H" airspace is flawless.



The tips of the main rotor blades on a helicopter are spinning at just under the speed of sound (~350-400 Mph? that's the whop whop you hear from a two bladed helicopter). So 30 knots still equals a main rotor blade strike at ~400 Mph. That is a big impact even with a small drone. So I think that should be avoided.
Agreed. But if you're descending to land from above 400', rotor wash should clear your descent path of all drones, even the heavy lifters. I don't know of a single drone that can push up against a ton of thrust/rotor wash.






Helicopters typically fly 500 AGL. No sense going higher since your speed doesn't increase. I think that is why they have drones flying up to 400 to avoid normal flight of helicopters.
That makes sense. So we can agree that it's just as dangerous for a helicopter to fly below their 400' floor as it is for a drone to fly ABOVE their 400' ceiling, yes?





So unless a helicopter is landing or taking off they are almost always at 500 feet AGL or above.
And while I concede that not every helicopter takes off or lands in Class D air space, I think we can all agree that a descending or ascending helicopter is pretty **** easy to hear and see. I normally hear helicopters long before I see them. Hopefully, drone pilots respect the airspace hierarchy and get the heck out of the way. I know I do.

Long before the 107....


D
 
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Excellent idea , how enforceable?
Discuss
Because full scale aviation vehicles have transponders that transmit their location AND telemetry information (including altitude), I would think that this would be very easy to enforce.

Thoughts?

D
 
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It was my understanding that private planes and helicopters do not have to fit compulsory transponders, am I wrong?
Even so who is going to be the sub 400 speed cop?
 

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I have stripped out the duplicate subject posts from the 'News' item thread and dumped them here

Can we please not have identical thread discussions running across different sections.

Thank you
 
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I gotta side with Philztoy. Helo in a hover (0mph) could easily be brought down by a uav flying into it's tail rotor. Reclassifying airspace doesn't insure separation. I'm sure ag planes would have a problem with the limit also.
 
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Interesting that the discussion focus is on helicopters obeying the rules. I routinely see them here in the Dallas metroplex at 150-175+ knots 30 feet over the 10 story buildings. I was almost hit by one owned by a local football team owner on his way back from his stadium in Arlington to the practice facility in Frisco. You should see the extreme maneuver required to slow it down from that speed to put it down on his private pad. The local FAA will not begin to touch that political issue with a connected big VIP which would surely end their federal career.
 
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I gotta side with Philztoy. Helo in a hover (0mph) could easily be brought down by a uav flying into it's tail rotor.
Unfortunately, there's zero data support that theory.




Reclassifying airspace doesn't insure separation.
It's insures separation a lot more than having NO classification.



I'm sure ag planes would have a problem with the limit also.
The limit is for THEIR safety. There's not a reason in the world ANY full scale aviation HAS to be below 400' AGL. If they choose to ignore the newly classified airspace, they have to take responsibility for that.

And if you read my other comments, you will see that I've already taken flight path and glide slope into account.

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Interesting that the discussion focus is on helicopters obeying the rules. I routinely see them here in the Dallas metroplex at 150-175+ knots 30 feet over the 10 story buildings. I was almost hit by one owned by a local football team owner on his way back from his stadium in Arlington to the practice facility in Frisco. You should see the extreme maneuver required to slow it down from that speed to put it down on his private pad. The local FAA will not begin to touch that political issue with a connected big VIP which would surely end their federal career.
Interesting. And, like you, I have also seen "fast and low" flying helicopters. But this is exactly why Class H airspace is flawless. Think of it as a stop sign. The stop sign only works if you obey it. If you choose to ignore, responsibility for collision rests squarely on your shoulders. Same applies for Class H airspace. You can choose to ignore it. But if you get taken down by a drone because you're flying 100+ knots @ 175' AGL, you get what you get. Naturally, helicopters still have the right of way in Class H, but at least us drone operators have a fighting chance of getting out of the way if they're flying @ 30 knots or less. Everyone wins.

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Unfortunately, there's zero data support that theory.






It's insures separation a lot more than having NO classification.





The limit is for THEIR safety. There's not a reason in the world ANY full scale aviation HAS to be below 400' AGL. If they choose to ignore the newly classified airspace, they have to take responsibility for that.

And if you read my other comments, you will see that I've already taken flight path and glide slope into account.

D
Tail rotor failures have caused plenty of accidents. FAA database for details. UAV into a tail rotor would be all kinds of bad.
Ag aircraft consistently must fly at 100kts plus within 50' of the ground. No changing that.
Just pointing out some of the flaws in your "flawless" proposal.
Sorry
 
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Its kind of a thought provoking topic :) lol

Ag crop dusting flights in Helicopters or planes are well within drone territory. So are seaplane landing and taking off. So I agree with Sierra.

Helicopter operation manuals all have a "dead mans curve" which is a height velocity chart which states altitudes and airspeeds in which the operator can not safely land the aircraft by auto rotation if there is an engine out or transmission failure. Helicopter height–velocity diagram - Wikipedia

The big flaw in the theory is most helicopters flying at 30MPH at 400 AGL or less would be flying in the dead man's curve. You wouldn't fly your drone in a known unsafe matter. So requiring a helicopter to do so is flawed from an aircraft operational standpoint.

Fast and low in a helicoter is a lot safer than low and slow. zero airspeed at 600 feet AGL is safe for an auto. 70 MPH at less than 400 feet is safe. 30MPH below 400ft AGL is an unsafe flight condition.

To a certain extent it was safer flying aircraft without the possibility of drones in the air (a little like it was safer driving motorcycles without people texting on cell phones).

On the other hand I like flying drones so I will keep my drones lower than 400ft AGL and my helicopters about 500 feet AGL and hopefully it is safer than riding a motorcycle on both accounts.
 
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Tail rotor failures have caused plenty of accidents.
Sure. But not due to drone strike. I can find zero data to support your assertion that drones have caused ANY helicopters or fixed wings into an uncontrolled descent.




FAA database for details. UAV into a tail rotor would be all kinds of bad.
Again, there's no data to support that. You're making a supposition and then selling it as matter-of-fact. Please cite your source for drone strike tail rotor data.




Ag aircraft consistently must fly at 100kts plus within 50' of the ground. No changing that.
Sure. But those areas are clearly defined AND are private property. The simple solution would be to make exceptions for regularly-sprayed agricultural areas. But you make a valid point.


Just pointing out some of the flaws in your "flawless" proposal.
Sorry
Well...you pointed out ONE flaw that is easily negated. And honestly, it's far less flawed than the present system that leaves UAV pilots with the ILLUSION that they're safe if they fly under 400' AGL. How could that airspace possibly be "safe" with all manner of aviation flying willy-nilly as low and fast as they wish? Talk about flaws! THAT system is flawed.

You can't have it both ways. You can't force amateur UAV pilots to register their UAV's with the FAA, but then tell them they have ZERO safe air space. Sure, we expect more from UAV professionals. But this 400' AGL rule leaves your Best Buy UAV pilots with a false sense of security. You can't govern where they can and cannot fly, but then tell them it's THEIR fault if a low-flying, SPEEDING helicopter runs into their UAV. Where I come from, we call that "Having your flagon of mead and drinking it, too." Ya wanna talk "flawed???" THERE's your flaw.

Other than rural agricultural areas, I can think of no other examples where aviation vehicles have to fly below 400' @ > 30 knots. Can you?

D
 
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Its kind of a thought provoking topic :) lol

Ag crop dusting flights in Helicopters or planes are well within drone territory. So are seaplane landing and taking off. So I agree with Sierra.
So exceptions should be made for agricultural areas (which are private property anyway) and bodies of water that qualify as "landing fields." This should not be a problem. Ever see a sign at a park that emphatically states, "No drones!!" I don't see why it would be any more difficult to erect signs near waterway landing fields.



Helicopter operation manuals all have a "dead mans curve" which is a height velocity chart which states altitudes and airspeeds in which the operator can not safely land the aircraft by auto rotation if there is an engine out or transmission failure. Helicopter height–velocity diagram - Wikipedia
Okay...fair enough. 30 knots was a completely arbitrary number I threw out there. Based on your chart, seems 50 knots would be a safer velocity and would still be much, much better than 100 knots or 150 knots. Agreed?

1575672195820.png

The big flaw in the theory is most helicopters flying at 30MPH at 400 AGL or less would be flying in the dead man's curve.
Touché. Read above.




You wouldn't fly your drone in a known unsafe matter. So requiring a helicopter to do so is flawed from an aircraft operational standpoint.
Yep. Scratch "30 knots" and replace it with "50 knots."




Fast and low in a helicoter is a lot safer than low and slow.
That statement is too broad and ambiguous to be taken seriously. More accurate would be "low and 50 knots is safer than low and 30 knots." I would agree with that statement.




zero airspeed at 600 feet AGL is safe for an auto. 70 MPH at less than 400 feet is safe. 30MPH below 400ft AGL is an unsafe flight condition.
Agreed. 50 knots is well within your Velocity Diagram safe zone. This, for an 8500 lb. behemoth. You and I both know that your average rescue/police/news helicopter weighs less than half that.



To a certain extent it was safer flying aircraft without the possibility of drones in the air (a little like it was safer driving motorcycles without people texting on cell phones).
Sure. But drones, like cell phones, exist. All we can do is make laws that make talking while driving illegal, and flying over 50 knots under 400' AGL illegal.


On the other hand I like flying drones so I will keep my drones lower than 400ft AGL and my helicopters about 500 feet AGL and hopefully it is safer than riding a motorcycle on both accounts.
Agreed!

D
 
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The deadman’s curve does vary depending on the helicopter. There probably is a safe speed. Usually helicopters are slowing down for a landing at those altitudes anyway.

I don’t think civilian pilots are doing any nap of the earth high speed flying... too many towers and power lines which are hard to see.
 
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The deadman’s curve does vary depending on the helicopter. There probably is a safe speed. Usually helicopters are slowing down for a landing at those altitudes anyway.

I don’t think civilian pilots are doing any nap of the earth high speed flying... too many towers and power lines which are hard to see.
So do you think my "Class H airspace" idea is a good one?

To recap:

* 50 knots from 400' to 150' AGL
* 30 knots below 150' AGL (I can't think of a single reason why any helicopter or fixed wing would want to be below 150' AGL anyway)
* Exceptions made for agriculture
* Exceptions made for waterway landing fields
* In the airspace hierarchy, Class H would give way to class B, C and D
* Some exceptions made for parasails and ultralights, which generally can't exceed 50 knots anyway (details would have to be worked out among parasail and ultralight experts)

Anything to add? Could this work?

D
 

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......(I can't think of a single reason why any helicopter or fixed wing would want to be below 150' AGL anyway)


Anything to add?
Emergency (Medical/Air Ambulance), Fire, Police Helicopters?

Military? (Both fixed and non fixed wing) using terrain following tech.

 
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