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Old Jul 06, 2012, 12:38 PM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
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Just a question about the videos I watch where people are flying very high.

I recently got into FPV flying with my miltirotor and a few years ago with a Easystar.
I see all these pretty cool videos of FPV flying and some of them are flying thousands of feet high. I'm curious what impact it has on commercial or general aviation.

I'm a GA pilot and there's tons of times that I may fly a few thousand feet AGL just to check out the surrounding terrain. I usually file a flight plan around 9,000ft but when I go to new places I sometimes cruise at a low altitude for the scenic view.

How can anyone who's flying their FPV aircraft a few thousand feet high know if an airplane will pass by at the same altitude.

I could slightly see in the old days when everyone flew on a specific radial between VOR's and some could argue that they are SOMEWHAT out of a flight path but now with GPS a lot of people don't fly by VOR's.

When I create a flight plane I use the GPS and a fly a straight line between my takeoff and landing point and adjust my waypoints for terrain, restricted airspace etc.

I'm just curious what would happen if a FPV aircraft hit my windshield at 180mph if it could do any damage. I've had bird strikes before and besides scaring the crap out of me it never caused any damage.

BUT if a FPV aircraft with a 5-10,000mah LIPO weighing a few pounds hitting the windshield at 180mph could have fatal consequences to myself and my passengers.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 12:46 PM
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NW O-town
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The rule is 400ft (or is it 500ft?) max.

What you've described is ultimately going to be the end of FPV in my opinion. When something like that happens and the FAA starts really cracking down. I'll be honest, I rarely maintain the 400ft rule. But I never go over 1000ft (or at least I make a positive effort not to). Which even at 1000ft I feel pretty safe against running into a full size airplane. It's these few people dancing with clouds that I worry about.

I think the real question is... and I'd be really curious to see... is can a 1:1 airplane visually see and avoid an R/C aircraft at 1000-2000 ft? I'm talking about general aviation, not commercial jets doing 400+mph. I'm working towards my sport pilots license currently and I'd like to think that I could.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 12:54 PM
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This should be interesting...
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:02 PM
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There is no "rule" or reg that says you can't fly over 400ft, only a guideline.
Even the new model aviation exemption passed into law does not have a 400ft cap.
LoS RC pilots fly aircraft much higher than that *all the time* and have for decades.
For instance, F3J sailplanes launch to about 600ft, and climb in thermals to thousands of feet.
1/4-1/3 scale powered planes, DS planes and turbines zoom above 400ft in seconds. Full
scale planes are avoided by sight and sound. There are also places in the world
where you just won't encounter full scale aircraft like high mountain valleys and rural areas
that aren't between airports, whether you believe that or not. Commercial airlines fly
higher than we do. And probably most importantly we fly very small aircraft in a very big sky.
The odds of collision away from an airport start at about 1 in a billion, and go down exponentially
as you move to more rural areas. By comparison, the odds of getting seriously injured or killed
in an auto accident in your lifetime is about 1 in 3. Which one should you worry about more?

ian
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Last edited by Daemon; Jul 06, 2012 at 01:14 PM.
Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:06 PM
Project Tormentor is flying!
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Hold on, Ian. Are you trying to derail yet another illogical, imagining-based, fear driven conclusion thread with cold hard FACTS???

LOL!
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turbodriven View Post
The rule is 400ft (or is it 500ft?) max.

What you've described is ultimately going to be the end of FPV in my opinion. When something like that happens and the FAA starts really cracking down. I'll be honest, I rarely maintain the 400ft rule. But I never go over 1000ft (or at least I make a positive effort not to). Which even at 1000ft I feel pretty safe against running into a full size airplane. It's these few people dancing with clouds that I worry about.

I think the real question is... and I'd be really curious to see... is can a 1:1 airplane visually see and avoid an R/C aircraft at 1000-2000 ft? I'm talking about general aviation, not commercial jets doing 400+mph. I'm working towards my sport pilots license currently and I'd like to think that I could.
There's no way in hell that if a FPV vehicle was in front of me that I could avoid it.
It's so small that no one could see it in time to react and execute a hard bank to avoid it.

Besides, I think most of us are not looking out the windshield all the time.
Mostly I only scan my surrounding every 30 seconds or so. That's only if I'm a few thousand feet AGL.
If I'm on a cross country flight the lowest I may be is maybe 5,000 AGL and have autopilot on and reading a magazine and only looking outside every minute or so and using flight following if on a VFR flight.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by jasper7821 View Post
Besides, I think most of us are not looking out the windshield all the time.
Mostly I only scan my surrounding every 30 seconds or so. That's only if I'm a few thousand feet AGL.
If I'm on a cross country flight the lowest I may be is maybe 5,000 AGL and have autopilot on and reading a magazine and only looking outside every minute or so and using flight following if on a VFR flight.
So what makes your style of inside the cockpit flying any safer to other VFR pilots?

ian
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:12 PM
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La Crosse, WI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philthyy View Post
Hold on, Ian. Are you trying to derail yet another illogical, imagining-based, fear driven conclusion thread with cold hard FACTS???

LOL!
I snorted coffee out my nose...

Later,
Gundy
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
So what makes your style of inside the cockpit flying any safer to other VFR pilots?

ian
Well, most always I'm flying with flight following as long as I get radio reception and plus I also have radar that displays on my Garmin GPS in my aircraft for redundancy. So as long as another aircraft has a transponder I'll know where it is.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jasper7821 View Post
Well, most always I'm flying with flight following as long as I get radio reception and plus I also have radar that displays on my Garmin GPS in my aircraft for redundancy. So as long as another aircraft has a transponder I'll know where it is.
And for full scale sailplanes, paragliders and flocks of birds?

ian
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
And for full scale sailplanes, paragliders and flocks of birds?

ian
Full scale sailplanes mostly have a transponder and will show up on my radar.
Glider ports are marked on my sectional or terminal area chart, plus ATC will warn me if there are gliders in the area as I'm passing through.
I also power paraglide and I usually have only flown close to the ground.
Plus a 30 foot paraglider wing is far more easily seen then a 3-5 foot white foam aircraft.
And I've already had bird strikes from SMALL birds with no damage, but no one has control of the birds.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 02:08 PM
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From your quote,

"There are also places in the world
where you just won't encounter full scale aircraft like high mountain valleys and rural areas that aren't between airports, whether you believe that or not."

There doesn't have to be any airports close by to have planes fly by.
If I plan a trip from California to New Mexico there are tons of open space with nothing around. I'd probably be at the 9,000ft level but if I saw something very interesting in my preflight planning in the middle of nowhere I may cruise down to 1,000ft AGL to fly around it and get photos.
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 02:18 PM
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Around here, most sailplanes don't have transponders, and very few VFR pilots use flight
following. Sounds like you rely a lot on other people and a lot of luck to give you that feeling of safety.

BTW, there's an estimated 60 billion or so birds active in the US NAS year round
and yet bird strikes are still extremely rare away from airports. Only a few thousand sUAS
active on any given day and only a tiny fraction of them flying high. The odds of
intercept are just astronomically small. You'll experience a thousand other more
likely problems before you encounter an R/C aircraft far from an airport.

ian
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 02:30 PM
FPVing for fun...
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the weekly "FPV is dangerous" thread...
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Old Jul 06, 2012, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemon View Post
Around here, most sailplanes don't have transponders, and very few VFR pilots use flight
following. Sounds like you rely a lot on other people and a lot of luck to give you that feeling of safety.

BTW, there's an estimated 60 billion or so birds active in the US NAS year round
and yet bird strikes are still extremely rare away from airports. Only a few thousand sUAS
active on any given day and only a tiny fraction of them flying high. The odds of
intercept are just astronomically small. You'll experience a thousand other more
likely problems before you encounter an R/C aircraft far from an airport.

ian
By saying I rely on other people like ATC to keep me safe just shows how unaware you are.
Why wouldn't I rely on Air Traffic Control to help assist in spotting aircraft around me, and using radar to help me spot aircraft in the area.

I'm not going to get into a debate, so please don't respond.
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