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Old 07-05-2004, 11:20   #1
hapuna
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UAV hits you who's at fault????

Here is an interesting story about the UAVs patrolling the border. Can the NTSB determine that its pilot error if an unmanned aircraft hits you?? Not you the other (non)Pilot.
http://www.avweb.com/eletter/archive...ll.html#187616

When the U.S. Border Patrol began late last month to fly two Hermes 450 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to help patrol the Arizona-Mexico border, the deployment raised questions about collision avoidance. "UAVs pose a significant threat to air traffic along and near the border," one AVweb reader, a professional pilot based in Tucson, wrote to us last week. "Not only for my company, but also for the many GA airplanes that transit the border, and the airlines coming from Mexico on descent to Tucson." AOPA also expressed concern, asking the FAA to establish an industry committee to address UAV operations outside of restricted airspace and to develop aircraft certification standards dealing with collision avoidance. The UAVs in Arizona are operated by the U.S. Border Patrol for the Department of Homeland Security. The flights are in a testing and evaluation phase through the end of the summer.
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Old 07-05-2004, 11:59   #2
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Assuming they've got transponders they shouldent be significantly more dangerous than any other flight. With the cameras "see and avoid" might be a little more difficult for the UAV pilot though.

I suppose the smart thing to do would be to just put them on flight following and perhaps burden them with some additional requirements to yeild to potential traffic.
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Old 07-05-2004, 12:57   #3
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I've gotta say 2 planes with transponders and 2 pilots looking for traffic in congested airspace is challenging enough...one pilot playing video games with nothing to lose is not what I would like to inject into the mix!!!!!!!!!!!!;b
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Old 07-05-2004, 14:15   #4
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I'd say you're right if we're talking about two planes flying in and out of the uncontrolled field with the great on-field breakfast spot with the waitresses with the healthy chests on saturday morning. But I'm guessing that's not an issue with a UAV.

I'd think a simple air strip out in the desert would solve the aerodrome side of the problem. You could solve the enroute problem if you just assigned the UAVs specific crusing altitude(s) and put in a standing NOTAM for "UAV's along border at specific altitudes and near their home field". South of Tucson isnt exactly like the NY/DC corridor.
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Old 07-06-2004, 12:01   #5
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Yes that may be true but don't think this isn't a test case that will become more prevalent as time passes. Keep an eye on it.
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Old 07-06-2004, 16:37   #6
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Since they don't fly that fast, I don't think during daytime it would not be too much of a problem.
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Old 07-06-2004, 21:07   #7
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Marc,
They are not very big. By the way the weather ballon teathers are also a problem and they don't move. You will also see numerous accidents that involve telephone poles/wires and they aren't moving at all. Its not the speed but rather that half of the equation is missing...the other guy looking out for me.
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Old 07-07-2004, 03:58   #8
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Sorry to tell you, but you have always look out for yourself.
I had ATC in Vegas mix me up with a different plane, and if I would have not checked for myself, he would have send me right in a mountain!

So far I understand, those UAV's are flying less then 100 KTAS below 1000 feet AGL. You should fly higher then this anyway, unless you are starting or landing or you are one of those ultra lights.

In my experiance ultra light pilots with their little aviation knolleage are a bigger threat to GA then all UAV's together! I had it more then once happend, that a UL landed downwind on the runway in front of me or they even make it to 3500 feet and fly the wrong direction!
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