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What to do if no one picks up? 5 miles from airport

naiku

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I am planning to fly my drone later today, according to the B4UFly app I will be a little under 2 miles from a local airport and that I need to notify the airport.

This is a small airport with no tower, but a phone number. So, I called the number and no one is picking up, likely no one is there on a Sunday. I've tried a couple times and cannot get hold of anyone, so do I give up on my plan to fly today? Are there any other options?

Thanks.
 
If an answering machine picks up, leave a message and fly. Same issue here with a small airport just under five miles away from where I like to fly. Now it's for sale, so it will likely become another master planned community. I kinda figure that any plane in the air space I typically use has more pressing concerns than my Mavic being in the way.
 
If an answering machine picks up, leave a message and fly. Same issue here with a small airport just under five miles away from where I like to fly. Now it's for sale, so it will likely become another master planned community. I kinda figure that any plane in the air space I typically use has more pressing concerns than my Mavic being in the way.

In my experience, thats not enough. If its a small FBO, then the operations person might be out fueling an aircraft. It really doesnt take that long to go in person, and you can establish a rapport with the FBO for the next time you want to fly.
 
There’s a private airstrip that has 5 planes stored .5 mile down the same street as my cabin that I have to clear before flying. No phone # or tower available, so I actually drive up and down the airstrip to see if any cars are there.
I actually got to talking to an owner and he took me up in his plane. Way cool [emoji106]
 
There’s a private airstrip that has 5 planes stored .5 mile down the same street as my cabin that I have to clear before flying. No phone # or tower available, so I actually drive up and down the airstrip to see if any cars are there.
I actually got to talking to an owner and he took me up in his plane. Way cool [emoji106]

That is very cool! Bet you werent expecting that.
 
That is very cool! Bet you werent expecting that.

He shared his plane and in return, he got to fly the Mavic. We were both pleased.
Not sure what kind of plane it was, but I he did tell me it was very old, and it had like a vinyl ? skin. It was very light because the two of us pulled it out from the hanger.
I find that people up north are pretty laid back and friendly if you approach the same [emoji41]
 
In my experience, thats not enough. If its a small FBO, then the operations person might be out fueling an aircraft. It really doesnt take that long to go in person, and you can establish a rapport with the FBO for the next time you want to fly.
It's literally 4.9 miles away. I'm truly on the edge of the radius. I've tried calling many times, never an answer and never a callback. I'm on the east side and it's oriented basically north/south. I've never seen anything that appeared to be on approach to land there. I have seen more lifeflight and traffic helis flying at questionable altitudes within my visual space. I rarely go to even 300' and immediately descend if I even hear anything in the area.

I may drive out there one day and see if anyone is actually there and talk to them.
 
I didn't bother with flying today (windy, possible storms rolling through) but figure I'll find time to drive out there and speak to someone in case I want to fly in this area again.
 
Just a thought. In my experience the big airport close to them is the controller anyway and all little airports report to them. I have had the little airports actually say call the big one “one with tower “ and they let all know in the area.
 
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I picked up this radio when I started flying gliders and realized that many of them do not have any electrical system and radios at all. The original poster's question got me thinking about this and for now on I'm going to carry my little radio with me in case I run into a situation like his in the future. You just have to monitor the CTAF And when you hear traffic announced for a take off or landing you could just jump on the frequency and announce where you are what you're doing. Just a thought.

This radio cost me 150.00 and has been well worth. Not just for flying but for sheer entertainment value. It will also let you know about traffic before the traffic knows about you.20190429_214427.jpeg
 
Just a thought. In my experience the big airport close to them is the controller anyway and all little airports report to them. I have had the little airports actually say call the big one “one with tower “ and they let all know in the area.
Absolutely spot on advice this.
 
You should certainly keep a log book of your activities, including these calls. You have your mobile phone logs to back it up. Then fly. At that range from an airport, I would stay below 200 ft. to be on the extreme side of safe.

I live in the same situation as you have described and I do this all the time. I welcome correction if others disagree. My goal is to be safe first, and fly if possible. But I don't want to lose safe flying opportunity because someone is sick of picking up all the drone calls.
 
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I am planning to fly my drone later today, according to the B4UFly app I will be a little under 2 miles from a local airport and that I need to notify the airport.

This is a small airport with no tower, but a phone number. So, I called the number and no one is picking up, likely no one is there on a Sunday. I've tried a couple times and cannot get hold of anyone, so do I give up on my plan to fly today? Are there any other options?

Thanks.

Don’t fly along the runway center lines, which is where manned aircraft will be lowest. The closer you are to the airport, the lower the manned aircraft can or will be as they use the runway(s).

I posted the following on another thread. Stuff in brackets [ ] I added for this post.

As I recall, the regulation says that you “must contact the operator of the airport(s).” However in practice, that isn’t always possible for any number of reasons that are beyond the control of the sUAS PIC. Therefore, it is a weak law that doesn’t address the issue it is trying to address, which is coordination and separation of manned and unmanned aircraft in the vicinity of airports. In fact, notifying the operator of a seldom-used, non-control towered airport does little to address this since the fact that sUASs may be operating in the area may not get conveyed to the pilot(s) of manned aircraft using the airport since no one may be at the airport to tell them when they are approaching or using the airport.

In any case, I think if a sUAS PIC’s aircraft collided with a manned aircraft operating to or from an airport that the PIC couldn’t contact, the sUAS PIC would still be liable because...

1) It could be said that the sUAS PIC should not have flown without contacting the opporator of the airport, and

2) Other regs say sUASs must stay clear of manned aircraft.

So, unless the manned aircraft is violating minimum safe altitude rules, [which they wouldn’t be taking off or landing] the sUAS would be at fault.

When I find myself in this situation, I [I never fly along the runway center lines,] document that I contacted or attempted to contact the airport(s), follow all the other rules, and monitor an aviation band hand-held radio for local manned aircraft operations on applicable frequencies as indicated on a VFR aeronautical chart for the area. In an emergency, after doing everything I could to get out of the way, and if necessary to avoid a collision, I would transmit on the radio in an attempt to protect the manned aircraft. Note: Currently, you need a license to transmit on an aviation band radio while outside of an aircraft and on the ground, but, as is true for any licensed radio services, an unlicensed operator can transmit on licensed frequencies to mitigate a life-threatening situation.

I also fly with insurance.

I established a flying field near my company’s office, with the permission of the property owner, to train our sUAS pilots. This field is just inside the 5-mile limit of an non-towered, seldom-used private airport. I found the airport operator’s contact info (he lives in another city), called the listed phone number several times and left messages, and then sent him a letter explaining our operations indicating that unless I heard from him, we would be operating at our training field on occasion for the foreseeable future while following procedures that are similar to those I outlined in the previous two paragraphs (in this post). I have had no complaints from the airport operator and I assume the FAA would consider him properly notified.
 
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