California county offers $75,000 in rewards to catch drone operators who interfered with firefighters

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Shotgunner along with pilot?


Fun fact, there are fewer air-tanker pilots than living astronauts.


is that because Mike Tyson keeps killing astronauts?


I think that a drone also delayed air drops on a fire near Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA back in June.

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Why would a drone “force” them to quit fighting the fire? Did it have Stinger missiles or something?

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If a drone hits the cabin or one of the propellers things can go very wrong: AKA crashing a 70 plus ton plane into a wildfire.


My google foo is weak today.

I can’t find a documented case where a drone has collided with a larger plane and caused that plane to crash or sustain non-trivial damage.

Lots of reports of near misses. (that is a miss, that was near I presume).

Is there evidence that a drone strike has a high chance of causing damage or danger to planes, pilots or passengers?

When things go wrong in the air, that frequently results in everybody getting killed. Therefore, the FAA waits not for this to happen before figuring out they don’t like it. Besides there’s decades of proof in the form of bird strikes as to what a little thing can do to a big plane. The FAA, and pilots in general, tend to be a pretty cautious bunch because the reckless ones are all dead.


I can’t blame the pilots for not wanting to be the ones to find out.


There is plenty of evidence of birds, who are sort of tender and scared of planes, utterly destroying engines and crashing into cabins.

Drones, on the other side, are not t squishy and may be controlled by assholes with an utter lack of common sense.


I think it’s worth noting that Neptune Aviation, one of the tanker operators, lost a crew (Tanker 09) a few years back due to the failure of a relatively small component in one of the P2V’s outboard turbines. They have lost other aircraft and personnel during operations as well. These are large planes but they are far from invulnerable.

Is it fair to ask tanker crews to accept the risk of collision with mechanical spectators when they already voluntarily fly in such a hostile environment? Is it far-fetched to say that experimental airframes flying in close proximity by amateur operators without coordination with the professional firefighters pose an unreasonable risk? Are we going to demand an incident of manslaughter-by-drone before we agree that the responsible thing is to give the tankers space to do their jobs?


Net gunner?

Maybe they just need a powerful directed emp weapon.

I doubt the annoying drone flights endangering rescue operations are going to be the worst of it, this for example - and setting a $75000 bounty I’m not sure that’s going to be the right precedence to set. The comment that was made about someone riding shotgun… with a shotgun is probably more in line with the response that should happen. Our firefighters and police officers are all targets for every freaking loon out there. Maybe a police officer assigned to each fire call, I really don’t have the answers, but I know these men and women shouldn’t be put out there without satisfactory protection, and that includes protection from drone harassment.

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I’ll just tell them that I did it, and take their money. Suckaz!

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These tankers are already flying at the edge of their flight envelope – it likely wouldn’t take much to send them over.


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Can’t the firefighting planes be rebuilt as drones? Would make the operations less risky and with cooperative avionics in both the small and large birds (“I am a big one, my maneuvering envelope is this, I have this speed and this intent and get out of the way”) they could share the airspace with ease.

And it would save a lot of money for the bird crew, lots of risk for the crews, loss of the bird would be an option that’s more palatable so riskier operations could be undertaken, and the higher allowable risk may make the maintenance a notch cheaper.

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While I would love to break into air tanker ops I have not been involved except calling in a few times back when I was on USFS fire crew.
That said, I know the operations and they are not the super safe margins of commercial human transport.
It is easy to mess up and loose crew and aircraft, this is why there is a smaller lead plane/spotter in front checking out the target site and run; especially the climb out, before the heavily laden tanker makes it’s run.


I don’t own a drone, but am wondering how far the range for guidance is? Are these jackasses also having to stand near the fires in order to do this?

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