Looks like my "Class H" idea is creeping closer and closer to reality...

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Hey doods;

Per this article:


It seems the FAA is digging their craws deeper and deeper into the drone community. Every extra step of regulation is one more step toward legitimization. As the FAA creeps toward total and complete regulation of the UAV community, they will eventually have to delineate airspace for the monster they created.


I have published my ideas on Class H airspace in this forum and it's been met with a lot of resistance from the manned aviation community. My position is simply this; You can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't force drones and their operators into all kinds certification, regulation and compliance, and NOT provide UAV's with their own safe air space. If you're going to take the gloves off and assert that UAV's are essentially "just the same" as aviation from a regulation point of view, that point of view must ALSO carry over to RIGHTS of these UAV's and their operators. The only way to respond to the Need For Rights (NFR), is to provide an airspace that regulates ALL aviation regardless of size. The sole purpose of Class H is to insure safety for all.


To be clear, Class H airspace is NOT for the "convenience" of UAV pilots. It is designed for the SAFETY of full scale aviation, pilots and passengers. Class H insures that UAV operators won't be blind-sided by fast moving (125 knots), low flying (under 400' AGL) aviation. It simply tells full scale aviation, "If you're going to fly low, fly slow."


After several conversations with helicopter pilots, I've yet to hear a single reasonable argument against my Class H airspace idea. Even arguments for "emergency situations" have been weak. My points have not been addressed, but are, instead, dismissed. Dismissal does NOT a good argument make.


My proposal for Class H:

* All aviation must adhere to strict air speed limits of < 65 knots 150' AGL to 400' AGL.

* All aviation must adhere to strict air speed limits of < 50 knots from ground to 150' AGL.

* No flying below 100' AGL unless you are on landing approach or there is an emergency that requires it.



This allows helicopters to remain well within safety margins of the Helicopter Height Velocity Diagram for auto rotation:
1576000152029.png



* Class B, C and D airspace takes precedence over Class H, which makes sense because UAV's should NOT be in the flight path or glide slope of any runway, and should not be flying within 4 miles of Class B, C or D anyway.


Exceptions:

* Waterway landing fields for both fixed wing and helicopters.

* Agriculture.



These areas should be marked with the same signage the government uses to forbid UAV activity in local parks.

Keep in mind that this is a first draft of my Class H idea. Like all regulation, open discussion and consultation from experts is required before committing to a final draft.

I'm open to any arguments against Class H. But as of this writing, I've yet to hear even a single reasonable argument against it.

Discuss.

D
 
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I don't see how you make the gigantic leap from the Recreational Drone Flying Exam to your statement that "Looks like my "Class H" idea is creeping closer and closer to reality..." One has absolutely nothing to do with the other. We have all known that this test was on the way, Nothing new there.

As to your whole concept of Class H airspace:

  • You submit that "If you're going to take the gloves off and assert that UAV's are essentially "just the same" as aviation from a regulation point of view, that point of view must ALSO carry over to RIGHTS of these UAV's and their operators." OK I see that point of view. However your whole argument for Class H does exactly the opposite. You are saying that drones are not to be treated equally but that we need to set new special Class H airspace for them. In an equal world, we all fly in the same classes of airspace.
  • There are already rules (OK more like suggestions) for minimum safe altitudes that should be followed by manned aircraft. Enforce those rules! Keep airplanes above 500 feet and we have no issues. Do that one better and don't exclude helicopters from that minimum altitude either. Yes I know sight seeing helicopters want to get lower but too bad. For everyone's safety let's keep them above 500 feet.
  • Your maximum speed limits for "all aviation" of 50 and 65 knots are below the stall speed for many aircraft. For example the stall speed of the very popular Cessna 172 is 48 knots in clean level flight. If I bank into a turn then I will quickly get my stall speed to well over your 65 knot maximum speed. In any case, I sure am not going to be flying around at 50 knots! Even 65 knots is dangerously close to stall speed in a clean configuration when banking.
  • Airspace is complicated enough as it is! We already complain about how few drone pilots have any clue about how to read a sectional chart. Do we really need to add yet another level of complexity?
Yes if we all need to co-exist in the NAS and if drones continue to gain momentum then we need a safe and equitable way for all of us to share the skies. ADS-B is one step that will help us all be aware of where the traffic is. Perhaps enforcing minimum altitudes (500 feet) for manned aircraft "in transit through Class G airspace" will be another good step. More rigorous exams for drone pilots and perhaps enforcing the sale of drones only to licensed drone pilots would be a big step in the right direction.

Even with Class H and maximum speeds for manned aircraft, it would not solve the problem of potential crashes between drones and aircraft. If a 2 to 10 pound drone hits the windscreen or wing of a Cessna at 65 knots, there will still be damage.





Hey doods;

Per this article:


It seems the FAA is digging their craws deeper and deeper into the drone community. Every extra step of regulation is one more step toward legitimization. As the FAA creeps toward total and complete regulation of the UAV community, they will eventually have to delineate airspace for the monster they created.


I have published my ideas on Class H airspace in this forum and it's been met with a lot of resistance from the manned aviation community. My position is simply this; You can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't force drones and their operators into all kinds certification, regulation and compliance, and NOT provide UAV's with their own safe air space. If you're going to take the gloves off and assert that UAV's are essentially "just the same" as aviation from a regulation point of view, that point of view must ALSO carry over to RIGHTS of these UAV's and their operators. The only way to respond to the Need For Rights (NFR), is to provide an airspace that regulates ALL aviation regardless of size. The sole purpose of Class H is to insure safety for all.


To be clear, Class H airspace is NOT for the "convenience" of UAV pilots. It is designed for the SAFETY of full scale aviation, pilots and passengers. Class H insures that UAV operators won't be blind-sided by fast moving (125 knots), low flying (under 400' AGL) aviation. It simply tells full scale aviation, "If you're going to fly low, fly slow."


After several conversations with helicopter pilots, I've yet to hear a single reasonable argument against my Class H airspace idea. Even arguments for "emergency situations" have been weak. My points have not been addressed, but are, instead, dismissed. Dismissal does NOT a good argument make.


My proposal for Class H:

* All aviation must adhere to strict air speed limits of < 65 knots 150' AGL to 400' AGL.

* All aviation must adhere to strict air speed limits of < 50 knots from ground to 150' AGL.

* No flying below 100' AGL unless you are on landing approach or there is an emergency that requires it.



This allows helicopters to remain well within safety margins of the Helicopter Height Velocity Diagram for auto rotation:



* Class B, C and D airspace takes precedence over Class H, which makes sense because UAV's should NOT be in the flight path or glide slope of any runway, and should not be flying within 4 miles of Class B, C or D anyway.


Exceptions:

* Waterway landing fields for both fixed wing and helicopters.

* Agriculture.



These areas should be marked with the same signage the government uses to forbid UAV activity in local parks.

Keep in mind that this is a first draft of my Class H idea. Like all regulation, open discussion and consultation from experts is required before committing to a final draft.

I'm open to any arguments against Class H. But as of this writing, I've yet to hear even a single reasonable argument against it.

Discuss.

D
 
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I don't see how you make the gigantic leap from the Recreational Drone Flying Exam to your statement that "Looks like my "Class H" idea is creeping closer and closer to reality..."
Fair enough. Let me explain. As the FAA puts more and more regulation on UAV's, UAV's become less of a toy, and more a legitimate participant in the National Air Space. As UAV's become a greater participant in the NAS, eventually the FAA will completely dismiss them as "toys," and will legitimize them as aviation vehicles. Manned or not is of little consequence in a mid-air collision. Clearly, the manned vehicle will always have more to lose. So as the FAA recognizes that the skies will become more "clogged" with drones, regulations will have to be made to avoid collision. "Class H" airspace is a very logical step towards that goal.


One has absolutely nothing to do with the other.
I disagree.



We have all known that this test was on the way, Nothing new there.
Yes, but I think you're missing the big picture. You may see this as "just another test we all saw coming." I see this as one more step closer to regulation that will be on par with manned aircraft...maybe even EXCEED manned aircraft regulation.





As to your whole concept of Class H airspace:
  • You submit that "If you're going to take the gloves off and assert that UAV's are essentially "just the same" as aviation from a regulation point of view, that point of view must ALSO carry over to RIGHTS of these UAV's and their operators." OK I see that point of view. However your whole argument for Class H does exactly the opposite. You are saying that drones are not to be treated equally but that we need to set new special Class H airspace for them. In an equal world, we all fly in the same classes of airspace.
I see your point, but the Class H airspace is NOT "for drones." Quite the opposite. Class H is there to insure the safety of manned aircraft. Drones are sanctioned to fly below 400' AGL. So it makes zero sense that manned aviation can fly any speed at any altitude willy-nilly. The chances of collision is directly correlated to air speeds of both the UAV and the manned vehicle. The FAA has already limited UAV legal air speed. So it makes sense to do the same to manned vehicles in that same air space.



  • There are already rules (OK more like suggestions) for minimum safe altitudes that should be followed by manned aircraft. Enforce those rules!
Exactly my point. Class H merely elevates common sense "suggestions" to regulation status.


  • [*]

    [*] Keep airplanes above 500 feet and we have no issues. Do that one better and don't exclude helicopters from that minimum altitude either. Yes I know sight seeing helicopters want to get lower but too bad. For everyone's safety let's keep them above 500 feet.
Essentially, this is what Class H does. The only difference is we make some exceptions where exceptions are needed.

Enforce those rules!
  • Your maximum speed limits for "all aviation" of 50 and 65 knots are below the stall speed for many aircraft.
  • For example the stall speed of the very popular Cessna 172 is 48 knots in clean level flight. If I bank into a turn then I will quickly get my stall speed to well over your 65 knot maximum speed. In any case, I sure am not going to be flying around at 50 knots! Even 65 knots is dangerously close to stall speed in a clean configuration when banking.
You have to read my proposal thoroughly. I make exception for fixed wings in all Class B, C and D airspace. I also make exceptions for agriculture and waterway landing areas.




  • [*]Airspace is complicated enough as it is! We already complain about how few drone pilots have any clue about how to read a sectional chart. Do we really need to add yet another level of complexity?
    [*]
For UAS pilots, nothing changes. And while I concede that we're adding rules to already complex field, in the scale of things, Class H is really simple to follow. As you said, just stay above 400' AGL and you don't have to worry about Class H. The only people really affected by this are helicopter pilots who like to fly low and fast (which is completely unnecessary and I've yet to hear a single legitimate argument for why they have to fly that way). While I concede that emergency operations dictate fast air speeds, I haven't heard a single argument why those air speeds must be maintained at low altitude.


Yes if we all need to co-exist in the NAS and if drones continue to gain momentum then we need a safe and equitable way for all of us to share the skies.
Bingo. Well said.


ADS-B is one step that will help us all be aware of where the traffic is. Perhaps enforcing minimum altitudes (500 feet) for manned aircraft "in transit through Class G airspace" will be another good step.
Sounds like an excellent suggestion. I actually like your idea of 500' (as opposed to my idea of 400'), because your way creates a 100' DMZ buffer zone.



More rigorous exams for drone pilots and perhaps enforcing the sale of drones only to licensed drone pilots would be a big step in the right direction.
While I concede that perhaps the 107 needs to be more rigorous, I would first remove a lot of sections. No drone pilot needs METARs or needs to know different cloud formations or airport signage (a place we're not even supposed to be!) or stall speeds, etc. What the test DESPERATELY needs is a PRACTICAL test. At this point, all the 107 does is show that someone knows how to study for a test. The 107 can be issued to a housewife who has never touched in a drone in her life. To me, that is a SERIOUS FLAW.


Even with Class H and maximum speeds for manned aircraft, it would not solve the problem of potential crashes between drones and aircraft. If a 2 to 10 pound drone hits the windscreen or wing of a Cessna at 65 knots, there will still be damage.
Sure. But there's no reason in the world why a Cessna can't keep themselves above 400' AGL.

D
 
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Propsontop

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Just a couple of observations. Fixed wing aircraft fly in Class E and G as well. Limiting the exclusion to BCD doesn't quite cover the actuality. The stall speed issue has already been addressed by PhantomFandom, so I'll leave that alone. I agree that better regulation is needed, but I think that comes through education of the aviation community as a whole, and a revamp of the wording in some truly ambiguous regulatory statements. Once those issues are addressed, and some enforcements are provided for what's already in place I see this as being sufficient. I am a fixed wing pilot, and flying under 500' is prohibited OVER LAND in sparsely populated areas for instance. Climb out and landing are obvious exclusions to this, but as you mentioned that is in the controlled environs of an airport (including Class E and Class G), and should be (but isn't always) obvious to us as drone pilots. Given that the regulation states "over land" means I can legally fly "wheels wet" over a lake, for instance. So I'm legal in the airplane and so is the drone at those conflicting altitudes. As long as I'm 500 feet away from people, structures, or other craft of any nature I have that right (currently). Now "other craft" includes drones too, but I can see a boat, even a person, at wheels wet altitudes while I still might not see a drone. So to me, better wording and/or regulatory revamping, coupled with better education to all sides of this issue might get us there without the need for "special use" airspace. I love that you have put this much thought into it though, and truly respect your opinions. I wish more people would devote that much time and effort into promoting airspace safety, even if their ideas meet with countering points of view.
 
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I read somewhere that there are more uas than manned aircraft (maybe it was the certificates issued/ part 107 vs manned pilot).

What training is the FAA giving manned plane pilots about UAS? I wonder if helicopter pilots are being told to be careful about possible drones below 400’ AGL. IT’s about sharing airspace right? Then maybe they should regulate helicopters to stay above 400’ agl except emergencies...

If they (FAA/ Congress) start restricting other certified pilots (we 107 are certified pilots) maybe they’ll complain too!

If we get our own airspace, maybe that’ll give us more weight. So if there are mishaps, it won’t automatically “just be our fault”.

For example, bicycles and automobiles... cars gotta stay out of bike lanes,...(yes I know bikes have people on them and uas don’t).

Just texting out loud I guess...

How did they come up with the 400’? I find shooting large properties I can’t get it all in frame at legal heights... would be nice to be allowed to go higher if needed.
 
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Propsontop

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400 feet was used to provide a minimum of 100 feet of separation between drones and other aircraft (minimum flight height above ground in sparsely populated areas is 500 feet for an airplane). It's also the "stay clear" distance from other craft or structures (such as a building or tower). Believe me, 100 feet of separation is still closer than I like. The differences in barometers can easily close that gap. The same piece of hardware (barometer) that tells the drone its height also is used in an airplane. The difference is the pilot is supposed to get an altimeter reading prior to takeoff and adjust the altimeter to the current barometric pressure. I'm not sure a drone does (or doesn't) make such corrections. Even a .01 difference in pressure can change the reading. If there are sufficient differences, that 100 feet can close alarmingly fast. For instance, 29.22 and 30.22 is about 1000 feet of difference. so .01 is about 10 feet (give or take). If the drone thinks the pressure is 29.22 and the plane has 29.12 set they are about at the same altitude, even though the drone shows 400 feet and the plane shows 500. Your question about the training is pertinent. But consider that drones are newcomers using a space historically reserved and regulated for manned aircraft. Does it make more sense to train the pilots about the drones, or the drone pilots about what is already an existing set of rules and regulations? That's going to be the takeaway for future trainings. And a question that is still being debated.
 
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What about STOL bush planes? They land anywhere, and often fly low along rivers, in mountains, and often land on mountain tops. Over half of STOL craft landings for many pilots involve no runway. This H plan would help reduce risk to bush pilots by having a set of rules that applies to those planes, in addition to helicopters. I clearly respect those pilots rights to use the airspace, and understand their thrill, but I don't want to tangle with them in the air, ever. I would welcome the FAA drawing some addition lines for these craft, as it make sense to me.

I would think bush pilots would not like this proposal, however bush planes are slower anyway, and have a very low stall speed. I can understand that mandating them to fly under 50 k/h (under 150') might be unwelcome by that community, but I think in the big picture is make sense. I'm in the mountains all the time, climbing to the top of mountains. I also frequent rivers where it's usually safe. Having a 50mph speed limit under 150' AGL makes sense to me for STOL manned aircraft. These STOL aircraft, helicopters, para-gliders and ultralights pose the most risk to the rural places I like to fly, simply because they often fly low AGL.
 

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Very interesting and informative conversation guys. You each bring up some very good points and opinions. As an ATP (for work) and a recreational drone pilot (for play), I can see both sides of this issue.

This forum conversation is the very dialog that needs to happen between all involved in the safe use of today's airspace. It is difficult to please everybody, but with a little 'give and take', a solution will be found.

Again, thank you for a civil and well mannered discussion. I look forward to its' outcome.
 
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Just a couple of observations. Fixed wing aircraft fly in Class E and G as well. Limiting the exclusion to BCD doesn't quite cover the actuality. The stall speed issue has already been addressed by PhantomFandom, so I'll leave that alone.
So we're on the same page, "stall" isn't an issue in Class H for the reasons outlined in the OP. Just so we're on the same page....




I agree that better regulation is needed, but I think that comes through education of the aviation community as a whole,
Agreed. Hence, this post to reach out to both UAV and manned aviation professionals.




and a revamp of the wording in some truly ambiguous regulatory statements. Once those issues are addressed, and some enforcements are provided for what's already in place I see this as being sufficient. I am a fixed wing pilot, and flying under 500' is prohibited OVER LAND in sparsely populated areas for instance.
This is good to know. I've heard rumors regarding minimum safe altitudes for fixed wings, but I haven't substantiated those rumors. It's good to hear you confirm what I already thought to be true. That said...

This means that fixed wings are literally unaffected by Class H airspace, as Class H only exists 400' AGL and below, and outside Class B, C, and D airspace. Exceptions made for training routes, waterway landing and agriculture.




Climb out and landing are obvious exclusions to this, but as you mentioned that is in the controlled environs of an airport (including Class E and Class G), and should be (but isn't always) obvious to us as drone pilots.
Correct. Class B, C and D take precedence over Class H. And I already outlined other exclusions in the OP, so I won't repeat them here. Conflicts with Class E and G would require more discussion for refinement of the Class H airspace idea.




Given that the regulation states "over land" means I can legally fly "wheels wet" over a lake, for instance. So I'm legal in the airplane and so is the drone at those conflicting altitudes. As long as I'm 500 feet away from people, structures, or other craft of any nature I have that right (currently).
So we're on the same page, I did already make exception for waterway landing areas. However, I have NOT taken into consideration low "cruising" aircraft outside of controlled airspace (Class B, C and D). It's in these Class E and G areas that Class H would have to be refined to make sure that these areas would (or might) be included and worded in a way beneficial to all.

Remember, the entire point of Class H is to give the weary UAV pilot a fighting chance to get out of your way. Since we're given a 400' ceiling, it only makes sense that fast-moving manned aviation should have a 400' floor. This is NOT for the "convenience" of the UAV pilot (as touted by a few in this forum), but for the SAFETY of manned aircraft.




Now "other craft" includes drones too, but I can see a boat, even a person, at wheels wet altitudes while I still might not see a drone. So to me, better wording and/or regulatory revamping, coupled with better education to all sides of this issue might get us there without the need for "special use" airspace.
I couldn't agree more. I'll add that provisions for Air Balloons, Parasails and Ultralights need to be considered. The reason I haven't mentioned any of those vehicles is because they're inherently slow by nature. So "sneaking up on a drone" isn't an issue with these vehicles. But they're worth mentioning.

For whatever reason, some are seeing my Class H idea as a "finished project." It's not. I just put the idea out there so I could hear from experts like yourself. Unlike you, many seem to be not really understanding the spirit of Class H, and immediately go on the defensive. Asinine statements like "Drones will never have the right of way" pollute otherwise positive dialog. It's nice to have some calm, informative dialog for once.



I love that you have put this much thought into it though, and truly respect your opinions. I wish more people would devote that much time and effort into promoting airspace safety, even if their ideas meet with countering points of view.
I appreciate that. The spirit of my objective has been truly lost on many. Good to see someone "get it."

Good day to you.

D
 

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Not only get it but support the reasoning behind it.
Just a quick note, the stall speed issue is maybe not clear from what we were describing. My climbout speed in a Cessna 172 is 70 kias, or about 80.5 mph, which is considered best climb for distance travelled. It is an aircooled engine, so the higher climb rates per foot travelled (think steeper climb angle) will slow the plane and thereby make it climb faster, but risks engine damage if sustained more than a few seconds at a time. Then the stall speed limitation comes into play right about there at the slower speeds too. The objection was the 65 kts you had graphed and mentioned as VNE (Velocity - never exceed) speed. It isn't sustainable for most fixed wings that slow. The larger and heavier they go, the faster they must move to fly at all. It is the takeoff and landing portions that were the issues.
 
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What about STOL bush planes? They land anywhere, and often fly low along rivers, in mountains, and often land on mountain tops. Over half of STOL craft landings for many pilots involve no runway. This H plan would help reduce risk to bush pilots by having a set of rules that applies to those planes, in addition to helicopters.
I hadn't considered Bush Planes, but you make a very valid point! What is the top speed of a Brush Plane? Is 65 knots under 400' AGL generally their cruising speed anyway?

Funny, I follow Mike Patey and is "Draco" Bush plane on YouTube. Amazing beasts. Unfortunately, he just crashed it in Sept.






I clearly respect those pilots rights to use the airspace, and understand their thrill, but I don't want to tangle with them in the air, ever. I would welcome the FAA drawing some addition lines for these craft, as it make sense to me.
Very good point I hadn't even considered. Perhaps this carries over to Parasails and Ultralights? Your thoughts on that?



I would think bush pilots would not like this proposal, however bush planes are slower anyway, and have a very low stall speed. I can understand that mandating them to fly under 50 k/h (under 150') might be unwelcome by that community, but I think in the big picture is make sense.
Worth noting, I have updated the original 50 knots to be < 65 knots to accommodate safe take off speeds for helicopters. "Class H" is a living document.




I'm in the mountains all the time, climbing to the top of mountains. I also frequent rivers where it's usually safe. Having a 50mph speed limit under 150' AGL makes sense to me for STOL manned aircraft. These STOL aircraft, helicopters, para-gliders and ultralights pose the most risk to the rural places I like to fly, simply because they often fly low AGL.
Ha! I just mentioned Parasails and Ultralights. Looks like we're on the same page! Worth reiterating, I have increase maximum speed from 50 knots to 65 knots to accommodate helicopter pilots.

Good conversation.

D
 
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Not only get it but support the reasoning behind it.
Just a quick note, the stall speed issue is maybe not clear from what we were describing. My climbout speed in a Cessna 172 is 70 kias, or about 80.5 mph, which is considered best climb for distance travelled.
Well, remember, Class B, C and D all usurp Class H. So your normal flight lines should not be effected. I've made exceptions for waterway landings, agriculture and military training routes. So you fixed wing guys should really not be affected much by the Class H airspace. It's my understanding that you guys are supposed to fly over 500' anyway (I have no citation for this), but that's just a rumor at this point.




It is an aircooled engine, so the higher climb rates per foot travelled (think steeper climb angle) will slow the plane and thereby make it climb faster,
I assume the 4 mile perimeter around Class D is enough distance to climb up to 500', yes?




but risks engine damage if sustained more than a few seconds at a time. Then the stall speed limitation comes into play right about there at the slower speeds too. The objection was the 65 kts you had graphed and mentioned as VNE (Velocity - never exceed) speed. It isn't sustainable for most fixed wings that slow. The larger and heavier they go, the faster they must move to fly at all. It is the takeoff and landing portions that were the issues.
In a word, fixed wings would generally have to fly over 400' all the time. So good points have been raised regarding some Class E and G airspace where planes sometimes like to fly lower. But it's also my understanding that Bush planes, Parasails and Ultralights could benefit from Class H, as it would mitigate collision with standard fixed wing craft.

Any thoughts on that?

D
 
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400 feet was used to provide a minimum of 100 feet of separation between drones and other aircraft (minimum flight height above ground in sparsely populated areas is 500 feet for an airplane). It's also the "stay clear" distance from other craft or structures (such as a building or tower).
That makes sense.




Believe me, 100 feet of separation is still closer than I like. The differences in barometers can easily close that gap. The same piece of hardware (barometer) that tells the drone its height also is used in an airplane. The difference is the pilot is supposed to get an altimeter reading prior to takeoff and adjust the altimeter to the current barometric pressure. I'm not sure a drone does (or doesn't) make such corrections. Even a .01 difference in pressure can change the reading. If there are sufficient differences, that 100 feet can close alarmingly fast. For instance, 29.22 and 30.22 is about 1000 feet of difference. so .01 is about 10 feet (give or take). If the drone thinks the pressure is 29.22 and the plane has 29.12 set they are about at the same altitude, even though the drone shows 400 feet and the plane shows 500.
You make a very valid point. Seems like a 100' buffer zone would be prudent.





Your question about the training is pertinent. But consider that drones are newcomers using a space historically reserved and regulated for manned aircraft. Does it make more sense to train the pilots about the drones, or the drone pilots about what is already an existing set of rules and regulations?
Again, you make a very valid point. I absolutely believe in UAV pilot education. But think about this. 5-10 years from now we're going to start to see more automated drone activity via Amazon, eBay, Dominoes Pizza, and other entities. The idea of automated passenger drones is even in the works. All these UAV's (or "AV's" in some instances) are going to be crawling around in the space between ground and 400' AGL. In addition, something I hadn't considered, Bush planes, Parasails and Ultralights also fly in that air space. As the space below 400' AGL becomes more congested with all manner of slow-moving aviation, it might be prudent to start addressing those future problems now. "Class H" addresses these issues. It basically says, "If you're slow, you can stay low." Everyone benefits from it.

My Class H idea has been mistakenly touted as a "convenience for drones." Nothing is further from the truth. It's put in place so slow-moving craft are not taken by surprise by fast-moving craft. It makes sense to have a "slow lane" in the sky. That's all Class H is.




That's going to be the takeaway for future trainings. And a question that is still being debated.
I think you and I are on the same page regarding training. I would like to see the 107 become more comprehensive regarding practical experience. But at the same time they need to dump 50% of the unnecessary questions regarding METARs, clouds, stall speeds, etc. Not a single drone pilot is benefiting from that information.

Good conversation!

D
 

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You as well!
 

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And for your records, this is the regulation, 14 CFR 91.119

§ 91.119 Minimum safe altitudes: General.
Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(b) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters, powered parachutes, and weight-shift-control aircraft. If the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface -

(1) A helicopter may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, provided each person operating the helicopter complies with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the FAA; and

(2) A powered parachute or weight-shift-control aircraft may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section.

[Doc. No. 18334, 54 FR 34294, Aug. 18, 1989, as amended by Amdt. 91-311, 75 FR 5223, Feb. 1, 2010]
 
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DoomMeister

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I read somewhere that there are more uas than manned aircraft (maybe it was the certificates issued/ part 107 vs manned pilot).

What training is the FAA giving manned plane pilots about UAS? I wonder if helicopter pilots are being told to be careful about possible drones below 400’ AGL. IT’s about sharing airspace right? Then maybe they should regulate helicopters to stay above 400’ agl except emergencies...

If they (FAA/ Congress) start restricting other certified pilots (we 107 are certified pilots) maybe they’ll complain too!

If we get our own airspace, maybe that’ll give us more weight. So if there are mishaps, it won’t automatically “just be our fault”.

For example, bicycles and automobiles... cars gotta stay out of bike lanes,...(yes I know bikes have people on them and uas don’t).

Just texting out loud I guess...

How did they come up with the 400’? I find shooting large properties I can’t get it all in frame at legal heights... would be nice to be allowed to go higher if needed.
@Propsontop sort of answered the 400’ AGL figure when he stated the 500’ AGL rule for other than congested areas in item C) of his post. This provides a 100’ buffer like most other vertical separation for general aviation craft.
 
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@Propsontop sort of answered the 400’ AGL figure when he stated the 500’ AGL rule for other than congested areas in item C) of his post. This provides a 100’ buffer like most other vertical separation for general aviation craft.
My point is, if they want us to fit into the existing regulations.... I’m sure uas out number manned aircraft. Maybe they should give way to the numbers...

Hey not my rules... they squeezed us into their world... well if we have the numbers we should flex our numbers.

We all have to stick together and voice our concerns as often as possible to our Congress people!
 
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My point is, if they want us to fit into the existing regulations.... I’m sure uas out number manned aircraft. Maybe they should give way to the numbers...
That's something I considered mentioning, but didn't because most aviation pilots don't seem to care about the numbers. So I wanted "Class H" to be more about "safety for all," common sense and something pilots can live with.




Hey not my rules... they squeezed us into their world...
Funny you should say this, as this is part of the reason I think Class H is a good idea. It was the FAA that legitimized the drone community by forcing us into regulations, registrations and certifications. They drug us in and now they're not only stuck with us, but they're going to have to accommodate the growing numbers of drones. Imagine when Amazon and Dominoes start using drones for delivery? The sky will be full of automated drones. It has been suggested that "technology" should be used to avoid collision, which will be hugely expensive and impractical compared to just simply establishing a small "slow lane" for all air traffic below 500' (previously 400').



well if we have the numbers we should flex our numbers.

We all have to stick together and voice our concerns as often as possible to our Congress people!
I don't think we'll have to flex anything. Drone technology is following Moore's Law. The skies are filling. Ultimately, congress will force the FAA to make room for the growing technology. "Class H" is a simple, painless solution.

D
 
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That's something I considered mentioning, but didn't because most aviation pilots don't seem to care about the numbers. So I wanted "Class H" to be more about "safety for all," common sense and something pilots can live with.






Funny you should say this, as this is part of the reason I think Class H is a good idea. It was the FAA that legitimized the drone community by forcing us into regulations, registrations and certifications. They drug us in and now they're not only stuck with us, but they're going to have to accommodate the growing numbers of drones. Imagine when Amazon and Dominoes start using drones for delivery? The sky will be full of automated drones. It has been suggested that "technology" should be used to avoid collision, which will be hugely expensive and impractical compared to just simply establishing a small "slow lane" for all air traffic below 500' (previously 400').





I don't think we'll have to flex anything. Drone technology is following Moore's Law. The skies are filling. Ultimately, congress will force the FAA to make room for the growing technology. "Class H" is a simple, painless solution.

D

I like the way you think!! 😎
 

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The flaw with "Flexing the #'s" is that we may seem big in our world but what matters outside of our cozy pond is $$. Those are the #'s that matter. We don't have those #'s on our side.

Donnie since you follow Mike I'm sure you've seen him flying with Trent Palmer (Red White & blue Freedom Fox). Trent is an avid bush pilot and also a professional UAS Pilot in the motion picture industry. He's the owner/creator of Copter Kids LLC (Copter Kids | Unmanned Aerial Cinema)

 

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