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Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.

787steve

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Went out on a whale watching cruise this afternoon. I did not take my Mavic, but I did bring it to Maui with hopes of getting some good shots from the shore. I figured over the water, down low, no traffic worries. But while in the Maui straights, we saw an Air Force C-17, cruising along at no more than 300'. He appeared to go down to 200' or perhaps less a couple times. He appeared to be whale watching. I am retired Marine fighter pilot, and pretty good at estimating altitudes, and recognizing tactical maneuvers. Nothing of this looked tactical. Low and slow and gentle turns. I guess I will have to be more alert and definitely stay VLOS during my overwater ops while here.
So, even when you are pretty sure there wont be any aircraft around, realize that you just might be wrong.
 

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I'm a C17 Flying Crew Chief and I know that they'll do low level training but its usually through valleys and canyons. Not sure why they would be doing low level flights over Maui though.
 
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But there would be a NOTAM or similar eh Ray?
You cant just decide on the day, "hey lets go buzz Steves place..._?
 
I'm a C17 Flying Crew Chief and I know that they'll do low level training but its usually through valleys and canyons. Not sure why they would be doing low level flights over Maui though.
Yes. I have flown lots of lo levels, too. But they tend to be in straight segments. These were just meandering around. Very circuitous routing, back and forth. Might have just been teaching a FNG how it handles low. I don't think they were violating and regs. I only posted here because I have seen lots of people post that airplanes shouldn't be under 500'. Just wanted to raise awareness.
When I was flying fast movers we went to desert areas and flew down to the deck. As low as we could go, learning evasive maneuvers. Of course there were no drones then.
 
Yes. I have flown lots of lo levels, too. But they tend to be in straight segments. These were just meandering around. Very circuitous routing, back and forth. Might have just been teaching a FNG how it handles low. I don't think they were violating and regs. I only posted here because I have seen lots of people post that airplanes shouldn't be under 500'. Just wanted to raise awareness.
When I was flying fast movers we went to desert areas and flew down to the deck. As low as we could go, learning evasive maneuvers. Of course there were no drones then.

I’d love to hear some of your experiences while flying fast movers! That was always a dream for me! If only my drone could do Mach 1.......
 
In the US, over water/sparsely populated areas, min allowable altitude is that which allows for a minimum of 500 linear feet from any person, vehicle/vessel, or structure. If there was nothing else around, the C-17 could've gone as low as the pilot felt safe from a regulatory perspective. I have no idea what current USAF policy is about unplanned low-level flight.
 
I’d love to hear some of your experiences while flying fast movers! That was always a dream for me! If only my drone could do Mach 1.......
Thanks. 20 years USMC/USMCR. Too many stories to tell, and they would take up too much time. Some were heartbreaking, others wonderfully fulfilling, Enough amazing memories to last a life time. Most of my time was in the A-4 Skyhawk. This was when the Blues were flying the A-4 as well. Any A-4 pilot will tell you that you didn't get in an A-4. You strapped it on. When you did strap it on, it was like you and the airplane merged into one. It was a marvelous experience that I still miss, after all these years.
Semper Fi.
 
Perhaps off topic, but thank you all for your service. I'll bet the whales feel the same just knowing you guys/gals are out there, too. Again, and seriously, Thank You.
 
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Me too, I missed VN by a few minutes and never had the honor to serve our great country, that is USA to be specific . So many Sons and Daughters of America have always and will always go forward and answer the call . I am humbled to say to all who have and will serve "I get to be here because you were (are) there"
No disrespect to our foreign friends and their patriotism but here in America our heroes seldom speak of their service unless asked so when we know we say THANK YOU
mikemoose55
 
I appreciate the comments. I find I get a lot more of that sentiment these days than I did a few years back. And I always give the same reply.
"It was an honor to serve."
Because it truly was.
Semper Fi
 
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First of all Thanks for Your Service. I also have to say we are more welcomed over the past 30 years than prior. As far as low flying unexpected flights. I am not far from an airport that also houses an ANG A-10 unit. On occasion during a training weekend you will sometimes see unexpected A-10s come through the area below the 500' level. When I asked a friend who happens to be ATC at the airport, he acknowledges that the A-10 pilots will drop down in AGL. They may get a notice, but not always. Last summer I had just finished flying a commercial job and while I was packing up my UAS, an A-10 shot over right in the air space I had been flying. So we make special care to watch for them on weekends, and don't fly if we hear or see them out training. In my active duty days, I would watch A-10s flying just over tree tops while out training. This was over 20 years ago so it was not a problem for UAS folks. Different story now.
 
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A former VP sailor, we used to do some low level stuff around Hawaii when deployed there (P-3s). I was a maintainer so I didn't fly much but on one deployment got to really see the surf!
I had a cousin in submarines. USS Thresher. :(

A big salute to him and your family. A vivid memory, it went down on my 4th birthday. :(
 
A engineer good friend of mine was scheduled aboard Thresher the morning of departure. Bob had a severe cold, and his boss told him to stay home. He took his place...
 
It was his first assignment after USNA. His mother, my late Aunt lived to age of 99. Never talked to me about it till she was in her 90's. She said the next morning, when nothing had been found, she knew he was gone. She shocked me when she said she was overcome with the "feeling of the love of the world". She decided to do all she could to make the world a more beautiful place for the rest of her life, and she did. This is one of many faceted stained glass windows she made.
 

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There was a piece of the Thresher on a plaque at Naval Nuclear Power School when I went through. Wasn’t more than 1 cm x 1 cm. Was pretty sobering to see that every day.
 
It was his first assignment after USNA. His mother, my late Aunt lived to age of 99. Never talked to me about it till she was in her 90's. She said the next morning, when nothing had been found, she knew he was gone. She shocked me when she said she was overcome with the "feeling of the love of the world". She decided to do all she could to make the world a more beautiful place for the rest of her life, and she did. This is one of many faceted stained glass windows she made.
very beautiful window
 

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