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UK Air Traffic Rules and Regs

Discussion in 'Inspire 1 Discussion' started by Lesmess, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Lesmess

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    I am documenting by video and photographs the river Ythan near to where I live. On Friday I flew a 800 meter section from the sea up the Estuary at Newburgh about 8 to 10 miles East as the crow flies from Aberdeen airport at Dyce. There is one runway North to South direction, helicopters servicing the North Sea Platforms do approach Dyce from the East over Newburgh in good weather. Weather was good maximum flight height was 45 meters recorded, maximum distance from me was 400 meters within line of sight.
    The airport no fly zone outer limit was miles away, the flight was normal with no safety issues regarding people or property. I posted some photo's and video on social media and received some concerning responses regarding flying in controlled airspace. Basically, did I contact air traffic control and if not I would be reported to the CAA for putting helicopter traffic at risk. I was aware helicopters flew over the area and because of that set a height limit of 50 meters. Normal height limit is set to 120 meters in the app, I would hazard a guess the helicopter traffic flying overhead are at least 300 to 500 meters in height. I had good GPS signal, I'm not sure if the app would have limited my height down from 120m that distance from the airport as I did not check. I believe I fly responsively and was sure I was abiding by UK airspace laws / guidelines. However if any of the knowledgeable folks out there think otherwise let me know. As I was below 60 meters class A,C D or E airspace rules do not apply correct?
     
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  2. SimonMW

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    You should be fine. Sounds like the person who wants to report you is being rather overzealous. It sounds like you were taking good precautions such as setting maximum height. It can be considered courtesy to contact ATC to let them know you are flying, but it isn't mandatory. You were flying below 50m AGL. Also your Inspire would not allow you to fly within a certain distance of an airport anyway. I wouldn't worry about it. If the CAA did question you, you have the information that you just posted, and if they want it you could send them the Inspire flight logs. But I doubt they would be interested since it sounds like you flew fairly responsibly. The only question mark may be if you flew within 50m of a residential area etc?
     
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  3. Lesmess

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    More than 500 meters from residential areas, there was people walking on the shoreline was over 50 meters from them as I flew up the middle of the estuary. Thanks for your assistance.
     
  4. Scotflieger

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    Hi Lesmess
    I'm just down the road from you in Buckie and currently in Starbucks in Aberdeen. You need to download the SkyDemonLite app or go to their website. The Ythan estuary is at the NE corner of Aberdeen CTR (surface to FL115) so strictly you should be getting premission from ATC at Aberdeen airport. If they grant it you are legal otherwise you are at risk. Further north at Ellon the CTA starts at 1500 ft so you would be perfectly legal there.
     
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  5. Lesmess

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    I'm now pissed off as I thought I was in compliance does that mean I was 20 or 30 ft above the limit? I cannot get the lite version of the app the full version is asking for subscription details didn't say the cost. I have got the footage I needed and won't be going back. I'll get back to you tonight after my work
     
  6. lrwskyfilms

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    That's a good shout by Scotflieger to get Sky Demon or/and the UK AA app both are excellent.

    The rules are relatively simple if you're flying a UAV 7kgs or below in the UK (apart from restricted areas which are totally different, typically military or parts of London for example). There is NO requirement legal or otherwise to contact an ATC to notify them you're flying within their CTA, even if you fly within their ATZ; which would be stupid granted.

    NOW, common sense and duty of care tells you, you should contact an ATC just to inform them, the ones I've spoken to are always happy to help. This IS the way forward IMO, I call them well in advance before I intend to fly, then 30mins before I take off and phone them again when I've finished shooting. I do this in case there is some unusual air traffic around that I'm not aware of.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing the video.
     
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  7. lrwskyfilms

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    Don't get p*********, there is NO requirement to contact an ATC, as SimonMW says "It can be considered courtesy to contact ATC to let them know you are flying, but it isn't mandatory." is correct.

    I'd phone the ATC concerned anyway and say what's happened and keep their contact details for future reference.

    As for the Skydemon app, try UK AA.
     
  8. Scotflieger

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    Having just gone through the process and been granted my PFAW today (yi pee), can you please quote where its states that you don't need ATC clearance to fly a sub-7kg inside the ATC Control Zone (CTR)? Due to the extensive North Sea helicopter operations, the Aberdeen CTR is significantly larger than normal and covers from the surface to FL115.
     
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  9. lrwskyfilms

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    Hi, congratulations! It wasn't hard was it!? LOL.

    Yes it's on the CAA's UAV part of their website, also NATS are aware of this, and seemingly my local ATC and when I did NSF for London. There are areas which you need NSF's for like the 3 areas in London.

    I'm surprised your trainers didn't inform you though I hear now certain companies charging for extra Flight Assessments in the same class, which also is not required. But I guess everyone is playing catch up, great if everyone is flying a DJI product but the last Heathrow incursion was an RC heli, no no-fly zone.
     
  10. Lesmess

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    DJI_0004-2.jpg Ok folks I thought the app would keep me right, quite obviously i was wrong. I have down loaded the UK AA app. What does surface to Flight Level 115 actually mean? Is there any none too technical books i should read? The CAA website is more suited for folks that already have good knowledge of airspace terms and meanings. The Ellon RC aircraft club used to have there airfield at Newburgh in a area on the Forvie Sands. Had a look when I first got my bird and it looks like it has not been used in years. I want to fly my bird within the rules and regs so obviously i need to get up to speed. I have read countless posts on flying near or in the red zone I though the app would restrict my ability to exceed limits set by the CAA. To be honest I have never seen a helicopter or aircraft fly as low that my Inspire would pose any danger. The attached photo was taken the highest point during my flight 46 meters. I have been up to 120 meters on the outskirts of Ellon to get a good aerial view. I have done 83 flights with an average height of between 45 and 50 meters. Thanks for the guidance, I will be more careful where i post my photos and videos from now on although I have learnt something from all of this.
     
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  11. Scotflieger

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    Hi All

    I stand corrected. I have dug out my GS notes and found the correct references. Being told I'm afraid is not enough in this business.

    Aberdeen CTR is Type D airspace. It is an extended lozenge centred on rwy 16/34 and extends out to 10NM and from the surface (ground level) to FL115 (11500ft). (This means all airspace between these heights).

    CAA CAP393 The Air Navigation Order (ANO) Section 166(4) requires relevant ATC permission to fly in Class A, C, D & E airspace or with the Aerdrome Traffic Zone (CTR).

    However, and this is the important bit, the current CAA Information Notice IN-2014/190 Para 3.1 excempts sub-7kg RPAs (i.e. Inspire 1 and Phantom) of Section 166(4). But IN-2014/190 goes on to say:

    para 5.1.2 "strongly recommended that contact with the relevant ATS unit is made prior to conducting flights" in Class A, C, D or E space.

    para 5.1.3 "strongly advise for collision avoidance purposes, to remain clear of charted aerodromes by at least a distance of 5km".

    NB: IN-2014/190 is/was the current CAA guidance but it could be updated/superceded at any time. The UK CAA rules are continually being revised and updated as knowledge and experience with RPA operations develops.

    Thank you irwskyfilms for making me go back to my not. We are always relearning what we have forgotten.
     
    #11 Scotflieger, Aug 10, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
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  12. Scotflieger

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    Hi Lesmess

    I hope my previous post above helps. You will find the various aeronautical maps (and SkyDemonLite or UK AA) will show show the lower and upper limits of restricted and danger areas and airspace. Surface means exactly that from an altitude of 0 ft. The Aberdeen Control Zone (CTR) extends to FL115 or 11,500ft (just remove or add the 00). Apart from contacting Aberdeen ATC and advising, out of courtesy, that you were operating at the Ythan (I-than for those not of the NE of Scotland) you were perfectly legal.

    I like your photo of the estuary especially with this good weather earlier today.
     
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  13. lrwskyfilms

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    Yes it's surprising isn't it? And the invasion of airspace within the UK will only get busier, those of us with PFAW's or want play within the rules will stand us all in good stead for the future, where it will get harder. Sadly it'll fall IMO opinion on our overburden police forces to police.
     
  14. Scotflieger

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    Just to finish off this query, this is a screen grab from SkyDemonLite of the Aberdeen CTR/CTA (EGPD).

    IMG_0117.jpg
     
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  15. lrwskyfilms

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    Yes pulled it up earlier, not as interesting as the Highlands. :) Love the "Granite city" though.
     
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  16. Scotflieger

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    A NOTAM was issued last week cancelling the long standing and extensive low flying restricted area (R610) over the northern Highlands. They are now only open by NOTAM in future but will remain on the charts.
     
  17. Lesmess

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    Thanks for all your help and informed information, i'll take care in the future although I have no plans to fly in the pink zone in the near future. PS no probs with the new firmware video transmission is better. Increased the braking to my liking. Did note she loses a little height during low flight and tight turns, just compensate with more throttle just like my RC fixed wing days.

    Les
     
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