Transportation Canada Investigation/Helicopter Near Miss With A Drone

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This is an update that stems from an incident that occurred almost 8 months ago.
August 3rd, 2019, I was flying my P4P at about 300 feet over a special event fundraiser attended by over 700 people.
This event was held on the shore of a river and there were many boats at a dock as well as anchored offshore.
This was a popular event and well attended.
The organizer had hired my drone company to take both still images as well as video of the event.

Prior to the event, I applied for, and received a Special Flight Operations Certificate(SFOC), enabling me to conduct drone flight operations over the property where the event was being held.
My SFOC gave me permission to fly between 1:30 pm and 5:30 pm on the day in question......while maintaining an altitude below 400 feet.

While operating at about 300 feet(and taking still images), my spotter alerted me to the sudden presence of a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter that came over the trees to the North.
The Jet Ranger was suddenly there, leaving me with little or no time to react.
I quickly determined the helicopter was flying lower than my Phantom and my best option was to remain hovering in place.
On its first pass, the helicopter flew underneath my drone, clearing the Phantom by 100 feet.
Turning to the right, the pilot came around again for another pass directly over the crowd, but, fortunately this time, the Jet Ranger was higher and it cleared my Phantom by about 125 feet.

It then continued South and eventually disappeared.

I landed my Phantom without incident.

I reported this incident to Transport Canada with all details including a good description of the Jet Ranger.

Three days later, my spotter and I were interviewed by a Transport Canada investigator. The investigator had asked if we might do the interview at the scene of the incident.
This was done and it gave the investigator a real sense of what went on that day.

The investigator told us that if everyone was following the rules, then the incident should not have happened.

This case is very unique because usually all we hear about is a drone pilot doing something irresponsible and the manned aircraft being put at some risk.

The reverse is true here.

Sadly, Transport Canada has not publicly released its findings with respect to this case!

8 months have gone by!

Even in cases where major aircraft incidents have taken place, with multiple fatalities, Transport Canada, will release their Preliminary Findings within 10 days.
A Final Report may take a year or more.

When I called Transport Canada and asked about the status of their investigation in this matter, I was told they had a year to complete their report. :(

Ridiculous!

I promised this Forum that I would stay on top of this and I will.

When I have any new information, I will share it with you.

Safe and Responsible Flying, everybody!

Jim........
 
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If it was the other way around, it wouldn't take that long. It would seem that waiting so long that things would quiet down. You know, it's so long ago, it is a no news issue. They are doing their best to legally cover up. That's just my opinion, for what it's worth.😇
 
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If it was the other way around, it wouldn't take that long. It would seem that waiting so long that things would quiet down. You know, it's so long ago, it is a no news issue. They are doing their best to legally cover up. That's just my opinion, for what it's worth.😇

Correct Rootman. If it was the other way around it would have been "Breaking News" on the news that night and for a few days afterward.
So thanks Hendricks for posting this and looking forward to hearing the results...if they ever release them!
 
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It must have been your the most horrible minute I suppose.
Probably you'll never know if the pilot of HE saw the drone or not.
 
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Well done for (a) Not panicking and adjusting altitude, which could have been disastrous
(b) Registering the flight prior to the event
It must have been a heart-stopping moment because, as we all know, you would have been blamed if it had ended in tears.
Safe flying and keep us informed
 
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Looking forward to hear the results of the Transport Canada Investigation sometime in August 2020. Thanks for keeping US informed of your progress relating to this event.
 
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Public service helicopter just up there because they can.... This is why the whole issue went away.

An then this:

602.14 to 602.16, prescribes 1,000 feet as the minimum altitude that an aircraft may over-fly a built-up area (500 feet for water and for helicopters over built-up areas), unless the aircraft is conducting a take-off, approach or landing (other exemptions may apply).

So, if they were landing or taking off from an airport nearby, why would they pass twice?

They were public service cowboy pilots and thus exempt.
 
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Unfortunately, at the time of the near miss, I was taking still images and not video.

I should also say the local media are aware of this incident and they promise to stay on top of the story.

The lack of a timely follow up by Transport Canada does lead me to question just how serious they took my complaint.

As others have pointed out, if it had been the other way around and it had been my drone that almost collided with a helicopter, I'm sure Transport Canada would have had their report released a lot faster!

They talk a lot about drone safety and for drone operators to act professionally.

Well, I did all this and still I wait..............

Tick, Tock.........zzzzzzzzzzz
 
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