Tag Archives: NTSB

UAV223 UAV Traffic Management in New Zealand

Airways and AirMap partner on a three-month trial of a UAV traffic management (UTM) platform, NTSB issues Aviation Incident Final Report on drone collision with a helicopter, Singapore tests drone strikes on test dummies, recreational drone registration is signed into law, and using drones for law enforcement.

UAV air traffic management in New Zealand.

Airways and AirMap partner to provide UAV air traffic management in New Zealand.

UAV News

New Zealand to trial drone traffic management system

Airways is New Zealand’s air navigation service provider. They deliver air navigation and air traffic management consultancy and training services throughout New Zealand and in over 65 countries. Airways has now partnered with AirMap to conduct a three-month trial of New Zealand’s first UAV traffic management (UTM) platform. The trial is taking place in the Canterbury and Queenstown regions. Drone users can use AirMap’s free iOS and Android apps to obtain approvals, file flight plans, and access real-time information about other aircraft in the area.

Airways NZ AirMap trial

NTSB Aviation Incident Final Report on collision between Blackhawk helicopter and DJI Phantom

On September 21, 2017, a Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter operated by the U.S. Army collided with a privately owned and operated DJI Phantom 4 at about 300 feet MSL. The helicopter received minor damage while the Phantom was destroyed. The NTSB determined the probable cause(s) of this incident to be: “The failure of the sUAS pilot to see and avoid the helicopter due to his intentional flight beyond visual line of sight. Contributing to the incident was the sUAS pilot’s incomplete knowledge of the regulations and safe operating practices.”

More Than 600 Drones Were Crashed in the Name of UAV Safety Research

In order to better understand the injuries that could occur in a drone collision, Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Air Traffic Management Research Institute, crashed over 600 drones into dummy heads to gather as much data as possible. They found that a small 250 gram drone could kill a person.

NTU researchers test damage from drones on dummy heads

Turns out, you’re going to have to register your small drones with the U.S. government after all

On December 12, 2017, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 into law. The FAA rules for drone registration and marking for small unmanned aircraft that were vacated by the court will be restored to effect.

Taking to the Air: Drones and Law Enforcement

Law enforcement agencies in Delaware are utilizing drones for a variety of purposes. Dover, Wilmington, and Ocean View agencies are using drones. So are the Delaware State Police, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, and the state fire service. The drones are being used to monitor crowds during public events, survey homeless camps, monitor rallys and public exhibitions at schools, for aerial photography of crash scenes, to support court cases, and searching for suspects.

UAV085 NTSB: Putting Some “English” on Drone Investigations

NTSB investigates unmanned aircraft accidents

We speak with Bill English from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about that agency’s investigations of unmanned aircraft accidents. Bill talks about the scope of their involvement, the data available to investigators, and the similarities to manned aircraft. We also talk about the FAA NPRM and the role of the NTSB when FAA enforcement penalties are appealed.

Guest

Bill English - NTSBBill English is an Investigator-in-Charge in the Major Investigations Division of the Office of Aviation Safety.  He has been with the NTSB since 1999 as an investigator on major air carrier events such as Asiana Boeing 777 in San Francisco and the B747 cargo fire in Dubai.

Bill is also the NTSB’s resource for unmanned aircraft investigations. He has built and flown his own small multi-rotor system, and trained on numerous platforms up to the MQ-9.  He was also responsible for developing the NTSB’s civil unmanned aircraft accident regulations, investigations manual, and training programs.

In addition to his NTSB responsibilities, Bill is a certified instrument flight instructor and commercial pilot in single and multi-engine airplanes; has flown aerial observation, corporate, and electronics test aircraft; and has extensive experience in flight inspection and advanced navigation technology.  He holds degrees in Aeronautical Science from Embry-Riddle University, in Geospatial Intelligence from Penn State, and also graduated from the USAF Mishap Investigation Course.

The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation – railroad, highway, marine and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, the NTSB carries out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinates the resources of the Federal Government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members impacted by major transportation disasters.

Mentioned

Aviation Gateway Park Brings Innovation, Education and UAVs AirVenture

The latest innovations, unmanned drone demonstrations, and a world of possibilities for young aviation enthusiasts are part of the new Aviation Gateway Park that makes its debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.

One of the highlights of Aviation Gateway Park will be a new “Drone Cage,” where unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) will be demonstrated each day during AirVenture. Manufacturer demos, educational presentations, obstacle course contests, and free flight can be viewed from all sides of the cage, including from bleachers inside the Park’s Innovations Center. Companies interested in exhibiting and demonstrating should contact EAA’s exhibits office at exhibits@eaa.org.

 

UAV069 NTSB on FAA v. Pirker: Remanded

Stunt Sheep Don’t try this at home: Trappys $10k fine UVA videoThe NTSB issued its Opinion and Order in the FAA v. Raphael Pirker matter, reversing the Administrative Law Judge’s decisional order and remanding the matter for further proceedings.

Guest

Justine HarrisonJustine Harrison is an attorney whose practice includes corporate and aviation law. She’s a multi-engine instrument rated pilot, aircraft owner/operator, and an experimental aircraft builder.

Justine understands aviation issues, has experience in aviation transactions, as well as FAA and NTSB matters. Her aviation clientele includes companies which research, develop, manufacture, service, and test unmanned aircraft. Justine also defends individuals and companies in FAA enforcement actions.

Justine is also fresh from the first ever Unmanned Aircraft Systems Workshop organized by the American Association of Airport Executives. This was a great opportunity to hear concerns from airports, which are both anxious and nervous to get in on the unmanned action.

News

The FAA had assessed Pirker $10,000 based on “alleged careless or reckless operation of an unmanned aircraft.” Pirker’s appeal was heard by an NTSB Administrative Law Judge who terminated the enforcement proceeding and declared that Pirker’s Ritewing Zephyr was a “model aircraft,” not an “aircraft” for purposes of regulation. The FAA then appealed to the Board.

On November 17, 2014, the NTSB issued an Opinion and Order in the matter of the FAA v. Raphael Pirker reversing the Administrative Law Judge’s decisional order and remanding the matter for further proceedings.

In its November 18, 2014 Press Release, the NTSB says, “The National Transportation Safety Board announced today that it has served the FAA and respondent Raphael Pirker with its opinion and order regarding Mr. Pirker’s appeal in case CP-217, regarding the regulation of unmanned aircraft. In the opinion, the Board remanded the case to the administrative law judge to collect evidence and issue a finding concerning whether Pirker’s operation of his unmanned aircraft over the campus of the University of Virginia in 2011 was careless or reckless.”

In its appeal, the FAA argued two main points:

  1. The law judge erred in determining respondent’s Zephyr was not an “aircraft” under 49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(6) and 14 C.F.R. § 1.1.

49 U.S.C. § 40102(a)(6): “aircraft” means any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air.

14 C.F.R. § 1.1: Aircraft means a device that is used or intended to be used for flight in the air.

  1. The law judge erred in determining Pirker’s aircraft was not subject to 14 C.F.R. § 91.13(a).

14 C.F.R. § 91.13: Careless or reckless operation.

(a) Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

On the definition of “aircraft,” the NTSB found that Pirker’s unmanned aircraft system is an “aircraft” for purposes of § 91.13(a). The NTSB relied on the plain English in the statutes, which doesn’t exclude model aircraft, and doesn’t differentiate between manned and unmanned aircraft. 

The NTSB says, “We acknowledge the definitions are as broad as they are clear, but they are clear nonetheless,” and, “In summary, the plain language of the statutory and regulatory definitions is clear: an ‘aircraft’ is any device used for flight in the air.” 

In summary, it doesn’t matter if Pirker’s Ritewing Zephyr is a model aircraft or not, and it doesn’t matter if it’s manned or unmanned, it’s still an aircraft under 14 C.F.R. § 91.13 which prohibits operation “of an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.” 

The NTSB concludes, “We therefore remand to the law judge for a full factual hearing to
determine whether respondent operated the aircraft ‘in a careless or reckless manner so as to
endanger the life or property of another,’ contrary to § 91.13(a).”

Video of the Week

Stunt Sheep Don’t try this at home: Trappys $10k fine UVA video