Why BVLOS is Over-Rated

Discussion in 'sUAV Rules & Regulations' started by Cookedinlh, Dec 1, 2016.

  1. Cookedinlh

    Cookedinlh Well-Known Member

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    I've written about and flown well beyond my own line of sight and published some "BVLOS Best Practices" but . .
    I'm coming to the realization that NOT allowing BVLOS is really . . in a very practical sense . . is a "feel good exercise" for regulators and law makers. There is little Flight Safety value over watching the UAVs data and camera displays. The Mavic display and data capture is far more accurate and relevant to flight safety than the ability to see a "dot in the sky". A pair of "Mark 1 Eyeballs" have practically NO depth perception beyond a few hundred feet so recognizing a potential course conflict with a larger aircraft in the area, is equally impossible and of little value. The display would tell you far more about a potential mid-air than your eyes.

    I would argue that, operating Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS), below 300-400ft, using flight data is safer than eyeballs as long as you are not stretching the telemetry capabilities of the machine you are flying. . .(as long as you can see a normal size aircraft or helicopter in the same area (ie VFR conditions) . . . Here a safe margin for range might be "50% of the manufactures recommended, tested and demonstrated max range". For Mavic that's about 10,000ft or 2 miles. That should be fine for all but the pioneer record setters in the tribe.

    I would recommend that the rules require you to maintain Line of Sight (LOS) whether or not you can actually visually resolve your own UAV/drone. That means not going behind obstacles, buildings or hills etc. . . as long as you don't exceed a safe telemetry limit and you can see larger flight risks like other aircraft in the same airspace you that know you are operating in.

    I'd like to get your feedback on if you agree or not . . and if not then where does this argument fail a logic test.
     
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  2. Guest

    Guest Well-Known Member

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    Interesting and good read!
     
  3. The Editor

    The Editor Well-Known Member

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    Ok so, you are out at say a couple of miles (as many are) getting a shot of whatever you might be getting a shot of at two miles away from your take off point and at that distance you have no aural sense and at max 94 degrees field of view so no peripheral vision.
    An ambulance helicopter is approaching behind your mavic but you have absolutely no idea it is there since you cant hear it.
    You are small so it doesn't see you (and in any case an aircraft carrying souls takes precedence over a plastic UAV) and passes by and your Mavic or Inspire or whatever you might be BVLOS flying with passes thru and strikes the tail rotor of said helicopter.
    Any thoughts?
     
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  4. LuvMyTJ

    LuvMyTJ Administrator
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    Did you even read the article? o_O
     
  5. Cookedinlh

    Cookedinlh Well-Known Member

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    That's a fair comment . . .I'd say first . . chances of a mid-air are way more remote in that situation, than a helicopter flying at or near any airport, and that happens hundreds of times a day . but regardless of that risk it is significantly further reduced because . . .you should be looking in the direction of your machine . . . off and on . . scanning the skies for other aircraft in your sector of the sky (below 500feet) . . and so you would have noticed the helicopter long before it got close to you . . but . . You can only tell the angle and unlikely very sure of the range or altitude relative to where you UAV is . . What you are seeing on your controller . . with depth perception being of little value . . you can still relate where you are visually with the camera and the map display to where the helicopter is in VLOS. So you might decide to reduce altitude until the chopper departs the area or you might decide to land temporarily. If the helo departs then you can resume. If it does not then find a safe spot and land . . and go get it. Those are the hazards of operating your drone BVLOS while still being VLOS of other risks. Hazard being, you might have to go get it. Also, if you are operating safely . . .you have a forward observer to keep track of both your machine and other hazards in the area . . and the Forward Observer would retrieve your drone for you if you decided you needed to land for the safety of the helicopter passengers or crew.
     
    #5 Cookedinlh, Dec 1, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  6. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus New Member

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    Using a visual observer(s) who maintains VLOS is legal for 107 operations, assuming pilot and observer are in close enough communication to avoid conflicts/obstructions.

    And I agree with you that there are many situations in which a sUA could be operated safely without strict VLOS if the pilot or observer has a clear view the area of operation and potential approaching manned aircraft. For example, one could operate a sUA over a large lake too far out to see it, but could still easily see and avoid manned aircraft. That's not legal in the US for recreational or 107 operations, although it may be possible to get a waiver from the VLOS requirement for certain 107 operations if an applicant can demonstrate to the FAA that operations can be conducted safely.

    As restrictive as we may feel US regulations are, the promulgation of part 107 marked a vast improvement for those who are wiling to do the work needed to get a 107 certificate. We are much better off than some other countries that have no corresponding process.
     
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  7. Cookedinlh

    Cookedinlh Well-Known Member

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    I agree . . progress is being made . . .and that's a good thing
     
  8. Mavic

    Mavic Member

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    Unfortunately the rule here in the Netherlands is that the sUA needed to be within the operators VLOS.

    __
     
    #8 Mavic, Dec 5, 2016 at 1:34 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 5, 2016 at 2:28 AM
  9. UAV Man

    UAV Man Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert on the '107' regulation by FAA, but think its a positive step forward, However WE all know it will be abused with people stating they had 'an observer' when they clearly didn't....
     
  10. seanmclean

    seanmclean Active Member

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    Tell me how your FPV display will alert you to an incoming helicopter at ninety degrees when you're two miles away.
     
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