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Accident rate data?

dropshot

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I'm relatively new to drones, and I've been watching the...energetic...discussions about VLOS/BVLOS regulations (in the US) and disproportionate capabilities of the hardware. My question is: what's the accident data? Does the FAA publish any aggregated data about accidents? How common are Class A mishaps involving sUASes?
 
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maelstrom

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My question is: what's the accident data? Does the FAA publish any aggregated data about accidents? How common are Class A mishaps involving sUASes?
Other than purely for interest sake, it doesn’t really matter. Even if the incident/accident rate was incredibly low, the rules and regulations exist and aren’t optional.
 

dropshot

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I understand your point of view and accept that the rules as written are binding. That doesn't mean the rules are unchangeable.

I would think data is a good, and perhaps the best, way of assessing the current rules and considering if any changes are wise. Certainly, the existence of such FAA data points to such information as being of value to them. As commercial sUASes become commonplace in the next few years, I'd hope that any such incident data would be the basis of establishing and reviewing policy.
 

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If something goes wrong and there's a accident because of disobeying the regs there would be hell to pay.
 

dropshot

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If something goes wrong and there's a accident because of disobeying the regs there would be hell to pay.
Yes, and as I said above, I agree that the current rules are binding. That's not quite what I'm getting at. Asking for the data isn't tantamount to saying the existing rules should not be followed.
 

maelstrom

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I would think data is a good, and perhaps the best, way of assessing the current rules and considering if any changes are wise.
The problem is that anyone can buy a drone and many who do so either don’t even know the rules exist or know about them but choose to ignore them when they seem inconvenient. The data isn’t everything - the rules legislate for the potential risk of drone flying, rather than just the historical record of what has actually happened.
 
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dropshot

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The problem is that anyone can buy a drone and many who do so either don’t even know the rules exist or know about them but choose to ignore them when they seem inconvenient. The data isn’t everything - the rules legislate for the potential risk of drone flying, rather than just the historical record of what has actually happened.
I agree that the data is far from everything. Correlation isn't causation. What's interesting to me about the current data is that it's essentially an experiment with what happens when drones are far more capable than existing regulations permit, yet there's no licensing requirement to ensure people know what the rules are, or enforcement except if there's an incident. I can only imagine what the data would look like if cars were regulated the same way. So, in this loosely-controlled environment, what actually happens? If the number if incidents is low, that could mean that the rules are unnecessary, but it could also mean that they're working. But it's hard to have an informed conversation without the data.
 
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maelstrom

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If the number if incidents is low, that could mean that the rules are unnecessary, but it could also mean that they're working.
Therein lies the problem. I don’t have an issue staying within the rules but I can imagine the frustration of people who live in no-fly regions. Nevertheless, if you know the rules but choose to ignore them, you should be prepared for the consequences. If you don’t know the rules and get caught breaking them, remember that ignorance is no excuse!
 
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dropshot

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Therein lies the problem. I don’t have an issue staying within the rules but I can imagine the frustration of people who live in no-fly regions.
Indeed that is the problem. However, I think policy based on data is better than policy not based on it. And a good analysis of the data takes serious effort. Perhaps the best we can hope for on a forum like this is informed conversation by practitioners, but, again, I think better informed by data than not.

To the degree that we're thinking of it in analogies, is the current widely-open environment more like:
- cars: where the only thing keeping up from having equivalent fatalities is the relatively small number of sUASes in the air? If so, then perhaps cars are a starting point for effective regulation, though even with that, over 38,000 Americans died last year from fatal crashes.
- bikes: largely unregulated (at least in the US), shares the road with cars, but it isn't a bloodbath -- perhaps because of some sensible regulations like bike lanes and also because the bicyclist suffers the cost of an accident more often than a driver
- motorcycles: like bikes but regulated like cars
- skateboards?
- Segway?

Anyway, my point is that data is the start of a good conversation. From what I've seen so far, it seems many of these conversations devolve into shouting matches about obeying the rules as opposed to blithely not following them. I'd like this forum to talk -- intelligently and driven by data -- about what should be, not just what is.

Please don't take anything I'm saying as a challenge to the authority of the current regulations, or a challenge to those who say they should be enforced.
 

maelstrom

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If so, then perhaps cars are a starting point for effective regulation, though even with that, over 38,000 Americans died last year from fatal crashes.
But at least with cars, everyone who drives has to take a test and prove they know the rules before they're let loose on their own.

With regards to data generally, if you were to base regulation on accident statistics alone, airlines would be the least regulated form of transport and clearly that isn't the case. The regulations are there to try to prevent accidents and that seems to be the case with drones.

From what I've seen so far, it seems many of these conversations devolve into shouting matches about obeying the rules as opposed to blithely not following them.
That does, occasionally seem to be the case. We can discuss the existing rules ad infinitum but the bottom line is that, love them or hate them, the rules exist and as much as we may want to change them, until we do we should obey them.
 
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Meta4

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My question is: what's the accident data? Does the FAA publish any aggregated data about accidents?
How common are Class A mishaps involving sUASes?
Certainly, the existence of such FAA data points to such information as being of value to them.
There is no data and the FAA does not publish aggregated accident data.
About all that can be said with any certainty is:
  • Careless flyers commonly crash into trees and other obstacles.
  • Serious incidents are extremely rare.
  • Genuine hardware faults happen occasionally.
 
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Starz

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The FAA may be doing other things and probably like other governmental entities, they can’t keep up. I recently looked at their list of drone operators that they published some time ago(around the end of 2016)that lists by zip code how many they know of and I could not find had been updated.
 

Done

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The FAA has published controlled airspace incursion data.
As far as anyone knows the accident rate is 0.0.
 

maelstrom

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The FAA has published controlled airspace incursion data.
Other than by someone actually spotting the drone, unless it’s a large commercial drone it’s difficult to see how they would have much data about airspace incursions. There are probably many more incursions than the authorities actually know about. It will be a different matter, of course, when remote ID is introduced.
 

Done

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Other than by someone actually spotting the drone, unless it’s a large commercial drone it’s difficult to see how they would have much data about airspace incursions. There are probably many more incursions than the authorities actually know about. It will be a different matter, of course, when remote ID is introduced.
They use a DJI Aeroscope, so it's probably pretty good data.
 
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ADS

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But at least with cars, everyone who drives has to take a test and prove they know the rules before they're let loose on their own.

With regards to data generally, if you were to base regulation on accident statistics alone, airlines would be the least regulated form of transport and clearly that isn't the case. The regulations are there to try to prevent accidents and that seems to be the case with drones.



That does, occasionally seem to be the case. We can discuss the existing rules ad infinitum but the bottom line is that, love them or hate them, the rules exist and as much as we may want to change them, until we do we should obey them.
At least with cars, the one you are driving is in sight! :)
 

Martinus

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What "Dropshot" wants to know, is actually what is obligatory in Brazil. When we are authorized to fly we must fill in a pre-flight checklist, which must show a matrix of frequency of happening and severity when it happens. Its is similar to what planes have to do before they take off. I based my take-off check list on:
List with known notifications and severity.

Each one listed gives you what to look for and what the frequency is and it severity. see example below.

1603280239182.png
 

Chip

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What "Dropshot" wants to know, is actually what is obligatory in Brazil. When we are authorized to fly we must fill in a pre-flight checklist, which must show a matrix of frequency of happening and severity when it happens. Its is similar to what planes have to do before they take off. I based my take-off check list on:
List with known notifications and severity.

Each one listed gives you what to look for and what the frequency is and it severity. see example below.

View attachment 115544
Can you help me make sure I got this straight. That graph is saying that propellers commonly fall off UAVs creating high risk danger according to data collected worldwide. And in order for you to take off in Brazil you have to check box acknowledging your awareness of that risk?
 
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