Gransnet forums

News & politics

Your opinion of drones

(57 Posts)
TerriBull Mon 18-Apr-16 09:40:37

It seems that a British Airways plane was struck by a drone as it was coming into land, fortunately the drone appeared to be small and as such didn't seem to have had any sort of impact on the plane, or more importantly the passengers and crew. Potentially they could be a menace or a real threat if one was sucked into the engine or one of the crew were injured. The security implications are also somewhat alarming. I know very little about these gadgets but I did read a report about a member of the public being struck by one. Should any old Tom, Dick and Harry be allowed to buy these machines without any sort of licence. They could well make a nuisance of themselves with one or be danger to others, such as the idiot who was operating theirs onto the pathway of an airport runway as a plane was descending. Your thoughts on the matter.

harrigran Mon 18-Apr-16 10:00:31

I didn't realise you were talking about mechanical objects at first grin
I think drone operators should have to acquire some kind of licence to operate these machines, in the wrong hands they could be really dangerous.
I have noticed that you get a lot of photographs online now, taken by cameras attached to drones, and it is becoming old hat.

whitewave Mon 18-Apr-16 10:04:20

There should be a no fly zone around airports

Alima Mon 18-Apr-16 10:10:09

DH won a drone in a Christmas raffle. Apart from the initial "open the box, let's have a look" when it nearly took out the ceiling light it has sat in the conservatory gathering dust. Anyone want a drone?
There are rules about using them, distances from houses etc but I am not sure if a licence is needed. I agree they should have regulation. What with those and laser lights used to blind pilots they are/can be a menace.

nigglynellie Mon 18-Apr-16 10:16:44

Anyone who flies a drone in proximity to an airport or any built up area need their heads looking at! Operators should have to have a licence and be heavily fined or even jailed for non compliance. Before there is a serious accident It needs to be made very clear that this is an extremely serious offence and the full force of the law will be used against people who flout it.

tanith Mon 18-Apr-16 10:21:28

OH has two drones he got for christmas , he doesn't fly them inside but when its not windy will take them over the park to practice flying them. I might add they are only very small and he wouldn't dream of taking them anywhere it might cause a problem
I agree though that there should be some kind of licencing but I fear it will shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted.

TerriBull Mon 18-Apr-16 10:21:29

Harrigran did you think I was referring to people who "drone", as if grin

I know very little about drones, I think I first read about them in the context of Amazon using them to drop off parcels, and thought could that be done? Subsequently I also read about a person losing their eye (I think) to one. Richard Madeley complained about one flying over his garden with a camera (very intrusive} using them in this way to spy on people and that opens up another can of worms.

Alima the laser lights being used to blind pilots are also very alarming. I do think some legislation is needed around drones in light of this latest happening. I do agree whitewave about a no fly zone around airports but wonder about the logistics of implementing that. Is a licence required in the case of purchasing a large drone?

Tizliz Mon 18-Apr-16 10:26:04

There are rules about flying drones - min height, distance from buildings and people AND there are no fly zones round airports. BUT sometimes these rules are not included in the box/people don't read them/don't care.

A licencing system is needed so that drones can be identified. At the moment if one flies out of range and is lost or breaks the rules and is confiscated there is no way of identifying the owner.

The trend has accelerated faster than the legislation.

TerriBull Mon 18-Apr-16 10:26:52

I had of course read about them in a military context for sometime, it's only lately I've become aware that anyone can buy one.

ninathenana Mon 18-Apr-16 10:45:38

Yes, to licencing and restrictions but in the right hands they can be fun. I have seen some amazing photos taken by drones. Not of peoples gardens I might add. And they are useful tool for the military and police.

POGS Mon 18-Apr-16 11:41:00

Drones as obviously a cause for concern .

There is obviously a size and technical capability of each individual drone and who the operator is. A child using a small , basic drone in a recreational ground is not the same as a high end , sophisticated drone being used by an adult.

Drones have the potential for terrorism and obviously a danger to air craft.
Drones are used to drop contraband goods into prisons.
Drones are used to invade privacy , even us in our own back gardens.

Drones are marvellous for the production of t.v films
Farmers are using drones to steward their stock.

So I guess I am saying Drones have multiple usage and not always for good or bad. They are like dogs , depends on the handler . I think there is a debate to be had on the matter of drones, they are viewed as a toy by most people I would think. Anybody who owns a high end model perhaps should be licenced The reason being a drone which has the capability of covering a wide distance and height has the capability to be a 'snoopers' piece of equipment and for anybody with a desire to do harm has an opportunity to use a drone with ease as you don't necessarily see or hear them.

TerriBull Mon 18-Apr-16 12:04:02

Thank you POGS, you have pointed out both a number of positive and negatives about them which hadn't occurred to me. I agree about the need for a licence as far as high end models are concerned. As Tizliz has rightly pointed out the trend has accelerated faster than the legislation required.

POGS Mon 18-Apr-16 12:06:26

Thank you Terribull, you raised an interesting thread.

obieone Mon 18-Apr-16 16:50:28

I dont get why the Government hasnt acted immediately on this. They have been around for a while now, and most of the potential problems with them could easily have been predicted and were, right from the start.

I can sort of only conclude that Governments like them for their own uses hmm

pompa Mon 18-Apr-16 17:51:24

This is a hot topic for me. I fly large model gliders (around 10ft wingspan).

In order to fly them at any recognised UK, I need to be qualified and have passed a practical flying test and be insured (25 million per claim). This is organised by the British Model Flying Association, who manage and monitor model flying in he UK. Anyone attempting to fly a traditional model without a qualified instructor is unlikely to have a model to fly for many minutes.
These drone are very simple to fly and even the largest could be flown by a child. Very few owners/flyers are qualified or tested in any way and many have no appreciation of the risk they are taking. (or care ) They also have an extremely long range, way beyond the ability to see them.

The solution would be that all model flying would require insurance, that would bring all model flying under the BMFA, requiring insurance, tuition testing and qualification.

The existing BMFA test includes safety, on the ground and in the air, rules covering flying sites, flying near areas of population, airports etc, equipment checks and safety along with a practical flying test that demonstrates full control of the model and the ability to recover from emergency situations.

lizzypopbottle Mon 18-Apr-16 19:20:56

There was a case recently of a little boy who was blinded in one eye by a neighbour's drone. He flew it over the next door garden and it hit the child.

ninathenana Tue 19-Apr-16 00:31:44

I'd vote for that pompa

Granny2016 Tue 19-Apr-16 10:03:43

For several years I have purchased products from Achica on-line.They send daily offers on a variety of very nice products.
The morning that I opened my emails and saw that they were offering cut priced drones,is the morning that I cancelled my subscription to their site.
They are becoming a must-have-toy and are nuisances.
Drones should only be used by such as the police for traffic control,or others with a genuine use who should be registered.
I have read that Amazon are considering drone deliveries....what a nightmare.

ExaltedWombat Tue 19-Apr-16 10:29:11

That's a bit like refusing to shop in the High Street because a betting shop has opened!

Indinana Tue 19-Apr-16 10:44:16

pompa a very sensible suggestion and surely one that should be discussed in Parliament. Is the BMFA campaigning for this solution?

MiniMouse Tue 19-Apr-16 11:12:22

There was a Knowledgeable Chap/Expert on our local radio station this week, who said that it is possible for airports (in particular) to deploy a system which would disable drones that fly within the forbidden zone. He couldn't understand why this isn't already in use, as it's been available for ages, apparently.

It wouldn't solve all the drone issues, but at least it could help to prevent an accident such as nearly happened the other day.

Craftycat Tue 19-Apr-16 11:22:03

I am amazed that nothing has been done around airports- will it take a plane to be brought down to make them see sense?
I believe all drones over a certain size should only be sold to someone with a licence- like firearms.Something the police are aware of. The potential for terrorism is just far too great to treat these things as' toys'

I think the man MiniMouse mentions should be employed immediately! We don't live far from Gatwick & it is not only the poor people on the plane that could be affected if a plane is brought down.

Granny2016 Tue 19-Apr-16 12:02:30

Exalted Wombat...I would,t be able to take my custom away from a betting shop as I have never been in one ,so have never handed them my money.
There are several businesses I won,t give my custom too for various reasons i.e GAP and Starbucks.It is to do with choosing whose profits I add to with my hard earned cash.

MiniMouse Tue 19-Apr-16 12:49:48

Craftycat Yes, you're right, that man should be employed! I didn't hear the full conversation, so I don't know who he was.

You're also right about any disaster not just affecting the passengers and crew on the plane. Bearing in mind the dreadful crash at Shoreham airport (albeit by a different cause), it seems unbelievable that something isn't being done.

RAF Tue 19-Apr-16 14:28:08

A small drone hitting the front of an aircraft won't do much damage. A small drone deliberately flown into the engine (especially with a small amount of explosive on board) would bring it down. Think of the damage of one flying into your windscreen on the motorway. Do we really want to take the risk just so aerial photography is open to more people?

There is talk of fitting drones with a chip that would disable them within range of an airport, but chips can be disabled deliberately.

Can we not have designated drone flying areas for the hobbyists, and only licenced flying elsewhere? Won't stop the terrorists, but might cut down on accidents. I dread the day, which will soon come, of drones hovering above my garden, my hotel, my open spaces, my ruining my peace and quiet (and privacy)

If you want to see the outcome, read Dave Eggars 'The Circle' (good one for a Book Club!)