From the SUAS Feed

Earlier this week a pilot from Idaho was preparing to begin a spray run through a field. Barely visible ahead of him was a small stationary object. He decided it must be a kite since a bird would not remain motionless. As he neared the object, it rapidly shot straight up. The pilot took evasive action but it passed so close to the airplane that he was unsure if it had missed the aircraft and spray system. It was close enough for him to be able to identify the make and model of the quad-rotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). He did not see the vehicle again as he finished the field but he did see the suspected operator/pilot in a car near the field. When he went to the next field, the car followed him where he observed the car’s occupant taking pictures with a hand-held camera.

Full article here: UAV near miss with crop duster

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  • Yes, The AMA covers you, anywhere you legally fly. Provided you are following their prescribed rules. This includes a spotter, with a buddy box, so if you are flying FPV. Probably not.

    Make no mistake. The AMA is not our friend when it comes to FPV and UAV use. They pretend to be on our side because they are profoundly afraid that we will get line of sight RC banned or restricted  and they may have a right to be scared. They will have no problem what so ever, Throwing us under the buss, if that's what they need to do to protect their right to fly in a circle.

    The AMA, is run by old men who fear what they don't understand and a lot of the folks running it still feel RC is dangerous. These people grew up with control line airplanes literally tethered  to the plane with a cord. The AMA still has Control line category's and even competitions.

    Trying to explain that FPV and UAV is at least as safe as line of sight to these people is a waist of time. They don't understand the technology and frankly are incapable of doing so. I'm an AMA member and I enjoy field flying, mostly because I love those misguided geezers. I'm not trying to be disrespectful. On the contrary, I respect them so much hat line of site RC and RC modeling is my main hobby, just so, I can spend time with them. My FPV has been relegated to outside the field because It's just too tiresome to argue with them about the million, once in a trillion scenarios that my FPV plane could cause some mayhem.

    It is my firm belief that the AMA has thrown us under the bus with the FAA causing the current issue with the FAA. Thankfully, they happened to expose some of the risks they pose to the airspace at the same time and now they have a problem too, and want our help.

    I feel we need our own group, to regulate ourselves. There are simple ways we could integrate FPV and UAV use into the national airspace without substantial risk to other aircraft and people on the ground. Telemetry radios are super cheap now. A national standard could be adopted and installed in all aircraft. This could be adapted quickly and cheaply into an anti air-to air collision system, for UAV, civilian and commercial use. Reasonable rules about what weights and where UAV can be used can easily mitigate or avoid any damage on the ground .

    "if it saves one life it's worth it" Has become a battle cry for every knee jerk law passed in recent years.  One life is not worth slowly giving up our liberty. Millions of lives were given to secure our liberty. Why would we be willing to give it up for one. Yes, flying our little planes are not on the order of free speech and religion, but it is our right and shouldn't be given up lightly.

  • Admin


    Does AMA have say outside its certified/approved flying fields?  Does the AMA insurance cover its member when flying outside approved sites like one mentioned above? What does AMA say if the quad pilot in this incident is member of AMA and if either the Duster or quad would have crashed with collateral damages, will the insurance cover the damages and suit etc? Does AMA  allow its members to fly outside approved flying fields and if so under what conditions? Please let me your thoughts on it.

    Just want to know/understand about AMA?

  • Moderator
    The Australia Transport Safety Bureau doesn't agree that manned aircraft have the right of way.

    As I previously posted, both manned and unmanned pilots are responsible for seeing and avoiding. This is supported by the ATSB report.

    Unmanned aircraft below 400ft, outside controlled airspace is operating in its default condition, manned aircraft below 500ft are operating outside the defaults and in the event of a collision will end off worst off, so if they see a potential hazard, the pilot shouldn't continue to fly towards the object.

    It's like saying I am riding a motor bike and I have the right of way against a truck. Yes true, but who will end off worst off? Ok I won't exercise the right of way.
  • "... strictly by chance, inspectors from the local FSDO happened to stop by the operator’s business on a courtesy call. They were immediately informed of the event and the follow-up."

    Seriously? I find this tidbit, along with the total lack of specifics and the utter lack of confirmation available from any source other than the "report" itself highly suspect. What, pray tell, was the operator's business, that he had reason for the FSDO to "Just drop by"?

    I call shenanigans on this one; I think it's someone trying to pour accelerant on the Anti-Drone pyre. Or urban myth with an axe to grind.


    "I find zat highly zuspect."

  • Crop dusters have a vested interest in shutting down small UAV use. They are afraid UAVs are going to put them out of business, and they are right. small UAV's can do the job cheaper, better, safer, and with less over spray to damage the environment. I'm gonna just flat out call the full scale pilot a liar. 

  • Admin


    Thanks for the perspective. I like/need to live to go to jail then be dead and still be called idiot. I did forget/miss to say that there could be third idiot " The farmer who is overall responsible for the dusting operation and should have ensured safety of all involved. In any case the mileage varies due to difference of opinions of those involved.There are so many ifs and buts in the above incident with some many happenstance making it very doubtful story. The photo above looks to me like one lifted from Flight Sim. I could be wrong.

    My perspective is very simple. Only two legged homo sapiens vertebrates can be idiots. Neither so called drone nor the duster craft was at fault , it was who was behind & around it.

    I also wonder as to how so many blogs & comments ends up diverting into some thing else other than its face value after reading the un-related comments above. E.g:- what has AMA to do with above said incident??! AMA is not the last word for model flying all over the world!!  Good people enjoy this hobby in safe manner for every one without any special rules/privileges to follow all over the world just because they use simplest of their senses =  Common Sense.

    I could also be wrong regarding the motive of Quad pilot shooting up in front of duster.  He might have feared/wanted to save/prevent his quad from getting dusted too. Motives in any case was deliberate reason for him to shoot up. It was idiot or Idiots , we will never know.

    BTW, you haven't answered the only question in by last comment above.

    Cheers  and hope every one has fun flying their toys without causing trouble.

  • @Morli..
    If it was the other way around, the drone pilot should go directly to jail.
    Flying a drone with the intention of getting close to a piloted aircraft without letting the pilot know your intentions is the absolute worst crime a drone pilot could do.

    If you were a duster pilot and you intentionally emptied a load onto a person or vehicle, you would also deserve to go to jail.

    You can't assume the drone pilot was an idiot, there is not enough detail.

    A single crow cannot bring down a 747, it is totally impossible.

    Firstly, there is a good chance that a bird the size of a crow would likely pass straight through a 747 engine and be diced into a million pieces. The engine might not even miss a beat.
    Even if a single crow did take out one engine, a 747 has four engines and pilots are trained to fly on as few as two engines.

    A lightly loaded 747 could even fly on one of its four engines.

    A flock of crows on the other hand could take down a 747 if enough of them got sucked into 3 engines or all 4 engines.

    Here is a really nice video that shows a crow size bird taking out an two engine Boeing 757 engine during takeoff.

  • Admin


    "The drone pilot was likely taking photos in order to 'report' the pilot of the crop duster for flying too low."

    My guess is it was other way round. The drone  pilot was told or knew that the area was going to be dusted. He was  filming the dusting operation  starting with in coming duster angle shot( read small static object  ahead ) ,  then tried to fly up for above head shot of duster passing below the quad with quad camera pointing down. This ended up too close call coz the pilot of the duster was never told of this quad flying stunt and it was the farmer or his son( which ever one is interested in droning) flying the quad that day.  If I was the one flying the duster , I might  have been tempted(very much) to spray the guy along with his car emptying my full load after this event and my bet is guy with  quad in his car would not have pressed charges either.

    The guy in car(flying the quad earlier) was an idiot who did not know that even a crow can  bring down a 747 !!!.

    Any one wants to argue other wise if this pilot was wrong/idiot  if he suddenly finds him self in above situation??

  • @ John Maffetone:  There is absolutely no rule, law, or precedent that says model aircraft can only be flown at AMA sanctioned fields.  That is completely untrue. I can fly my model aircraft anywhere I want as long as my feet aren't trespassing, not in violation of federal/state/local laws,I'm not in violation of a TFR or other published restriction, and it is safe to do so.  The AMA has absolutely nothing to do with this.

  • We probably all agree that drones should be flown responsibly and give way to other aircraft. However, the article has a couple of problems:

    No name on the policeman, the area or the journalist. No date for the event.

    The picture is old without being related to the event.

    Where is the ground staff? What does ground staff / lookout do?

    There may be a dozen children on the field flying kites! Should the pilot then flying into them? ... and spray the kids with pesticides?

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