Over the past several days and seemly there is no coincidence that almost immediately after the news of the FAA recent announcement we have what I thought was a perfect example of someone who was very new to the new machine that he was using or was blatantly reckless. I probably like many thought 'This is all we need is people doing stupid things that will make it harder on all of us' . Then I cam across a story about the same subject however it had more than just a reporters commentary, but the recording of the NYPD Helicopter Pilot and the Air Traffic Controller. It is hard to change what was said on recording.

The Story that I found the recording : http://motherboard.vice.com/read/police-recording-confirms-nypd-flew-at-a-drone-never-feared-crash

Here's a full transcript of the recording:

NYPD—What kind of contact do you have … at this time.

Tower—What do you mean, what kind of contact?

NYPD—I don’t know. We just had an aircraft do vertical climbs pretty fast.

Tower—I don’t see anything on the radar. About how high would you say it went?

NYPD—I'd say 0 to about 2,000 [feet] in less than two seconds. And he's got green and red now. He's going up Spuyten Duyval [bridge], northbound at this time.

Tower—Really? I don’t see anything on the radar. Im not seeing anything like that.

NYPD—He has to be military. He's moving. He's right over top of us right now, LaGuardia. He did a 180 really quick. Going down the east river at this time. I just want to make sure its not a drone.

Tower—I’ll look out the window.

NYPD—LaGuardia we are 800 feet and he is level with us at this time.

Tower—He's level.

NYPD—Going Spuyten Duyval to the [George Washington Bridge]. He's got to be a drone.

Tower—Roger that.

NYPD—He's got red and green lights. Hes trucking, hes moving fast. LaGuardia, definitely a drone. Hes going up the streets now between buildings.

Tower—Ok, all right. Man, theres really gotta be a better way to maybe disable these guys.

NYPD—We are going to stay here and figure out where he puts it.

Tower—Take your time, you’re the only ones in the air.

NYPD—Will do. Yeah, we got drone activity at the GW Bridge. We are trying to walk an RMP [remote mobile patrol] into it. We got the guys operating it on the ground. Hopefully we can get these guys collared up.

Tower—In the vicinity of the GW? They were at the GW. Now I got three, four, coming up to Fairview and 193, vicinity of.

Tower—All right, you want me to do anything from here.

NYPD—Nope, just letting you know.

NYPD—Ok we got these guys are saying these are just toys but these drones were flying in vicinity of [George Washington Bridge]. They buzz around us as well.

Tower—All right what altitude were you guys at.

NYPD—These things were well over 2,000 feet. They were above us at 1,000.

Tower—You still have a visual.

NYPD—No, we've got custody, we've locked the [radio mobile patrol police cars] into them. You know, we have the guys who were operating them. We really don’t know exactly what we have, maybe a reckless. Not sure what exactly we got.

Tower—All right 10-4.

NYPD—Just so you know there was a class given to lt perez, I don’t know if you want to disturb him or not, but he had all the info on that.

Tower—All right 10-4 thank you.

NYPD—Tiny little, we got them on the ground now. Tiny little drones with four blades on it. But, yeah, It was all the way over the GW. Now we are all the way over at Spuyten Duyval flying two miles away to 2,000 feet.

NYPD—They are with them right now, but we don’t even know what we have.

NYPD—Definitely, we just don’t know what kind of crime we have right now.

NYPD—Seems to me, if they were at 1,000 feet, they'd have to be operating that thing recklessly, regardless of whether or not it was a toy.


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  • 1000ft/s is about 600 knots!

  • These are more trumped up stories to cause division in this community.  The fact is that we have always welcomed and mentored new modelers and as long as we continue to do so the FAA and other authorities will continue to trump up the stories.

  • 1000FT per second? Since when did DJI make RTF rockets?

  • The difference is , a helicopter pilot has to take exams and years of flight experience training, in a vehicle that has very strict  and defined maintenance schedule. I expect very few drone operators can say the same.

    Also note. The helicopter pilot is in contact with air control tower for his area and they cleared him for operations saying no other vehicles in the air.

    This is professional and safe.

    Im currently now studying for pilot law, and ground radio law as part of certification. Tho not gauranteed by our CAA (in NZ) it is a step in the direction of showing competency for using vehicles in a commercial manner, or in a populated area, and a few operators who have done this are now certified for UAV operations.

    Technically at the moment I have also to leave my city and go out into the country to fly since I live near an airport.

    But I'd rather do that than be one of the guys that make the news for diverting flights or endangering people.

    Yeah insurance is another huge one...if it comes down and causes some damage, or car crash by startling a driver or whatever, what happens? Its only a matter of time with these phantoms


  • Most of the buildings are plus 400' in NYC so I would assume the one in danger it the fullsize Heli is in more danger just by dropping below the suggested deck limit... 

    In a city? I guess like NYC should you be flying at all if you can drop and hit someone? Really just matters if you do, but just like if you hit them with your car, you are still held responsible. 

    From what I have found there is very few insurance policies to cover this, and possibly the cause for all the concern, as we are at heart just a fiduciary democracy...


    NYPD—LaGuardia we are 800 feet and he is level with us at this time.

    NYPD—.......They were above us at 1,000.

    These lines seem fairly measureable from a copter pilot point of view right?

    Both of these readings are higher than a RC vehicle should be? Especially in a city?

    Isn't the "legal limit" (legal being a grey area) around 400ft?


  • Claimed assent rate of the quadcopter is obviously inflated by two whole orders of magnitude. By extension, this would suggest that the reported elevation of the craft is also far from accurate.

    It is also unusual that there is zero reference to the evasive manoeuvre described in the original report - "At one point, the NYPD helicopter pilot had to veer off course to avoid being struck by the drone".

    Telemetry would be very helpful in situations such as this
  • Another thing is, if you were being chased by a piloted heli could you get away... I am about 99% sure I could, and not give away where I was piloting from... Just and observation...  

    Think about it.. if you are at 2000' and a personpitloted craft comes behind, go inverted at full thorttle drop to 200 feet and full speed in the opposite direction, in that manuver you may pull 15-20 g's not human pitlot to could handle that, I know I could not and have flown a few acro planes that could handle it, but I would red out or black out before I could get past 8-9 g's

  • I did not want to bias the opinion, but my view also

  • Sounds like a good ole black hole visual illusion!  No phantom can move that fast.  Kinds sounds like the cops might have misled the journalists on the whole "we almost got hit" story.  So do the cops get in trouble now for lying?  Just like the guys are going to get in trouble for committing an act that is unregulated and not a crime?

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