Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Have your say on today's Aardvark Daily column

Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Wed Jan 29, 2020 5:41 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2020/0129.shtml

Are we too quick to forget the sacrifices of our forefathers?

How insulting is to the memories of those people who bravely offered up their own lives to protect our freedoms that today we simply give those freedoms away without even a wimper?

What is wrong with the world?

Why are "bravery" and "principles" now dirty words?

Has the second "Battle of Britain" become a very real indicator of the sorry state of the world -- one in which large multinationals and cowardly bureaucrats are free to steal the freedoms and rights that people have died for?

Tragedy!
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4120
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby cjet » Wed Jan 29, 2020 7:26 am

Steady on the events of nola gay had not even happened.

So we can’t compare apples in the air with orange mushroom clouds and orange quad rotor props

The point that drones took out Hell fire strikes is everything to do with the new laws

“Force projection” is what all drones including under 20g offer.

And what can a 250g drone carry.

I have said that a gun licence is minimum for drone flying

I have said that drones need to be tied to the ground by teather

I have said that all should first learn to fly in the ymca enclosed building

And only then after you have your handling course can your drone under 250g fly with an L plate

Then after 18 months and a defensive drone flying course can you sit your restricted licence

All inspectors strap on an FPV head set and drone along with the pilot

Then after another 18 months or half of this if defensive advanced drone Saftey school is taken does a person get to sit a full licence.

Then fliers over 65 years old must resist the driving flying test every two years and have eyesight and hearing exams

I have just described the New Zealand driving laws

I have not even got into methanol intoxicated fliers of soft drinks in the sun.

This is funny. No disrespect intended.
cjet
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 8:45 am

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:04 am

Very interesting comments (over 500 of them) on the youtube video I made on this topic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGAcBpI-NBI
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4120
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby Fast Eddie » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:45 am

Bruce, I'm going to take the opposite side on this one.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the fact the authorities don't want model craft buzzing around in the skies is to PREVENT accidents and deaths. Maybe for once we're actually being pro-active and not waiting for hundreds to die before someone says "we should stop that... in fact I don't know why we allowed it in the first place".

Do you think the NZTA would allow me (and other enthusiasts) to race their model race cars on highways? No. Of course not. I could say "But ZERO deaths have occurred from that". It's a weak argument. We know that allow it probably will result in accidents and deaths.

If you disagree, where does my argument fall down?
Fast Eddie
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm

Well drones have been "a thing" for over a decade and RC models for six decades. During that time they have proven to be incredibly safe.

Zero deaths from the recreational use of multirotor drones in those ten years and only a tiny handful (less than half a dozen) from the use of RC planes in over 60 years. I would challenge anyone to dispute that this is pretty good evidence that this is a low-risk activity.

Indeed, further proof of the low-risk is the fact that about $20 a year gives me $10m of insurance cover whilst engaging in these activities. Insurance companies are the ultimate experts when it comes to performing risk-assessments since their very viability and profitability depend on getting things right.

If we were to restrict/ban/tax activities on the basis that doing so "might" reduce risk then *everything* would be restricted, banned or taxed -- since *every* single thing we do (from getting out of bed in the morning to getting back into it at night) carries a level of risk.

Collisions with turtles have caused more damage to aircraft than collisions with drones (a little known but relevant fact). Should authorities require the registration and licensing of turtles because THAT risk has been stablished to be far higher than the risk associated with drones and aircraft?

Further proof of the situation is the fact that although most countries (including NZ) have quite significant licensing, registration and taxation requirements for motor vehicle use, around 400 people die each year on NZ's roads, nearly 2,000 a year on UK roads and 30,000 a year on US roads. Clearly licensing, registration and taxation are not a silver-bullet that stops bad things from happening.

If we examine other bits of new technology that cost lives (eScooters, self-drive cars, etc), it would seem that the governments of the world would get far greater improvements in safety by focusing on the bigger risks before wasting time on those which are so small as to be virtually non-existant.

What do you think?
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4120
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby Fast Eddie » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:01 pm

Yes, you make a good argument. Through reading your response I can see that the weakness in my analogy is that, as you point out, drones and RC models have been "a thing" for quite a while, whereas racing RC cars on highways has never really been a thing. So yes, I can't argue against the track record.

I wonder then, what it is that is starting to change legislators' minds? Is it some near misses in recent times? Or the sheer increase in the number of drone flyers?

At the back of my mind I'm still conscious of the fact that a small, remotely piloted object (i.e. drone or RC model) can do a lot of damage if it hit a plane. Imagine even just a light plane, travelling at 500 km/h, and a drone smacks into its windscreen (or whatever it's called on a plane). That's a 500 km/h impact to a glass windscreen. So there is a real risk that somehow needs to be addressed.

But I do take your point that we can't just ban everything that carries a non-zero risk, because as you say, we'd be banning everything, and that's ridiculous.
Fast Eddie
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 2:11 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby phill » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:33 pm

just to put some context to planes v drones and cars v rc cars

rc cars on the same 6 mtr road are all on the same plane ( 2D )
you would still have to travel more than a few seconds before it managed to hit a tire if going in the opposite direction
going in the same direction at the same ballpark speed you would have to concentrate to get the desired contact .. although it would not do much

now look at drone v aircraft
for commercial flights ( the ones with the hundreds of passengers they always seem to cite in the death count if a collision happened )
first we have to take away all areas 10ks outside an airport cause at that distance they have a achieved a height difficult to reach by all but a few drones .. add another 20 k and they are pretty much out of contention
take away all aircraft 4ks from an airport as most wont fly in that area ( a rule pretty much all drone flyers will not break )
you get left with an area 4-10 ks from an airport that is more than 6 mtrs wide .. its 20 ks wide and 20 ks long .. and at that point up to ~ 8 ks high
yet still has probably less planes in it than 50 mtrs of the average road ( and way less than would be on the 50 mtrs of highway you cite )

you start to see the scale of the probability for something to happen
so they argue it could still happen
yehh lots of things could happen
asteroids causing extinction level events
volcano appearing on queen street
as some people have won large lotto first prizes more than once .. and a drone is yet to bring down a plane .. its less than winning a large lotto twice
( ,,,,,,,, ....... 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 shiny things i have got
User avatar
phill
 
Posts: 2143
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 8:31 pm

Re: Battle of Britain... lost (29 Jan, 2020)

Postby aardvark_admin » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:14 am

Fast Eddie wrote:I wonder then, what it is that is starting to change legislators' minds? Is it some near misses in recent times? Or the sheer increase in the number of drone flyers?

It is one simple thing... money.

Until commercial drones became a thing, the airspace from 0 to 400ft above ground was effectively of no value. It was too low and dangerous for safe manned flight (most manned flight is prohibited from flying below 500ft) and thus "the powers that be" were happy for RC model fliers to use it without challenge or question.

Once companies like Google, Amazon, DHL and others suddenly realised that *they* could use this 0-400ft space for things such as drone deliveries (regardless of how viable such things actually are), they began lobbying for use of that space. This lobbying has resulted in significant amounts of money being thrown at politicians around the world. Google's lobbying budget alone is measured in tens of millions of dollars a year.

In the USA, commercial drone operators have set up a group called the Commercial Drone Alliance (CDA) which has also spent huge amounts of money lobbying politicians for "control" of the 0-400ft airspace. This group has argued (successfully) to politicians that commercial drone operations are not possible while hobbyists are using that airspace. As a result of this, the FAA has proposed regulations that will effectively mean that the ability/right/freedom to fly RC models will be phased out progressively over coming years.

There is no safety issue -- but the media has repeatedly hyped up the "risk" in order to sell advertising. Very few of the claimed "incidents" (such as Gatwick) actually come with any concrete evidence to support the media claims being made. Despite the world's media camping out at Gatwick airport and despite the alleged drone flying around for 40 minutes at a time on several occasions, not one single journalist or member of the public managed to get a single frame of video or still image of the alleged craft. Seriously?

And more recently there were claims that swarms of drones were seen night after night in the skies over Colorado. Here's the latest, more credible report on that: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/884x ... erent-real

RC model flyers are still doing what they've always done, flying safely and responsibly... usually a long way from urban centres in a responsible and self-regulating manner. For governments to suddenly decide that this is unacceptably dangerous (after demonstrating 60 years of impeccable safety and to the extent that the UK is banning children from the hobby and the USA is phasing it out completely) speaks to the power of the commercial entities and their lobbyists.

At the back of my mind I'm still conscious of the fact that a small, remotely piloted object (i.e. drone or RC model) can do a lot of damage if it hit a plane. Imagine even just a light plane, travelling at 500 km/h, and a drone smacks into its windscreen (or whatever it's called on a plane). That's a 500 km/h impact to a glass windscreen. So there is a real risk that somehow needs to be addressed.

Risk is the product of probability and consequence -- that's the formula for calculating it.
The reality is that although the consequenes of a "worst case" collision between a drone/RC model and a manned aircraft could be high, the probability is incredibly low. That's because the skies over our heads represent a *huge* volume of space. Scientists have actually crunched the numbers in a paper published by the George Mason University and they worked out that at present rates of drone/aircraft use, there's a chance of a collision causing injury of death once every 400 years.

Compare this to the risk of being injured by a falling meteor. Based on recent evidence, we seen to have one major meteor strike every century. There was Tunguska back in the early 1900s and Chelyabinsk earlier this century. The reality (proven by history) is that you are four times more likely to be injured or killed as a result of a falling piece of space rock than you are as the result of a collision between a drone/RC model and an aircraft.

These are the facts, this is the evidence, those are the scientific studies that prove just how unnecessary all this regulation is and how unreasonable it is to destroy a wonderful hobby -- just because a bunch of multinationals have decided that *they* want a natural resource (the 0-400ft airspace) all to themselves.

But I do take your point that we can't just ban everything that carries a non-zero risk, because as you say, we'd be banning everything, and that's ridiculous.

Exactly... and as I think I've clearly shown, the risks associated with RC model and recreational drone flying is insufficient to warrant the massive levels of regulatory over-reach now being enacted around the world. Sadly, things are seldom done for the right reasons and politicians are far more often interested in what's best for themselves rather than what's best for the people they purport to represent :(
aardvark_admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4120
Joined: Wed May 07, 2014 2:10 pm


Return to Today's column

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest