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View Diary: Media Drones prevent Firefighting Helicopters from Reaching Burning Village in Norway (42 comments)

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  •  Private drones are pretty much not allowed (13+ / 0-)

    in the USA, so this particular scenario seems unlikely to happen.

    Plus, if it did, most police departments (if not ordinary citizens) are likely well enough militarized to quickly shoot down the offending drones.  

    •  The FAA has set up test sites and while drones (17+ / 0-)

      aren't yet allowed, there's a good chance that they will be. There's even private drone testing areas being set up for private drones.

      They're cheaper than chopper crews for doing traffic reports and chasing cars.


      I have no doubt that with media money behind this, we'll have private drones. Hell, Amazon was talking about using them for deliveries.

      An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

      by OllieGarkey on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:09:26 AM PST

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      •  I don't see why it should be a problem. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OllieGarkey, notrouble, Rogneid, craiger

        Let the media replace their helicopters with drones, but keep the same rules in place regarding where, when and how they can be used.

        •  Cardinal Rule of Flying #1 (11+ / 0-)
          §91.111   Operating near other aircraft.

          (a) No person may operate an aircraft so close to another aircraft as to create a collision hazard.

          As a meat pilot, I have yet to be persuaded that the type of drones the media want to use can actually comply with this regulation in VFR operations.

          "They let 'em vote, smoke, and drive -- even put 'em in pants! So what do you get? A -- a Democrat for President!" ~ Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!

          by craiger on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:06:18 PM PST

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          •  They definitely don't. (6+ / 0-)

            The drone looks at the ground, not around itself. At night, or when conditions aren't clear, means that these drones would absolutely pose a hazard, and meat pilots would have to look out for them, because there's no way the drone team can see any other pilots or their aircraft.

            Considering that the US military has been responsible for major fuckups in the air, including almost nuking North Carolina, and killing 19 people in cable car when a prowler snapped some tram cables in Italy, it's only a matter of time before one of our drones collides with something civilian.

            I can't vouch for the veracity of the reporting, because it comes from a comedy site, but someone claiming to be a US drone pilot has posted that pilots are overworked because the military doesn't respect that they're in combat. They're underpromoted because nobody really wants to be a drone pilot and the job is both hard and demoralizing. They're rife with untreated PTSD because they sit around and watch the heat bleed out of the bodies of the people they kill. Their bosses don't know what they're doing with drones in the first place. And they all have stories of situations where they couldn't save the lives of our own soldiers and had to watch them die from a drone camera. That report is here.

            Even if none of that is true and is just something written by a very convincing fiction author, the military already doesn't have a great record with these things, and the record for crazy sheriffs in the US is even worse.

            So when it comes to putting drones up some of the most crowded airspace on the planet, I'm not going to be surprised if some police department rams one into a commuter airline at some point. To say nothing of good old fashioned private sector incompetence.

            An Fhirinn an aghaidh an t'Saoghail. (The truth against the world.) Is treasa tuath na tighearna. (The common people are mightier than the lords.)

            by OllieGarkey on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:13:08 PM PST

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        •  Drones can't "see and avoid" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That's rule #1 in aviation.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 07:28:31 PM PST

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    •  And you really think Amazon is going to lose (6+ / 0-)

      their fight with the FAA over allowing drones to deliver packages? Even if it's nothing more than a PR stunt Amazon isn't the only corporation pushing for drones. Media outlets are demanding it as well. And anyone here could go an buy one and use it under the "hobbyist" exemption. We're living in the Drone Age and we better get used to it and figure out how to deal with it. Sooner rather than later.

      There are lies, damn lies, and statistics but they all pale in comparison to conservative talking points.

      by ontheleftcoast on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:45:39 AM PST

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      •  I was just pointing out the current situation (0+ / 0-)

        In any event, if Amazon and Pizza Hut start delivering their products by drone, I have no problem with that.

        My neighbors, whose dog might end up being collateral damage for a slightly off target delivery might.  But really, like the Bible says, "am I my neighbor's keeper?'  So why should I worry about stuff like that.

      •  Amazon won't be delivering via drone (6+ / 0-)

        It makes no logistical sense.

        They simply can't deliver over any reasonable distance, which means decentralizing their warehouse and delivery system, with all the attendant costs of widespread infrastructure. It's not going to happen.

        In addition, drones can't deliver in even nominally bad weather; lose a good percentage of their distance capacity as the batteries get too cold or too warm, depending on the air temp; can't be protected from neighborhood kids w/slingshots or nets; and need a human constantly watching a video feed to ensure the package gets to the right place - and certainly can't deliver to mutli-unit buildings, where the delivery person has to put the item inside a weather-safe shelter.

        Drones may make sense as a novelty method for delivering tacos to people at a sports event, but they simply make no sense at all for delivering large or heavy (like books) items to any location at any distance more than a few hundred feet from the warehouse.

        Military drones can travel distances because (a) they're much larger and can use highly flammable fuel, (b) they don't have to come back when they're done, and (c) they don't have to be precise about where they come down. (Of course, there are lots of ethical questions about whether or not they should be precise, but that appears not to be a current design requirement.)

        •  It makes no logistical sense. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          For the wealthy, AKA the .01% commuting from gated compound to office and from there to the various clubs makes not economic sense either.

          They do it in Sao Paulo, BR. Their time is too precious to spend in traffic jams, and the thought of either helping to improve the urban environment and living in a less grandiose manner, so as not to tempt kidnappers? Heaven forbid.

          So yes Amazon will heli deliver, and if the price is prestigious enough Pizza Hut will be de rigeur for the elite and the wannabes. Look at all the classy cars that are in fact leased, because it makes sense? With that logic how did they ever make their billions. If leased cars had special tags, sort of livery or something MB and Beemer would be in trouble.

          •  The wealthy are preening their peacock feathers (0+ / 0-)

            That's not going to solve problems like: delivering a book more than a few hundred feet would require a HUGE battery, in a HUGE drone. Are they going to build warehouses at the end of every driveway? 'Cuz that's the only way that style of delivery could work.

            Since the warehouses would have to be that close, they're bringing the stuff to the community by truck, anyway, so why the hell wouldn't they just drop off the items at the doors of the homes, and skip building the warehouse.

            Nor will it account for things like: A drone can't fly in the rain. A drone can't fly in the snow. A drone can't fly in high and/or gusty winds. That eliminates 30 to 70% of the possible drone delivery days, depending on location.

            And we won't even get into sabotage and theft problems (if you think rich kids don't steal, you've never lived around rich kids) ...

            There is no amount of money that makes delivery by drone make sense.

    •  yet... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, OllieGarkey

      Pragmatic Centrists? meh. Clive all hat no horse Rodeo? He's cool ~ JV

      by JVolvo on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 12:04:47 PM PST

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