# Drone Pilot Faces 14 Felonies... Grounds Firefighting Aircraft During A Wildfire.

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TRF Supporter

#### Woody's Workshop

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
I can see the firefighting grounding as a little over dramatic....
I'm sure the idiot will plead guilty to 1 count or lesser charges.
They are advertising this to set an example IMO to keep these things from happening in the future.
While the idiot should have known better, circling a firefighter aircraft was totally un-called for.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
I can see the firefighting grounding as a little over dramatic....
I'm sure the idiot will plead guilty to 1 count or lesser charges.
They are advertising this to set an example IMO to keep these things from happening in the future.
While the idiot should have known better, circling a firefighter aircraft was totally un-called for.
I'm sure he did know better and I'm glad they caught him. Idiot.

This is a part of the article--

While it is no secret that firefighting can be a dangerous profession throughout the many roles associated within the career field. Crews fighting fire from the air were last week reminded of how new technology can add risk to everyone involved with fire suppression operations. The incident in question occurring in Yavapai County, Arizona, a location that is still on the minds of firefighters all across the nation. It was in Yavapai County that on June 30th, 2013, 19 City of Prescott firefighters, members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots, made the ultimate sacrifice as they were overrun fighting the Yarnell Hill Fire.

Now, four years later almost to the day, operations during the Goodwin Fire, that started just 14 miles south of Prescott saw 14 firefighting aircraft grounded, unable to launch to assist ground based firefighting operations from the air for over an hour due to a drone being operated illegally in the fire&#8217;s airspace. The Goodwin fire began June 24th 2017, and has consumed more than 28,516 acres at the time of this report. The fire is currently scheduled to transition to a Type 4 fire management team on Monday, July 10th 2017.

How is it possible to read this and not understand the severity of the situation ??
A little overdramatic ?????
4 years earlier men lost their lives fighting the same type of fire in the same place..
The men that loose their lives aren't the ones in the air,,
they're the ones on the ground..
The aircraft are supporting / protecting the guys on the ground...
Overdramatic ???
I have a good idea..
Go find the families of the men who lost their lives and tell them the authorities are being
a little overdramatic trying to protect the men fighting these fires on the ground...

I'm sorry,,
There are some I just can't keep quite for...

Teddy

#### ChrisAttebery

##### Well-Known Member
I hope they throw the book at him and anyone else caught in this self absorbed behavior.

I was involved in RC in one form or another for about 25 years. Guys like these are the one's that get fields shut down and restrictions put in place.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
I'm surprised some branches of law enforcement / rescue services aren't equipped with net launchers yet.

I suppose most UAS energy sources don't last long enough for a response team to get there. Maybe a co2 powered plastic tube that barfs uv-degrading bolos?

#### James Duffy

##### Well-Known Member
I'm surprised some branches of law enforcement / rescue services aren't equipped with net launchers yet.
99.9% of the peace officers in the US know exactly zilch about the FARs and appropriate enforcement, and as such are not sufficiently equipped to accurately asses a possible violation and appropriate response.

James

#### The_Lone_Beagle

##### Well-Known Member
This is also from the article:

One air attack pilot noted a drone flying at his altitude before it began circling his aircraft. This incident prompted an hour long grounding of all firefighting aircraft and the subsequent halt of all ground based fire attack. The decision to halt ground based fire attack operations made as the risk to the ground crews was also high without support and protection of aerial firefighting support.
I bet he got some cool video...idiot.

#### MClark

##### Well-Known Member
I'm surprised some branches of law enforcement / rescue services aren't equipped with net launchers yet.

I suppose most UAS energy sources don't last long enough for a response team to get there. Maybe a co2 powered plastic tube that barfs uv-degrading bolos?
We do work (blue the parts)for a company that makes net guns, https://www.codaenterprises.com/products.html
They are very short range, catching a drone would need it to be hovering in your face.
Check out the video of a deer capture, I want a job that cool. https://www.codaenterprises.com/videos.html

M

#### Mushtang

TRF Supporter
Because of this intrusion, the airspace had to be immediately cleared due to the danger the drone posed to aircraft.
There something here I don't understand... what danger does a quad-copter pose to a HUGE helicopter or aircraft???

The crews on the ground are risking their lives against a fire, something that has killed firefighters in the recent past and is terribly dangerous. The pilots aren't willing to confront the minimal danger that a quad-copter may have to the aircraft IF it actually gets sucked in to an engine or something? I'd think that if the aircraft actually hit the quad-copter it would bounce right off and probably destroy it. Also, those engines are designed to work after sucking in a few birds - not that you'd let anything fly into an engine on purpose but there's an important job to do so why worry about the small toy in the area.

At the very least it seems like they could fly around the area that the quad-copter is flying and be inconvenienced and still fight the fire, and still protect the firefighters on the ground, until the quad-copter pilot is found and made to quit. Grounding the entire fleet seems like an overreaction.

It sounds like they're willing to face a huge risk (fire) but unwilling to face a much smaller risk in order to do it. There's got to be more to this than I'm seeing.

#### cerving

##### Owner, Eggtimer Rocketry
TRF Supporter
This happened a little while ago in SoCal, the result was a fire that got way bigger than it should have, crossed the freeway and stopped traffic, and send hundreds of people fleeing from their cars as it did so. They never caught the guy that was flying the drone, but if they do then he should get tossed in the can too.

#### The_Lone_Beagle

##### Well-Known Member
There something here I don't understand... what danger does a quad-copter pose to a HUGE helicopter or aircraft???
Not aware of any studies with drones (no strikes yet?), but here is a study of bird strikes with rotary-wing aircraft (i.e., helicopters):

https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2422&context=icwdm_usdanwrc

Summary:
Wildlife strikes to military rotary-wing aircraft during flight operations within the United States are both costly (averaging US$12,184&#8211;$337,281/strike event among the military services) and deadly (2 pilots were killed).

#### Flyfalcons

##### Well-Known Member
The hard plastic and metal that drones are made of are far more damaging than the soft tissue and lightweight bone structure of a bird.

#### The_Lone_Beagle

##### Well-Known Member
The hard plastic and metal that drones are made of are far more damaging than the soft tissue and lightweight bone structure of a bird.
I know...the one birdstrike that brought down the helicopter was a plain old red-tailed hawk, which isn't exactly the biggest bird. When you think of what a drone is made of, a drone strike would likely be far worse than a bird strike.

#### Mushtang

TRF Supporter
The hard plastic and metal that drones are made of are far more damaging than the soft tissue and lightweight bone structure of a bird.
That's true. But... how likely is it that they'll even hit the drone vs how likely is it that the fire will do damage if they stop flying? That's my point.

And for it to do damage not only do they have to hit the drone they have to do it in such a way that sucks the drone into the engine. The rewards of flying far outweigh the risks of not flying.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
I'm surprised some branches of law enforcement / rescue services aren't equipped with net launchers yet.

I suppose most UAS energy sources don't last long enough for a response team to get there. Maybe a co2 powered plastic tube that barfs uv-degrading bolos?
Jammer "rifles" which are configured as such due to dimensionally long high gain directional antennas are the way to go, but there are FCC issues which are going to be exempted in pending Congressional legislation. Jamming will cause the Return to Home feature of GPS drones to be activated which will then lead back to the pilot as the drone returns to him or, at least, get the drone out of the area where it presents a hazard to manned aircraft. Depending on the drone and jammer, it could also cause the drone to simply fall out of the sky. Much more sophisticated equipment in development will recognize the type of RF transmissions used to control the drone and actually take control of the it.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
A great, recent documentary, "Game of Drones", about a small sampling of counter-drone tech under development is linked to below.

The ungainly, heavy, and recoiling compressed air "bazooka" shown I think could be more simply and cheaply replaced with a recoilless model rocket motor propelled "bazooka" spin stabilized (via fin slant) rocket with an internal payload of a very fine circular kevlar net weighted along its outer edge (with, for instance, fishing weights) with remote commanded or predetermined timing of forward body tube/nose splitting separation (like the payload fairing separation on an orbital rocket). When released, the net would naturally deploy and spread due to the rocket's spin, thereby entangling the drone's rotors. The net would use fine kevlar thread with significant spacing between the threads to minimize aerodynamic drag and resulting deceleration once deployed.

The "bazooka" tube would have a cheap MEMs IMU attached as would the clear blast shield worn on the head of the operator. The operator would put the drone in crosshairs either with the naked eye or with optical magnification and the IMUs and trajectory calculations would give "bazooka" aiming and rocket firing moment directions to the operator. A laser range finder (tech now found in hunters' binoculars) on the operator's head worn blast shield would pre-determine the moment to command net deployment, something which would not even require RF comm with the rocket but could instead be sent as a post-launch timing delay figure via BlueTooth to the rocket's electronics on a continuously updating basis prior to launch. ALL of this could be done, with the exception of the laser range finder, with very cheap, off-the-shelf electronics.

https://channel.nationalgeographic.com/breakthrough-series/episodes/game-of-drones/

#### Flyfalcons

##### Well-Known Member
That's true. But... how likely is it that they'll even hit the drone vs how likely is it that the fire will do damage if they stop flying? That's my point.

And for it to do damage not only do they have to hit the drone they have to do it in such a way that sucks the drone into the engine. The rewards of flying far outweigh the risks of not flying.
Not exactly. A drone could cause catastrophic damage going through a windshield, the prop of a SEAT, or even the leading edge of a wing or tail.

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
Yay! in the charges. I know people in Colorado who recently had to put up with similar while having fire in their back yards.

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
What? "Police arrested Gene Alan Carpenter, 54"?? I was expecting some self-absorbed millennial, not an adult, at least an adult by the calendar.

#### dhbarr

##### Amateur Professional
If you look around at this forum, 4x4 forums, gun forums, HAM forums, etc; we big kids are across all age boundaries. I would expect the same for multicoptors.

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
I'm guessing that we might someday see mandated IFF technology being added to drones. If you get pinged doing something stupid you get busted.

#### K'Tesh

##### OpenRocket Chuck Norris
TRF Supporter
What? "Police arrested Gene Alan Carpenter, 54"?? I was expecting some self-absorbed millennial, not an adult, at least an adult by the calendar.
So much for with age comes wisdom.

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
There something here I don't understand... what danger does a quad-copter pose to a HUGE helicopter or aircraft???
It may only be because I come from a family of pilots that I find that question astonishing.
By the way, theire is this,
..."pilot noted a drone flying at his altitude before it began circling his aircraft."

#### modeltrains

##### Well-Known Member
There something here I don't understand... what danger does a quad-copter pose to a HUGE helicopter or aircraft???
Small Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (drones) Mid-Air Collision Study
You may re-use this information (not including logos or third-party material) free of charge
in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

This study aimed to find the lowest speed at collision where critical damage could
occur to aircraft components. Critical damage was defined in this study to mean
major structural damage of the aircraft component or penetration of drone through
the windscreen into the cockpit. The study has indicated that:
&#61623;
Non-birdstrike certified helicopter windscreens have very limited resilience to the
impact of a drone, well below normal cruise speeds.
&#61623;
The non-birdstrike certified helicopter windscreen results can also be applied to
general aviation aeroplanes which also do not have a birdstrike certification
requirement.
&#61623;
Although the birdstrike certified windscreens tested had greater resistance than
non-birdstrike certified, they could still be critically damaged at normal cruise
speeds.
Helicopter tail rotors are also very vulnerable to the impact of a drone,
with modelling showing blade failures from impacts with the smaller drone components
tested.
&#61623;
Airliner windscreens are much more resistant, however, the study showed that
there is a risk of critical windscreen damage under certain impact conditions:
&#9472;
It was found that critical damage did not occur at high, but realistic impact
speeds, with the 1.2 kg class drone components.
&#9472;
However, critical damage did occur to the airliner windscreens at high, but
realistic, impact speeds, with the 4 kg class drone components used in this study.
&#61623;
The construction of the drone plays a significant role in the impact of a collision.
Notably, the 400g class drone components, which included exposed metal
motors, caused critical failure of the helicopter windscreens at lower
speeds than the 1.2kg class drone components, which had plastic covering over their motors.
This is believed to have absorbed some of the shock of the collision, reducing the
impact.
5
&#61623;
The testing and modelling showed that the drone components used can cause
significantly more damage than birds of equivalent masses at speeds lower than
required to meet birdstrike certification standards.

#### Steven

It's by their very nature that drones have opened up a can of worms. They are not restricted to runways or large areas to fly. It was a sure fire bet that people just get (wait for it) 'stoopid'. They are no longer restricted to flying fields with rules and regulations. They've managed to entirely side step all boundaries that were designed (whether by nature or man) to contain errant flyers. Now they've gone rogue and it's become problematical. Maybe, maybe the industry might drop these things altogether when the sh!t becomes larger than the fan.

#### Steve Shannon

##### Well-Known Member
TRF Supporter
It's by their very nature that drones have opened up a can of worms. They are not restricted to runways or large areas to fly. It was a sure fire bet that people just get (wait for it) 'stoopid'. They are no longer restricted to flying fields with rules and regulations. They've managed to entirely side step all boundaries that were designed (whether by nature or man) to contain errant flyers. Now they've gone rogue and it's become problematical. Maybe, maybe the industry might drop these things altogether when the sh!t becomes larger than the fan.
I just attended a symposium that the FAA put on in SLC yesterday to discuss drones, balloons, and rockets and how they are used within the national air space. Drones definitely won't be going away; in fact there's some really good work being done with them by government, commercial entities, and civic organizations such as search and rescue. Like any emerging technology they can and are being abused by some idiots. There will be solutions implemented; some will be technology based and some will be regulatory in nature. It was very interesting. The rocket guys did well also, but that's a story for a different thread.

#### Steven

What I was thinking was to create a red tape scenario for commercial use. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. but one where commercial use simply fills out the proper forms/vouchers to qualify for acquisition. For hobbyists, the manufacturers could limit the flying boundaries themselves of the hobby quads. Or altogether shut manufacturing down of the 'toy' quads. Dramatic I sense and perhaps unnecessary more than likely. That's fine. There may be no need for such stringent measures after all.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
That report is rightly being crapped on in the UK as totally unscientific if you check up on it. The recent huge report paid for by the FAA on the hazard to people on the ground from drones is being held up as an example of how to do a proper report. BTW, that hazard was found to be virtually zero.

The statistical odds of a manned aircraft / drone collision have been shown to be infinitesimally small via statistical analysis in comparison with bird strikes (of which there were over 13,000 reported to the FAA in 2015 alone with over 600 aircraft damaged - you can be sure there were many times that of near misses which weren't reported because that's not required because they are so common). The low odds are pretty much confirmed as being correct by the track record OVER THE ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE RC AIRCRAFT HOBBY. The sky is a REALLY big place.

So, this is a tempest in a teapot, important only to people who can't weigh the relative odds of hazards, which includes "we're here to protect you" nanny state pols and bureaucrats looking to cover their asses (and jobs) politically just in case the highly unlikely does happen and there's the usual ultra-stupid, finger-pointing political witch hunt.

Besides, how do you actually DETER a jerk who DAMNED WELL KNOWS what he is doing is illegal, but does it anyway like the idiot who is the subject of this thread? You catch him to punish him or destroy his expensive drone. The only effective path to that is the one I described above (cause him to lose his expensive drone or track it back to him once jamming it into Return to Home mode) and it is not by making every RC pilot register with the federal government. That's just as STUPID as thinking that registering every gun owner will reduce gun crime and once that DOESN'T work, as it WON'T, that foot in the door opens it to the next stupid idea.

And what I've NEVER seen answered in the reporting on ANY of these instances where the perp is actually caught - was he registered with the FAA? I have yet to see ANY case where one of these idiots were caught because they did something they KNEW was illegal and yet were somehow STUPID enough to put their RC pilot registration number (if any) on their drone which then led to their capture. That's like a crook using a gun with a S/N and paper trail leading to him which he then throws at his pursuers.

#### Winston

##### Lorenzo von Matterhorn
Army tells troops to stop using DJI drones immediately

Excerpt:

The US military has a lot of dronesand an unending demand from troops in the field for more. As a result, the Army has for some time allowed units to purchase hundreds of off-the-shelf drones made by DJI, the Chinese consumer drone maker. The Army Aviation Directorate has provided "airworthiness releases" for DJI drones over 300 times for a variety of missions, according to a memorandum issued by the directorate's deputy chief of staff.

But now all of those drones are getting pulled from service, as the result of classified findings in a May study by the Army Research Lab at Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland, as well as a Navy memorandum citing "operational risks" in using DJI drones. The memorandum ordering the ban was obtained by Small UAS News.

Army Air Directorate's deputy chief of staff Lt. General Joseph Anderson issued a memo on August 2 ordering units to "cease all use, uninstall all DJI applications, remove all batteries/storage media from devices, and secure equipment for follow-on direction."

I believe DJI drones are entirely of Chinese origin, BTW.