So how long before quads are illegal?

Who wants to predict the year quads and single-motor helis are made illegal? Meaning you will need minimum hex or dual-motor heli. It’s gonna happen, there’s no question in my mind, but how long til it happens? I say 2020.

What makes you say that? I think idiots will be banned from flying anything R/C before they start to dictate airframe specs in terms of motors and layout. For the longest time, the ultra steep learning curve filtered out the idiots. With advanced FC’s and GPS, anyone can fly a MR in Loiter mode.

Clearly I’m talking about redundancy. Bearing failures. As more people take ownership, more quads will fall from the sky. It’s gonna happen.

I don’t think they’ll become compelely illigal, but like with your RC helicopter/plane, you should go to a RC club and fly it there in a safe area. So i don’t consider them being banned everywhere, except for at those places. That would make sense for me.

We see in the UK new rules being made to limit waits and/or require certification. I don’t see anything wrong with this at all, as long as the hobby that most of us have is not killed of completely. For this national organizations that now govern the RC area need to step up and talk to governments…

Is that before or after they ban helicopters?

Nothing is getting banned. Traditionally, in RC, people who flew airplanes, gliders and helicopters belonged to a club, instruction is required before you are allowed to fly, and any AMA sanctioned club requires that you carry insurance to fly. It is formal and structured much like getting a private pilot’s license, governed by the AMA club rules.

Then the explosion in multi-rotor drones took place and suddenly everybody is a pilot, many of which can’t fly a paper airplane without wrecking it. We have people flying them around arirports, in restricted airspace over fires, and many other places they have no business even being. They have created a nuisance. The once structured approach to being a RC pilot has become a free-for-all and all these UAV’s are sharing airspace with manned aircraft. There is idiots flying them that shouldn’t be allowed to fly the fore mentioned paper airplane. On a local lake here recently somebody was flying a DJI model over the lake and a Turbo Otter came in on floats because there’s a seaplane base there. The guy flying the drone failed to get out of the way and the Otter had to go around to prevent a mid-air collision. The FAA doesn’t show up anymore like they used to - they now send out somebody from the local Sheriff’s Dept. When the deputy showed up to confiscate the guy’s drone for flying it illegally the guy told the deputy he was flying there first, and why should he have to get out of the way of a turbine-powered float plane coming into the seaplane base?

The problem should be able to be identified.

All commercial UAV’s in the US will be required to be equipped with FAA TSO (Technical Service Order) certified GPS and ADS-B Mode S transponder squawking 1200, just like all GA aircraft are required to have. That is already in the works and I already fly them on my commercial helicopters, along with being in contact with UNICOM with a handheld radio when I’m flying a survey flight inside the 5 mile radius of a non-tower airport.

Otherwise, restrictions will be placed on where private operators will be allowed to fly “drones” to restore some order to the NAS. And I don’t consider that to be a bad thing. There is going to be no “banning” going on, although that will be the knee-jerk reaction of the consumer drone business. When you look at it from a realistic standpoint, why should anybody be allowed to fly a drone in the NAS without proper training, licensing and qualifications to fly it? You can’t do that with anything else on public roads or in national airspace, including your car or jumping in an airplane and flying it around without the proper qualifications.

Can someone give me a link to a news story where a drone actually took an airplane out of the sky after being involved in a midair collision?

I know plenty of “near misses” and general paranoia about how it “could happen”, but has a drone knocked a plane out of the sky?

Helicopters can “glide” to a landing just like an aircraft.

There has been collisions with commercial airline aircraft, at least one of which I know caused considerable damage to the 737-700 that the drone hit when the 737 was on final. But lets hope common sense rules before one gets ingested by an engine on a commercial aircraft and causes a fatal crash.

Eventually I can see regulations preventing operating of unmanned aircraft except indoors and at established club flying fields or facilities, unless the pilot has a license to operate it elsewhere for commercial purposes.

Wow your right Chris! I stand corrected!

Here’s the facts:

Jan 6th 2017 - Boeing 737-700 was hit by a drone on approach to Tete, Mozambique. If a UAV is confirmed as the cause of the damage in Mozambique, it would mark one of the first official drone collisions with a passenger plane.

There was a report of a possible collision in the UK, but it’s still unconfirmed.

The FAA lists 1,274 drone/commerical aircraft incidents for 2016. 874 for 2015. Just in the US.

This is the report summary from the first quarter of 2017

Mozambique Jetliner Did NOT Collide With A Drone
Check your sources:

Helicopters can “glide” to a landing just like an aircraft.

In the perfect conditions, with the right failure, with a highly skilled pilot, sure. Otherwise, they drop like a stone. And they only have one of everything, so are a flying single point of failure. At least quads are technically capable of coping with the loss of a motor/prop/bearing etc, and they are mechanically extremely simple. In years of intensive flying quads built from cheap off the shelf (mostly chinese) parts, I’ve never had a mechanical failure. Quad pilots should be banned far sooner than the quads themselves.

Based on the number of FAA incident reports of UAV’s being spotted at altitudes they should not be flown at I would have to agree :grinning:

The FAA has it in the works to require ADS-B transponders on all UAV aircraft. They are currently pretty expensive (~$1,000 and up, depending on if you get a FAA TSO-certified GPS). This is the NextGen ATC system that is supposed to replace secondary radar. In theory, it would provide position reporting information, altitude, SOG and heading to manned aircraft for collision avoidance purposes. Of course, this wouild not be necessary if they weren’t currently being flown where they’re not supposed to be.

No, they don’t drop like a stone. Only if you stall the main rotor.

A heavily loaded 600-class can be flown ~800 feet from the point of failure @ 400AGL. About 2:1 glide ratio. Sure, it requires training and practice. But that’s part of being a pilot.

All helicopters, both RC and full-size, have what is known as the “dead man’s curve”. It is based on a combination of altitude and best autorotation speed, below which successful autorotation to a gentle damage-free landing is not possible without stalling the main rotor.

If you’ve ever been to IRCHA and watched the autorotation limbo contest, highly skilled pilots can do a 3D flight routine in autorotation. Like this example of Mitch Morozas coming in under the limbo stick in an inverted piro, rolling upright and landing soft as feather in autorotation with a 700-class helicopter.

No multi-rotor aircraft is capable of this type of unpowered flight performance, making helicopters by far the most redundant rotary wing aircraft type. Helicopters have been used successfully for over 75 years for everything from heavy lift applications to air ambulance service. Multi-rotors are not practical above a certain size because there is limitations on how fast you can throttle motors and make props speed up and slow down.

Even with hex and octo machines, a failure of one drive usually leads to a cascade failure due to overloading the remaining drives on the side where the failure occurred, since the thrust vectoring and stability of the aircraft is severely compromised with loss of a drive. While they are mechanically simple, they are electrically complex. And electrical failures are far more common than mechanical failures in aircraft of all types, both full-size and RC.

Fully autonomous autorotations are possible with helicopters. I’ve been experimenting with custom code that does autonomous autorotation. Texas A&M did it with a 600-class with a APM running the old firmware. The Skookum Robotics SK900 and SK1000 helicopter autopilots have autonomous autorotation feature.

In the world of UAV’s multi-rotors are safer for many things where the aircraft is flying around people because if somebody gets hit by it they likely won’t be missing body parts or be killed. Helicopters are popular for larger scale applications because of their much higher performance capabilities, greater efficiency and redundancy for carrying heavy, expensive payloads. They both have their place, since helicopters scale up nicely into the full-size world of practicality, multi-rotors do not. The biggest markets on earth for UAV helicopters is agriculture, forestry and open pit mining survey work where long flight times, heavy payload and range is required. The biggest market for multi’s is aerial photography and videography.

Multi’s get all the bad press because people do dumb things like land them on the Whitehouse lawn.

Or a bearing or gearbox has seized, rotor breaks, newbie at the controls panics etc. This isn’t supposed to be a helicopter vs multicopter thing, I was just trying to point out the absurdity of the original premise :slight_smile:

I hope this isn’t forced on the rest of the world (I’m in Europe). I do agree there should be responsibility and accountability, but there’s also civil liberty and privacy at stake. Just like the general public would not take kindly to a transponder in your private car uploading all of your movements to the government, same goes for a ‘toy’ or ‘hobby’. Personally for larger commercial UAVs I’m all for that, or for a TACAS or similar alternative, but there should be a sensible weight/size/use limit. There are all sorts of manned aircraft around me that fly without transponders, recreationally (small planes, microlites, gliders, parasails etc). Mandating that I put ADSB on my little 250 quad would be ridiculous.
Having some way of tracking down the cretins that fly their phantoms in front of passenger airlines however, I do agree there should be some way.

This is what Transport Canada is proposing to limit bird strikes this fall

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Yes I wanted to add that to the equation too. No doubt in my mind this will also happen, but I figured much later than quad bans. Now maybe it will happen before…

I don’t know what’s going on in Europe at present. The UAV ADS-B transponders currently available only weigh about 100 grams and are about the size of a MavLink radio. I think under the current proposals any flying at RC clubs or established flying fields are exempt. Everything else would have to have them.

The government is not actually tracking you with the ADS-B Mode S transponders. It is a system that provides real-time collision avoidance for all aircraft. Yes, you will show up on ATC’s radar screen. But you also show up on the collision avoidance radar in manned aircraft.

So it’s not a privacy issue at all. Every certificated aircraft is required to have a Mode C transponder squawking 1200 for VFR above 10,000 MSL and are only exempt from the requirement flying below 2500 AGL.