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Stupid question time!


beamer36m
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On 23/09/2019 at 09:03, pete beadle said:

Hi beamer36m

But, don't forget the drone test has no examination of your flying capabilities, or the need to ask what you think was a stupid question (which wasn't, by the way) because you don't FLY a drone, you TASK it......so, instead of having a multicolour, impressive, "A" test certificate to display on your wall and take pride in, you'll just have the knowledge that you've meekly ticked a few boxes, and lost fifteen minutes or so of your life that you'll never get back again - nowt else:frantics:!.....not even a warning that you're now on a VERY IMPORTANT LIST (of drone owners "stupid!" ).......now I wonder what the authorities will want to use this for........:(

Regards

Pete

BARCS 1702

Hi Pete, I feel it is appropriate to bring some accuracy to your assertions about drones and the skills required to fly them. You are entirely correct that some of them have the capability to fly according to pre-programmed flight plans - these are normally manufactured by the likes of Mavic and DJI. However, a good number of them do not - particularly racing drones. These often have different flight modes. The "attitude" mode means the drone will return to the horizontal attitude when the sticks are released. The amount of bank is determined by the amount of deflection of the "aileron" control away from neutral. If the drone is moving in a horizontal or vertical direction when the sticks are centred, it will continue to do so (thanks to physics). More comprehensive flight controllers may have altitude hold or position hold functions which can control this, but not all of them do. In particular, quads used for racing do not normally have the necessary GPS sensors required for these functions. "Rate mode" means the rate of angular change (roll/pitch) is determined by the amount of deflection on the control stick away from neutral. When the stick is returned to neutral, the angle of the quad at that point is held.  This mode is more commonly used for racing, because in this mode the drone can be flown upside down. With attitude mode, there is a limit to how far the quad can deviate from the horizontal. So the quads don't fly themselves, but require continuous input from the pilot. You could argue that flying a quad in attitude mode is similar to flying a stable glider.

To be clear where I have my information: I have spent time working with the software for librepilot, as I enjoy the challenges presented, and I have a racing quad which I get out from time to time (I have never raced it - I'm not good enough...). In addition I should point out that I am not happy with the general direction (regarding registration etc) and the lumping together of model aircraft which have been flown for decades without issues and these self flying drones which do present possibilities for mischief in the wrong hands. I don't think the drone racing enthusiasts should be classified in the same group as the latter.

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Get yourself a modern racing or freestyle quad in full acro (about the only mode anyone really flies) and see just how self flying they are.....answer, about as much as a heli.

Until anyone has experience of them, you can't tell people how a drone flies. I've never TASKED a single one of my freestyle quads and took me quite a few sessions to get my skills up, just like if I had been starting out in helis.

 

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Hi paujJ and Mark Evans

My apologies gentlemen, I'm sure you are right, it was not my intention to disparage what drone flyers do

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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I think as much as we don’t want model aircraft in the category as drones, we also can’t put drone/quadcopter fliers in them either.

A quadcopter in full acro has zero self level and no auto flight modes and no GPS, and with the speed and  how responsive they are takes skill to fly, just like any model within our hobby. 

The the ones buying the self flying drones and ‘ruining the hobby’ are ruining it for the responsible quadcopter fliers too and not just fixed wing and heli fliers. 

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9 hours ago, Steve J said:

The CAA use the term 'foundation test' in CAP 1789. It is not used in the EU regulations.

Steve

That’s correct and came as a result of the July 2020 legislation. In other words the 1st November 2019 Competency Test will now be known as the Foundation Qualification as stated in the EASA communications. Also our group have had  the following series of communications from the new man regarding the descriptions used by the CAA 

To the CAA

I have just received notification of the revisions to CAP 722 and am currently going through it. I notice that under Glossary of Terms you state :

Model Aircraft - Any small unmanned aircraft which is being used for sport or recreational purposes only.

However in the text you refer to both model aircraft and drones, yet offer no definition of a drone or mention it under the Glossary of Terms.

I have previously contacted you for a definition but have not received a reply. I have also contacted the DfT with similar lack of response. Contact with the Airprox Board did illicit a response to the effect that they had no definition but used the word in the commonly used sense of it. This presents a problem because there is no concensus on it's definition.

Much of your literature, both graphically and written, depicts model aircraft and drones as separate and different. I clearly understand that the regulations for Small Unmanned Aircraft apply to both but would ask you once again to provide a definition of a drone and how it differs from a model aircraft.

The purpose of asking is to clarify this for operators of both model aircraft and drones. In discussion with numerous parties flying recreationally, I have had the following responses to the Drone Registration Scheme and DroneCode :

"I don't fly drones so that doesn't apply to me"
"I know a drone when I see one"
"They are all drones"

If you are to continue using the word drone I think you ought to make it clear what you mean in order to avoid confusion, misunderstanding and misinterpretation.

Regards
🙂


Dear 🙂

Thank you for your enquiry. The term ‘drone’ is only referred to in CAP722 in the context of the ‘Drone Code’ or the ‘Dronesafe website’, the term Unmanned Aircraft is used everywhere else in the document. 

‘Model aircraft’ is a subset of the wider term, Unmanned Aircraft- and as such, is defined separately in CAP722. The registration scheme and pilot competency requirements apply to all small unmanned aircraft, regardless of whether they are  a model aircraft or otherwise, and the communications and publicity that surround this will reflect this.

We have not included a definition of ‘drone’ in CAP722, as this is not a term we chose to use, the correct term is Unmanned Aircraft, which includes model aircraft, multi-copters, fixed wing UAS, and any other platform that fits within the definition.

Regards

James de Beauvoir-Tupper
UAS Policy (Operations)
Unmanned Aircraft System Unit
Safety and Airspace Regulation Group


Dear Mr Beauvoir-Tupper

Thank you for the prompt response.

I would agree with your reply in the context of CAP 722. However where I have a problem is the extensive use of the word "drone" generally in the CAA's literature and the very obvious differentiation between drones and model aircraft. I find that many people regard drones to be multicopters and this is certainly reinforced graphically by the CAA's depictions in the DroneCode and Dronesafe to name but two. This is further reinforced by a document (20190219-FAQs_Drone_Flying_2019_Update.pdf) I received yesterday as part of an automated response to my query.

The section "2, What is the difference between a Drone and model aircraft?" looks promising but unfortunately has some misleading presumptions.
"A typical multi-rotor drone is capable of automatic stabilisation and navigation, in addition to being controlled from the pilot over a radio link."
 While most mulitrotor drones have automatic stabilsation, I would suggest that a significant number do not have any form of navigation. I have 7 such multirotors only one of which has navigation.

"The traditional model aircraft is usually only controlled by the pilot over a radio link, requires much greater pilot training and skill, and is flown only at specific recreational sites away from persons and property."
 While this is traditionally the case, there are increasing numbers of traditional looking (fixed wing) model aircraft with automatic stabilisation and also sophisticated navigation capabilities - waypoints, return to home, etc.

The point I am trying to make is that, lacking a clear definition of what constitutes a drone as opposed to a model aircraft, whilst continuing to use both terms, is leading to confusion, misunderstanding and misinterpretation on the part of the operators, the public and, worryingly,  those charged with reinforcing the regulations. The DroneCode and Dronesafe are very misleading and I would reiterate my earlier experience  "I don't fly drones so that doesn't apply to me". If the object of increased regulation is to make the skies safer, I would suggest that the CAA does not muddy the waters by using the term drone without offering a definition. Many documents start with definitions and a glossary of terms so I cannot see why this should not include drones. After all the point of the document will be partially defeated if there is no understanding or agreement on the terms used.

For your information my own involvement with small unmanned aircraft encompasses freeflight, control line and radio control disciplines using fixed wing, rotary wing and multicopters. Professionally I work in rotary wing aviation, in particular design and compliance verification. I am very familiar with aviation regulation and consequently have less problem understanding this. However, recreationally, I find a great deal of confusion both within clubs and the general public. It would appear that we are stuck with the word drone, which I find unsatisfactory and lacking a clear definition when it comes to trying to have a discussion or educate people. I hope I have managed to convey this without appearing to simply nit-pick.

Regards
🙂


Dear 🙂

Thank you for your comments; in the context of our wider communications, the use of the term ‘drone’ is slowly being phased out, in favour of the term Unmanned Aircraft. You should start to see changes on our website, and any external communications in due course. The umbrella term ‘UAS’ is a broader term, which encompasses multirotor, fixed wing, gliders, model aircraft and any other unmanned platform. We will continue to distinguish between model aircraft, and all other UAS, and acknowledge the colloquial use of the term drone, but will not define it. Hopefully this will clear up any confusion- and our communications regarding forthcoming registration and pilot competency requirements, and the EU regulations, will be clear in the applicability to all unmanned aircraft.

Best Regards

James de Beauvoir-Tupper
UAS Policy (Operations)
Unmanned Aircraft System Unit
Safety and Airspace Regulation Group

 

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12 minutes ago, BigT said:

In other words the 1st November 2019 Competency Test will now be known as the Foundation Qualification as stated in the EASA communications. 

Which EU or EASA document uses the term 'foundation qualification'?

The latest (September) version of CAP 722 doesn't use the word 'drone' (other than in references).

Steve

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5 hours ago, pete beadle said:

Hi paujJ and Mark Evans

My apologies gentlemen, I'm sure you are right, it was not my intention to disparage what drone flyers do

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

Hi Pete - it's OK - from my point of view no need for an apology. I was just concerned you were not fully informed, so I decided it would be good to fill you in with more information.

Rgds.,
Paul

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This thread seems to have wandered far off the original question of whether a DLG can be used for an A certificate test.

I know that for a fixed wing power A test the model has to weigh a minimum of 1kg, so that also may exclude a DLG.

Have looked on the BMFA acheivment scheme website and in the handbook and can't find the description of what an A test or a B entails.  So its a test just to find out what the test is!!!!

John M

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8 minutes ago, John Minchell said:

...... Have looked on the BMFA acheivment scheme website and in the handbook and can't find the description of what an A test or a B entails.  So its a test just to find out what the test is!!!!  ........

Have a look at the second post in the thread....

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58 minutes ago, Steve J said:

Going back to @beamer36m's original question, it occurs to me that you could also do the Slope 'A' with a DLG.

Hi Steve J

But why would you need to? Surely the only test you MUST do is the drone test? and apparently all reference to drones is/are being removed.....so why would you need to do a drone test  at all?:frantics: and now the BMFA are asking you not to take a drone test either:frantics::frantics::frantics:

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

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10 hours ago, pete beadle said:

Hi Steve J

But why would you need to? Surely the only test you MUST do is the drone test? and apparently all reference to drones is/are being removed.....so why would you need to do a drone test  at all?:frantics: and now the BMFA are asking you not to take a drone test either:frantics::frantics::frantics:

Regards

Pete

BARCS1702

Actually the BMFA are saying DONT REGISTER UNTIL WE SAY TO.   I am off to fly in  public competition and displays in France next month and next year so I have had to complete the french training and registration program. Worth taking a look for anyone interested. https://fox-alphatango.aviation-civile.gouv.fr/en/

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12 hours ago, John Minchell said:

This thread seems to have wandered far off the original question of whether a DLG can be used for an A certificate test.

I know that for a fixed wing power A test the model has to weigh a minimum of 1kg, so that also may exclude a DLG.

Have looked on the BMFA acheivment scheme website and in the handbook and can't find the description of what an A test or a B entails.  So its a test just to find out what the test is!!!!

John M

Yes a DLG can be used for all silent flight A and B certs. The compulsory and site specific questions remain the same for all achievement tests.

https://achievements.bmfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/SilentFlight-AThermal-2019-May.pdf

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