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I'm at work so this is just a quick little diary and link to the story, which I found in the Twin Cities' Star Tribune. A pilot reported he observed an unmanned aircraft near JFK airport. The FAA is investigating the claims.

http://www.startribune.com/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not to worry. (0+ / 0-)

    One of the military secrets Bradley Manning uncovered is that drones can apparently be taken down with an ordinary garden hose.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:08:54 AM PST

  •  did he see a drone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority

    or a toy, or anything at all?

    this doesn't seem like real news.

  •  When drones become readily available to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, Catte Nappe

    Joe Six-pack and his friends, this is going to be an every day occurrence.

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:17:23 AM PST

    •  Anyone with a pulse can go to the local Hobbytown (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, MKSinSA, Massconfusion

      and buy a radio control model airplane.  They are not as easy to fly as some might think, but even a kid can operate one.  Flying an RC model in the fashion described in the story is both illegal and dangerous.  Many people do not know this, but radio control model airplanes are under the jurisdiction of the FAA, and there are strict rules in place.

      As for "drone," that implies military ownership and operation.  Predator drones are about the size of the average Cessna airplane out at the local airport.  A radio control model airplane one meter in size is NOT a drone.

      One model company makes scale model kits of the Predator and Reaper drones, but again, those are model airplanes and not drones.  No more than a scale model of a P-51 is a fighter plane.  

      It is conceivable that the model's pilot lost radio contact with the model and it "got away."  I have heard of such things happening, but with modern equipment, that is rare in the extreme.  If radio contact is lost with the plane, the most likely result is that it will spiral out of control and crash.

      Use of the term "drone" in a story such as this is hyperbole and flat out wrong.  As Mark Twain once wrote, "There is a world of difference between lightning and the lightning bug."  

      The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand. - Sun Tzu

      by Otteray Scribe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 08:49:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are still commonly referred to as drones (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MKSinSA, bobdevo, jabney
        Even Hobby Drones Could Be Made Illegal In Texas
         A bill sponsored by a Dallas legislator would make it a crime to take photos of private land using a remote-controlled drone.
        On a hazy day last January, an unmanned aircraft enthusiast piloted his camera-equipped drone in the vicinity of a Dallas meatpacking plant, cruising around 400 feet in the air. To test his equipment, he took some photos of the Trinity River with a point-and-shoot camera mounted to his $75 foam airframe. When he retrieved the remote-controlled aircraft, he noticed something odd in the photos: A crimson stream, which appeared to be blood, leaking into a river tributary
        While the FAA and state lawmakers continue to tackle the problem, drone operators and private landowners seem to have reached at least one possible solution. About two weeks after the bloody river discovery, an animal rights group flew a microdrone above private property in South Carolina, aiming to film what they said was a live pigeon shoot. The shoot never took place, but a low-caliber gunshot did take down the drone.

        Humphrey said that’s a "Texas solution."

        “I say go ahead and fly drones over private property, and those who own it are legally entitled, if they wish, to try to shoot down your drone,” he said, only half kidding. “Let the market decide.”

        http://www.popsci.com/...

        "No one life is more important than another. No one voice is more valid than another. Each life is a treasure. Each voice deserves to be heard." Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse & Onomastic

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:17:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe
          “I say go ahead and fly drones over private property, and those who own it are legally entitled, if they wish, to try to shoot down your drone,” he said, only half kidding. “Let the market decide.”
          I'm kind of wondering what happens if private citizens start shooting down gubmint drones.

          I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

          by bobdevo on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 09:54:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Drones have been flying over (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MKSinSA

    southeast Arizona along the border for years now. There is a program at Cochise County Community College to train pilots.

  •  I just saw this same story (0+ / 0-)

    on They say it was at an approximate altitude of 1,750 feet, which is far higher than a simple remote-control hobby plane should be.

    "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

    by aggressiveprogressive on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 12:25:11 PM PST

  •  Two points: (0+ / 0-)

    1) There are very small airplanes, they might only weigh 500 lbs with a pilot aboard, and they have a small wingspan. Google "ultralight aircraft"

    2) There are VERY LARGE model aircraft, with wingspans as much as 12 feet or more, not little dinky things. Search for "Large-scale model aircraft"

    Neither of these sorts of aircraft are allowed in the airspace described, the models can only be flown up to 400 ft AGL, and the ultralight aircraft cannot be operated in "controlled airspace" though there are very small non-ultralight aircraft that might very well be authorized to be in such airspace, but only if they had the required radios to speak to the controlling FAA center, and only if they had a transponder, which is a device that amplifies an aircraft's visibility to air traffic control radar.

    I'm going with the "giant-scale model operated illegally" theory.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Tue Mar 05, 2013 at 02:19:37 PM PST

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