Top Letters And Comments, January 27, 2023


Drone Collision Report Issued

The problem with drones… you can’t see them in a hover from the air. From the ground you can see the dot in the sky. When a drone isn’t moving, it blends perfectly into the ground clutter. You will not be able to see or avoid it.

There was a guy playing with a drone 800 ft from the approach end of a runway where helicopters were landing.

I saw the drone from the ground. I knew the pilots for one of the helicopters making an approach to land right over the drone. When I asked the pilots that flew feet from it if they saw it, they said they saw nothing.

This is like shooting at aircraft in the sky… and sentences in a federal prison should be commensurate.

Richard G.

This report is sadly a missed opportunity to provide a thorough analysis of risks around drone operations. The human factors analysis is very shallow and there’s no real mention of automation management. It took almost 18 months to produce a report on a fairly straightforward accident and this is all we get? I’d be curious to look at their investigative and reporting guidance since the report also lacks any meaningful recommendations. Nothing against the investigator, but this should have been investigated by a pilot who has operational flying experience. The reason it may have made a difference is that the report alludes to the C172 pilots sharing some of the sense-and-avoid responsibilities even though they do not. The regulation and guidance (TC-AIM) are quite clear about the drone pilot being solely responsible for conflict and collision avoidance. Reports usually go through rounds of review with external agencies so I’m not sure how this was missed, but it provides a false view of the operational setting.

Joe M.

Very thorough report. The failure of the drone operator to go through the official authorization process seems to be mostly superfluous in the accident chain, as the operator purportedly did check all the other major procedural boxes, just didn’t carry out the associated actions correctly/effectively. You can bet if he continues in the work, he’ll never skimp on that stuff again.

As usual, a few key factors are left unexplained, such as why did the operator (and others) not hear the radio calls from the aircraft, and why the aircraft was at 400 AGL over a residential area that far from the TDZ.

John W.

Where The Rubber Meets The Runway

I spoke to an aircraft designer once who said very common question from the public was why there was not a system to pre-spin the wheels so they did not “burn” on touch down.

And he said the institute where he worked had many designs sent in to do so, often involving blades on the wheels, but which all added complexity, weight and cost, far beyond the cost of changing tyres every couple of months.

John P.

I had the same experience while landing on a GA 3,000 Ft. runway. Oil, dirt, paint, rubber, beaded water, condition, and type of tires, all contribute to uncontrollable slides or hydroplaning. Good topic.

Raf S.

Wonder if anyone factors in the lost rubber in their W&B so they can squeeze in a few more pints/litres of fuel?……. 🙂

Graeme S.

Poll: Should We Field Unleaded Fuel Before 2030?

  • Let the technology and the marketplace determine when we make the transition.
  • We need a non-STC solution.
  • Given the recent lack of proper testing concerning critical elements in our lives that can cause harm or death, I say it’s too early. A focused real-time use of these new fuels in a variety of piston aircraft needs to be done in a controlled use study and honestly that will take years before we can definitively say it’s safe, so start the testing now.
  • Yes, once there are multiple sources and the turbo issues are resolved.
  • Field it by mid-2023.
  • If it includes mogas (ETOH Free of course).
  • Why the deadline? Let the MARKET decide–it is consistently better than government regulation and timetables–which have held up offerings from people that have ACTUALLY DONE SOMETHING to address the perceived problem. If government had to write a spec for and address WATER, THERE WOULD BE A WORLDWIDE SHORTAGE!
  • Gradually introduce it into the fleet. As we gain experience with it, we will know the full effects of it on our GA aircraft.
  • When it’s ready, and competitive.
  • It’s just gonna make it more expensive to fill out tanks.
  • There should never be any hurry when it comes to safety. Free market, supply and demand should always be the driving factor. Not legislation. Safety first BS last!
  • We should burn mogas.
  • One step at a time.
  • Should? How about can…?

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