Get more from your Mavic
The largest Mavic community in the world
Join Us Now

What do do if you see a helicopter?

skan

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 29, 2018
Messages
105
Reactions
11
Age
39
Visit site
Even if you don't fly on NFZ nor populated areas sometimes you can see a helicopter approaching. It may be the police controlling traffic or looking for something.
What should we do if that happens while flying our drone?
Do we have to land immediately?

I haven't see any information about that.
 

Mavflyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
433
Reactions
265
Visit site
You're just supposed to yield. Do whatever you think you need to do. It's your responsibility to make sure there isn't a collision. If you think you need to land, then land. I probably would until they were gone just to be safe.
 

aokusman

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2018
Messages
688
Reactions
418
Age
45
Visit site
Even if you don't fly on NFZ nor populated areas sometimes you can see a helicopter approaching. It may be the police controlling traffic or looking for something.
What should we do if that happens while flying our drone?
Do we have to land immediately?

I haven't see any information about that.

You should not have to see it as you should hear it coming first and immediately lower your altitude.
 

GavieboyDji

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2018
Messages
339
Reactions
134
Age
37
Visit site
You're supposed to yield to manned aircraft, which basically means get out of the way. You dont necessarily have to land.
I had a low flying Cessna come from behind me when I was flying at 400 feet I was really lucky because I only just heard it. Where I fly from there is a 3 lane motorway. Now when I'm flying anywhere I always check and glance up behind me now.
 

gnirtS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,356
Reactions
2,465
Visit site
Even if you don't fly on NFZ nor populated areas sometimes you can see a helicopter approaching. It may be the police controlling traffic or looking for something.
What should we do if that happens while flying our drone?
Do we have to land immediately?

I haven't see any information about that.

You are 100% responsible for maintaining safe separation from the manned aircraft. If it looks like one is going to be operating in your area i'd get it down low and wait there until its gone or land if it looks like its hanging around.
Adequate, legal separation is always the drone operators responsibility.
 

Mossiback

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 3, 2017
Messages
4,021
Reactions
3,086
Age
66
Location
Brier, WA USA
Visit site
Just lower your height. Odds are the helicopter will not even see you. Once lowered you can maneuver further away.

I was flying when two news helicopters started orbiting close by. They were recording a house fire in a nearby neighborhood. I just dropped down to about 50' and kept it close until they left. I also resisted the urge to fly over the neighborhood myself to get a look.
 

#28

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
49
Reactions
11
Age
33
Visit site
I check with flightradar app before each taking off, this is a good help to not income in unwanted interference..but when this is not enough mavic is fast at loosing height when you hear the helicopter, in this way you should be safe..
 

gnirtS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,356
Reactions
2,465
Visit site
Flightradar is a terrible way of working out what traffic is in the area. Yes it might tell you for sure a helicopter which is ADS-B equipped is in the area but it can't tell anything else.
Most GA aircraft aren't Mode-S equipped and the same goes for helicopters so simply wont show. The altitudes are typically too low for its MLAT function to work even if there is coverage.

Its also worth stating that FR24 has a public policy of blocking military and other aircraft from appearing on their feed. So its a censored feed that might not include things that could likely be at low level such as military.

( Flightradar24 on Twitter )
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Thwyllo

RBeaton

Active Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
41
Reactions
25
Age
42
Visit site
Helicopters can be funny because it's like the wild west with them often easily with the 0-400' AGL range where drones live. We have a lot of helicopter traffic at the beach where I fly. Lots of Coast Guard choppers, but also others. I sometimes instinctively drop altitude, but I sometimes just stay stationary if I can determine that it's obviously 100% nowhere near a collision risk. The other thing to be aware of is if there is anything obstructing your view of oncoming low altitude air traffic. I was flying a quarter mile north of a pier when a Coast Guard chopper suddenly appeared just past the end of the pier.

Get this though: I saw a private helicopter flying incredibly low when I was out surfing there yesterday -- under 50' AGL, maybe around 30-40' AGL. It was low enough that the passenger and I made eye contact as they flew directly over me. That one would have been hairy with a drone for sure!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Greenflash
All E RC Mavic Drones

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
96,613
Messages
1,110,028
Members
124,132
Latest member
mike199515