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Drone nearly collides with helicopter, operator gets caught

On Saturday night around 9pm, above the northern California city of Martinez, a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer was flying a helicopter over Highway 4, searching for a stolen car. According to SFGate, speaking to Officer James Andrews, spokesman for the CHP air operations unit, the pilot suddenly saw a red light just in front of the craft’s cabin window. The pilot veered to the right to avoid a collision with the drone, which was flying at the pilot’s same altitude—between 700 to 800… ( More...

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Craig G 7
I just got a Drone, A DJI Phantom 3. I fly it in front of my house. I do not go over the back of my neighbors houses to respect their privacy. With that said. I do not go over 60 feet up with it when I fly in front my house And I keep it lined up with the middle of the street, With that said I make sure none of my neighbors or outside in front for a safety reason. While I do fly it in front my house I do not record. I do not fly it within 3 miles or more of any airport nor do I go over 400 feet. I brought it to a local boat launch by my house and flew it, I will be doing this more instead of flying in my front yard. While at the launch I rarely sent it over 130 feet, once I brought it to 330 feet to see the view then brought it back down. It's people like this that gives the things a bad name and ruins it for the rest of us who enjoy flying the things and obey the law.
Doug Herman 3
There are also people whose hobbies involve firearms. They are not permitted to shoot at or near aircraft and if caught, the penalty would probably be severe. How is a drone hobby any different?
We are just waiting for a major disaster with these idiots & their "drones" !

In my 48 years of flying, I have encountered balloons, a kite with tail & string, errant VFR aircraft in hard IMC, & an amateur "rocket".

Drones; WE DON'T NEED them !

Well, how about a $25,000 dollar fine, and 10 years probation, for any idiot that does not realize the danger they are
Putting other aircraft in. A few public examples of this may get the word out to people. It seems some people just look
At drones as toys, but theses toys can and will kill.
Such legislation or rule making by FAA would have the backing of a bigger lobby than the drone makers. Time to put this in motion and quit hemming and hawing about the issue, before someone is injured or killed.
linbb 3
Not really they can and will do what is needed to prevent such things from happening. This is all about stupid people doing stupid things. And again you cannot fix stupid.
This fellow should have been jailed on the spot.
linbb 3
Sorry Ken eyes didn't read your post right. As am sure the drone makers will come on board with it. The FAA in all there wisdom is at the mercy also of there boss in the senate and congress along with Bama.
lynx318 2
Drone makers just want to sell drones, be hard pushed to make them do anything voluntarily. Chinese Exchange student will probably wheedle out with some sort of diplomatic immunity or plead ignorance of US law & get away with it. Experience with Chinese import labour here in Oz is they just don't care, have been brought up to live in the now, not worried about consequences of their actions, e.g. mainland China pollution & copyright breach is a joke to them.
R J -9
Ruben, remind us again. . .how many times have UAVs collided with a manned aircraft?
Managing risk is about avoiding the negative outcome....a 777 ingesting one of these things during final approach does not have to be occur to make the risk 'real'.
R J -3
Billions of birds (many larger than UAVs) fly in the vinicity of airports every day. That is a risk most if not all aircraft operators are willing to accept. Is the risk of UAVs greater than birds?
Here is your answer....I would risk feathers and bones over metal pieces:
Cannot compare animals, who have no sense to come out of the rain, or get out of the way of an aircraft, to humans, who are supposed to possess common sense and use rational thought before they act.
Stefan Sobol 2
Who says humans act out of common sense or rational thought? Reading any newspaper on any day will give you many examples where this does not occur. I would wager that the average animal has way more common sense than the average human.
Highflyer1950 0
Probably won't bring down a 777, however how about the airline send you the invoice for an engine overhaul. Then after they take everything you own, you can work off the balance in the prison workshop. Harsh, you bet, but someone needs to slap some sense people.
linbb 3
Well RJ how would you like to be in an AC and it be the first to hit one and everyone die because of it? Helis are very delicate and if one was to hit the rotor blades that could very well spell the end for all on board. I just reminded you of something that will one day take place.
Jon Herd 2
You want someone dead before you will do anything?

Proactive legislation is a good thing.
Jeff Lawson 1
There was one with an R22 helicopter in Los Angeles just two weeks ago...
Torsten Hoff 1
At least once:
mattdavis 0
It was actually a birdstrike:
mattdavis 1
Interesting quote from the article: "Although the FAA and news media continue to report a profusion of drone sightings, there are no confirmed reports of collisions between drones and manned aircraft, other than one military incident in Afghanistan."
joel wiley 1
How many times has a pilot taken evasive action to avoid being on that list. Medevac helo in Fresno,and this one come to mind immediately
Rj, I did not say that UAVs have collided with manned aircraft. They do have the potential, and it is just a matter of time. I would not want to prohibit anyone from enjoying a hobby, but a bit more maturity and knowledge by drone operators is not much to ask.
R J 0
Sorry my mistake. I thought your very specific and harsh penalties prescribed for drone operators "who don't realize the danger they are putting other aircraft in," meant you were able to quantify the risk of drones operating in the NAS beyond something more scientific than "it is just a matter of time."
Geoff Arkley 4
I fear this issue is going to get a lot worse before (and if ever) it gets better. I hope it doesn't take a fatality to really bring it to the public's attention.
8literbeater 2
The solution is simple. They fly in our airspace without a license? Prosecute like anyone else. Those idiots want into our airspace? Get a pilot's license. Im sick of these things.
Also, let's stop calling them drones. They are not automated, they are piloted. They are not drones.
Curt Drumm 2
I was recently at Best Buy, and saw this large display of drones for only $99. Just about anyone could afford that as a gift. I asked the young store employee about safety, as related to aircraft. He had no idea, and didn't know anything about the laws. The packaging and instructions said nothing about avoiding airplanes or airports. You would think there would at least be a warning on the box...heck, they have a warning on fry pans. Personally I bought a drone about a year ago (use it safely) but the store owner, who sold it to me, and I told him I was a pilot, said absolutely nothing about safety. He was only concerned that if he did a demo in his store it wouldn't damage the merchandise.
Byron Zollars 3
(Satire alert) Hello, I'm from the National Drone Association (NDA). We, along with our billions of members, oppose any legislation or rulemaking whatsoever that would restrict the God-given rights of drone pilots everywhere to exercise their Constitutional rights to the pursuit of happiness. Whether the drone is small or large, even if it has 27 engines, even if it is constructed from depleted uranium with a copper jacket, the populace must understand that it is not drones that cause damage or kill people. The NDA will activate its substantial lobbying army to oppose any restriction to the drone-flying enjoyment of citizens.
lynx318 1
DEPLETED URANIUM? Who are you really, Doc Emmett Brown¿
joel wiley 1
Isn't it the NDA's position that drones fall within the definition of 'arms' vis-a-vis the Second Amendment of the US Constitution?
Eric Schmaltz 3
Will my Estes rocket that can fly to 600 feet kill too? Damn, I better check Google and see how many times it's happened....
Just how immature of a jerk to you have to be to even consider taking a risk of killing or injuring another person for the sake of your own entertainment.That is called depraved indifference and is actionable in a court of law.You may have the right to fly your drone but you do not have the right to put other peoples lives and well being in danger while doing it.And ignorance of the law is no excuse for stupidity.
bobfred3rd 1
Sorry, dies, not does.
lynx318 1
Best thing to do to a drone 2nd amend that U.S.
joel wiley 1
This may be the source of the article-
joel wiley 1
with a followup story a day later:
wkumari 1
... and this is why we cant have nice things...
bobfred3rd 1
If they don't prosecute this person to the fullest extent possible, this will do nothing but get worse until someone does!
MrTommy 1
My problem with this is that he was flying at night. It's hard enough to see these quads at that altitude in the daylight. It's almost invisible (or maybe it WAS invisible) at night, so I think this was pure negligence. But since he's an exchange student from China, nothing will happen.
winnithepooh 1
I hope it does NOT take a fatal incident for people to LEAVE THEIR DRONES AT HOME, OR FOLLOW THE RULES!!!!!
Stefan Sobol 0
Fatal accidents happen all the time with guns. There is lots of hand-wringing when this occurs, but no one is telling everyone to "LEAVE THEIR [guns] AT HOME, OR FOLLOW THE RULES!!!!!" However, if as many people were killed in one week by hobby drones as by guns, the drones would probably be outlawed on the spot.
tom treutlein 4
As a gun owner and pilot I've got to follow the rules for both. There are strict laws associated both with flying and gun ownership. I can't discharge a rifle in many areas, nor fly an aircraft without permission in many areas. Violation of these laws will result in civil and or criminal penalties. It would seem reasonable to have similar laws for drones.
Harry Best 1
How long before these things carry explosive devises?
joel wiley 1
It's been done, just ask google.
Mike Donovan 1
or guns
serge LOTH 1
This is exactly the point we will have to face everywhere.. this is not the first time and the last.. Wait for a drone in a commercial jet intake ... we ll see the result specially on short final approach..
We have the same problem in Europe..and no solution for the moment. And I dont even speak of private life..
ADXbear -5
I got the Chinese students name.. Me-fli-to-hi...
David Troup 1
I don't think that racist attempts at humor add to the discussion.
lynx318 1
And your name would be Me-tu-dum¿
the drone wars
lynx318 1


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