Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

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Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 8:00 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0328.shtml

More hysteria from the mainstream media in respect to drones.

Given the outspoken anti-drone position taken by NZALPA and the long history of "mistaken reports" by pilots when it comes to collisions with drones, can we really take these latest claims by pilots of an airliner approaching Auckland Intenrational airport, especially in light of the super-human reactions that would be needed to make the observations claimed?

And, even if we accept those claims at face value, why are AirNZ and NZALPA calling for "tougher regulation" of drones -- when all the reported incidents have involved breaches of the existing rules anyway?

Why can't these groups (and the government) understand that this isn't a problem with the strength of regulation, it's a problem with education and enforcement. Toughening drone regulations would achieve nothing except the penalising of those who adhere to those regulations -- and they clearly are not the problem.

Then there's the issue of the way the mainstream media has handled this story.

Why is it that RadioNZ is the only one who is prepared to do more than just republish the media statements of AirNZ, NZALPA and Airways? Why are none of the others interested in providing researched and balanced reporting of this issue?
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby GSVNoFixedAbode » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:25 am

Please remember to post a clip of the RNZ interview once it's aired!

As for the alleged drone near-miss, my first thought was "oops, someone's drone has gone out of receiver range and is not controlled", especially if it's being buffeted by turbulence 5 metres away from such a massive, fast-moving aircraft. There are still some idiots out there but I don't think anyone would risk their unit by flying over a runway. Perhaps an older model DJI with the RTB bug? Surely the pilot would have been able to identify the make and model of purported drone during the micro-glimpse they got?
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby phill » Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:53 am

i think it boils down to some simple mistakes in how the laws were framed

they have made the regs far to draconian and widespread ... so people will tend to ignore them

had they made laws stricter ( if they wished ) but more targeted to airport surrounds ... people would tend to obey them

there is very little difference in the laws and penalties i face ... some 300 ks from auckland and 5ks from an almost disused airport
and the laws and penalties someone that lives 1k from auckland airport does

and if i was going to an interview on air about this problem i would be going with as many facts as possible onhand in short notes and the possible expectation of being ambushed
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiney things i have got
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby latewings » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:01 am

But he's a pilot for Christ's sake!


Tally ho old chap, banter like that might alter your name's position on this years Christmas card list. You might very well find yourself at the bottom!
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:50 am

LOL... my inference is, of course, that airline pilots are no longer revered by the general public as the gods they once were.

These days they're just (air)bus drivers who, for 99% of the flight, just keep an eye on all the blinky lights and flashing displays.
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby latewings » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:01 pm

These days they're just (air)bus drivers who, for 99% of the flight, just keep an eye on all the blinky lights and flashing displays.


Sum Ting Wong found that out in San Fran (Asiana 214) when he couldn't hold airspeed on a manual approach while the ILS was NOTAM'd out of service. Getting into the right hand seat is often a 250 hour newbie paying for the privilege so it's little wonder pilots are not considered pedestal material any more.
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:49 pm

Yeah, had a very interesting chat with an A320 pilot from China a couple of months ago. He told me that even though he is the pilot in command for many flights each week, the number of hours he actually spends "flying" is very small. He just babysits the computers.

One day (in the surprisingly not-too-distant future), the only piloting done by humans will be for recreational purposes.

You can see why NZALPA feel so threatened that they have to try and vilify drones.
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby stoatwblr » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:41 pm

Not to mention that DJI drones WON'T LET you fly them near airports...

There's an important stat that there's a near-linear relationship between the reduction in the number of reported bird sightings around airports and the increase in drone sightings.

I was at Heathrow a few months back and watched a stork rather ponderously run up out of the stream that runs parallel to the south fence (near the freight terminals west of T4), then climb to about 50 feet and turn north right across the middle of the runways. These birds have about an 8 foot wingspan and weigh the best part of 10-15kg so you don't want to hit one on any part of your flight cycle. You'd think something might have been said on one of the control channels to hold traffic back whilst it passed through. Nothing at all.
Last edited by stoatwblr on Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby latewings » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:48 pm

You can see why NZALPA feel so threatened that they have to try and vilify drones.


There will be a time soon where you hear "This is your FMC speaking" to deliver the weather and time to destination in multiple languages while the Captain and FO play 'guess that cloud shape' up front.
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Re: Drama in the skies (28 Mar, 2018)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:55 pm

Yes, and it's interesting to note the stark similarites between the attitude to this new-fangled "drone" technology and those new fangled "horseless carriages" when they first started to appear.

It's worth reading up on the "regulations" that were imposed on early car owners/drivers. In South Carolina, the driver of a car had to stop 100 yards short of any intersection and fire his gun, so as to alert any horse-drawn traffic to his impending arrival.

Elsewhere, it was a law that drivers must stop, get out of their vehicle and cover it with a blanket to avoid scaring approaching horse traffic.

Then of course there was the man with the red flag which was required in the UK, so as to signal the approach of one of these evil baby-killing machines.

Were any of these regulations *really* necessary? No... they were simply a sop to the majority who, mainly out of ignorance, feared the change that was occuring.

I dare say that much of this law may have also been sponsored or lobbied by buggy-whip and saddle makers who saw the writing on the wall -- as NZALPA also do.

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat its mistakes :(
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