In the aviation world there are many threats and many more dangers, when flying, besides the weather, unruly passengers, birds strikes and bomb threats, there are also careless people with their hobbies that pose a hazard to safe flying. People have been encroaching on controlled airspaces for many years, most of it is pure naivety, but on odd occasions, it could be deliberate. People flying kites on windy days or setting alight floating lanterns on special events or pointing their lasers into the skies causing temporary blindness for pilots are just three examples of carelessness. However, the new phase taking the world by storm is the hobby of flying drones, and there is a lot to think about.
Drones are small, and some are less than 1kg, which is lower than most birds, however birds of 250g can do sizeable damage to a landing or taking off aircraft. Although aeroplanes and helicopters are solidly built to carry from 2 to over 300 people and are indestructible in the minds of many, they have highly sensitive technology and damage to any sensor or the hydraulic lines can lead to a disastrous accident resulting in injury or death to the souls on board.
You should stay at least outside of a 10 km radius from any airport, even the unmanned ones, especially the unmanned ones. Don’t fly too high or too far away from where you are piloting to make sure you always have control. Keep your eyes on your drone and the skies. Check the local aviation authority’s website, to make sure you abide by their laws governing drones before you take off.
The world leader in consumer drones announced in May stating that they will be equipping all their drones over the weight of 250g with transmitters to alert the drone pilots of helicopters and aeroplanes they might be on a collision course with. This with the accomplishment of 10 key points, one of which urges governments to intensify the enforcement of laws against the dangerous operation of drones, should aid in building a safer flying future for all flying objects, from Boeings to Sinofsky’s to the DJI Phantom.
This can be seen as both good and bad news for those using drones to film extreme sports. Depending on the location of the event there shouldn’t be much problem, however, should you be closer to the 10km radius from an airport, this function should warn both pilots of the impending dangers. An added advantage is that if by some unimaginable chance a rouge aeroplane or helicopter was hurling towards the extreme sports event, the drone pilot could save the day by warning everyone to move out of the area. The next step should be to figure out how to warn aviation pilots and drone pilots of birds in the area.