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Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.


Thank goodness the FAA retains it's focus on safety of drones with 0 manned aircraft injuries related to them.

No doubt, again, the NTSB will recommend the FAA get off its butt and do something. And the FAA will ignore it.

This is the second float-plane collision this month and the second one in Alaska in the last 12 months or so.

And now this:


Fire fighting planes; Single Engine Air Tankers (SEAT)

Had any of these involved a drone there would be screams from pilots; because it's other pilots it's just the cost of doing business and nothing needs to be done.

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

Since we don't know what caused the crash yet (do we?), a collision of two planes hardly seems like an engineering failure/disaster. At leat for now, I'd lump this into poor decision-making on the part of the pilots, but nothing was wrong with the planes to cause this accident.

Dan - Owner

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

i wondered why all those darn fire trucks were out and about friday, then i read the article Saturday morning. the location is not anchorage, but soldotna & the site just off the sterling hwy. i think AK has one of the highest rates of aircraft wrecks/crashes.
there was another one a few years ago, but the aircraft barely made into the air before crashing. improperly loaded they say.
i have been in aircraft flying the pipeline and the pilot was more occupied looking for other aircraft than anything else. i have suddenly seen aircraft wondering where they came from. the sky/cloud/light conditions do exist for not seeing other aircraft.

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

"...hardly seems like an engineering failure/disaster." I would respectfully disagree.
If we take this approach as the basis of an engineering failure definition, half of these posts would disappear.
In my line of work (raw water / domestic water / wastewater transport, containment) many of the structural failures are preventable and have a root cause in operations. Like gates closing when they were supposed to be open. Then millions of raw sewage spilling into the river / bay, structures floating due to "unforeseen" buoyancy, flooded control rooms...
For many engineering fields (particularly aircraft), engineering involves figuring out what operators can do wrong, and preventing those actions from resulting in complete disaster (dam breaks, plane crashes...).

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

Engineering disasters are when something is under-engineered for the forces exerted on it, a proper design that was poorly executed, etc. Two planes crashing into each other can be as simple as pilots playing chicken and failed to flinch in time... that's not a failure in engineering, it's a failure of human interaction. Since no one has come forward with the cause of the crash (say, a rudder failed sideways), this is simply an accident, not an engineering disaster/faiure.

Dan - Owner

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

Those arguing against it being an "engineering failure" may not be aware that we already have a system in place that would prevent these crashes - Terrain and Collision Avoidance System - TCAS. It is already in all transport aircraft. The collision part uses GPS broadcasts associated with the transponder to notify other aircraft in the area. It will electronically negotiate between any two or more aircraft at risk of colliding the path to avoid a collision so they don't end up making an avoidance maneuver into each other. The escape maneuver is announced audibly by the system to the pilots.

The problem is that the political will isn't there to force it on charter operators and general aviation aircraft due to the cost. The aviation community considers the risk acceptable, and many people pay with their lives every year. The risk to mainline aircraft was already eliminated with the air traffic control system so the risk to the everyday public isn't there, making the general public somewhat ambivalent on the issue.

So it is a bit hypocritical for the charter and general aviation industry to get agitated over drones, when they take the same risk every day with the vastly larger number of other aircraft outside controlled airspace. About the only thing they can say is that at least between two aircraft, everyone who caused the accident will almost certainly be killed, whereas a drone operator can screw up, kill people and walk away.

RE: Drone does not take down two planes in midair collision.

TCAS is traffic collision and avoidance System. Another one takes care of the terrain. Enhanced Ground proximity warning system EGPWS.

TCAS works through the transponder which is a secondary radar unit. Its extremely expensive and power hungry. All GA that goes into controlled airspace most places in the world should have a mode-s transponder. Even though one of the aircraft doesn't have TCAS you still get separated from it. It just means they don't speak to each other so you get complimentary resolutions. ie the plane without it will just continue doing what it is doing and the TCAS machine will generate a resolution. If they both have it then both will generate a resolution but in opposite directions. It only works in the vertical and gives 300ft separation. But it works off a standard altimeter setting of 1013.3 hPa

A new TCAS processor is in the region of 80K$

ADS-B was created for getting info on aircraft where secondary radar can't reach. eg the North Atlantic track system mostly at high altitudes. They saw it as a cost cutting exercise because it meant they could close down a load of primary and secondary radar heads. And several countries eg Australia are putting all their eggs in one basket with it. But fundamentally it was never meant to be used low level ie below 10 000ft.

The back office setup for ADS-B would have to be expanded by a colossal amount to process all the info for all the drones. And there would have to be someway off getting the info to it from the drone. And low level that is a big issue. The enthusiast ADS-B receivers can't be used so a network of official receivers would need to be created. And for them to work low level the density would have to be high. Basically every phone mast would need one.

You can't see drones in the air until its to late. Even a microlight sized aircraft you can see from 5 miles away

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