A teaching moment

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A couple of days ago I received my Phantom 4 2.0 from DJI I had a problem with the old one, so they sent me a new one. So I wanted to make sure that the camera was working. I decided to fly at about 10 feet in the backyard. So do the PreFlight launch the Drone and was hovering when out of nowhere came an F-18 Hornet at about 1000 feet. The reason I included the map this was the last place on the planet that you would expect to have an F-18 fly just one mile south of LAX is class Bravo a very busy general aviation aircraft going in and out of Hawthorne Airport as well as Compton Airport. I've been in this area for 28 years, and I've never seen a military jet in this area. There was no air show there were no temporary flight restrictions. It just came out of nowhere proceeded to do a minimum radius turn and took off from which the same direction it camea. Moral to the story is as drone Pilots we must be ready for anyting at any time the ex to the bottom of the map is where I was located
Screenshot_20200823-154210_AirMap.jpg
 
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I decided to fly at about 10 feet in the backyard. So do the PreFlight launch the Drone and was hovering when out of nowhere came an F-18 Hornet at about 1000 feet. The reason I included the map this was the last place on the planet that you would expect to have an F-18 fly just one mile south of LAX is class Bravo a very busy general aviation aircraft going in and out of Hawthorne Airport as well as Compton Airport.
Very interesting and obviously must have been coordinated with ATC in the area. Thanks for sharing. This is a perfect example for the pilots who insist that they can fly in places just because they know there's no way any aircraft could be in the area. You just never know!

As an aside, did you have LAANC clearance to fly at that time?
 
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Very interesting and obviously must have been coordinated with ATC in the area. Thanks for sharing. This is a perfect example for the pilots who insist that they can fly in places just because they know there's no way any aircraft could be in the area. You just never know!

As an aside, did you have LAANC clearance to fly at that time?
No, didn't have Lance.. I was only flying at about 5 or 10 ft under the trees s
 
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No, didn't have Lance.. I was only flying at about 5 or 10 ft under the trees s
Technically that does not matter. You should still have authorization.

On the "what if" side of things, what if there is a technical problem with the drone and it shoots off in some direction or climbs up into controlled airspace? If you had LAANC authorization and flight logs showing the technical problem then you most likely would not be in trouble. If the same happens without authorization then you would have started out in an illegal manner and would need to assume all consequences.

Just as you found out with the F-18 about things not always being as expected, you can't always plan on a totally smooth and under-control flight. Things do happen.
 
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Well I don't think that would have mattered if I had a collider with an F18 Lancer not I would have still been in trouble.
 

SelfBiased

the third dimension is worth a look
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your encounter brought up an image of my wife n I in the backyard as a group of 10 A10's came over tree-top and I mean tree top, the trees were swaying from the exhaust, couldn't hear, could see the pilots quite well, expect they seen my "salute"! At the time their flight medic worked as a MR tech where I worked, I told him, they never zoomed us again.
 
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your encounter brought up an image of my wife n I in the backyard as a group of 10 A10's came over tree-top and I mean tree top, the trees were swaying from the exhaust, couldn't hear, could see the pilots quite well, expect they seen my "salute"! At the time their flight medic worked as a MR tech where I worked, I told him, they never zoomed us again.
You must live in the thumb region. We see them near Columbiaville at least once a month. I am ex Air Force and still love the capabilities of the Warthog. A great aircraft for close air support!

Yes I do salute when I see them, but it is with more than one finger!
 
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DoomMeister

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Ha, They were ANG based in Battlecreek at the time, being Navy, my job was shooting down planes ;)

I do like the warhogs, just not in a full on formation 200' flyover unexpectedly. you really can't tell they're coming but you KNOW when they're here!
The exact reason they can be so effective. When they are in formation there is no place to hide from the hot lead.
 
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That's funny. I had a similar experience in 2015 (I believe).

I was shooting a ranch property out in the middle of nowhere with my Phantom 1. We were literally 30 miles from the nearest airport and I believe 50+ miles from any Class D or C airports. The property owner and his wife were really nice people. She took me around the ranch citing specific items and sights that she thought were selling points for the property. I had just shot a large POI of the entire compound and was changing batteries when I heard this pair of F-16's flying overhead no more than 300' AGL. VERY LOW. VERY FAST. I looked at her in shock and horror and asked, "What the heck was that?!?!?!" She casually says, "Oh yeah...they fly over the ranch all the time. I think they use us as some kind of marker or something."

Lesson learned. Just because you're a gazillion miles from Class B, C or D doesn't mean you're safe from low-flying aerial activity....<:^/

D
 
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Well I don't think that would have mattered if I had a collider with an F18 Lancer not I would have still been in trouble.
If you are going to fly in Delta Air space get an authorization. It's so easy to do now, there's no excuse anymore.
 

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