Helicopter almost collides with drone

Here’s a question for someone better educated re: drone technology than I am: what, if anything, prevents someone from spending a couple thousand dollars on a set of off the shelf drones, then swarming the takeoff/landing airspace at a commercial airport?


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It does not take a swarm of drones, just one.

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Without good cause. Royal Park in Melbourne looks like a good place to fly drones until you look at the helipads on the hospitals at the south side of the park. There could be good reasons to fly a helicopter at low altitude along a beach.

This is something that has always concerned me about drones, especially since I have one myself (DJI Mavic AIR & 3 custom built 250 quad racers). I usually bring my laptop with me and have it up on a site that tracks airplanes in the US skies, but I live in Alaska and there are a lot of smaller bush planes and helicopters that don’t show up on the app. So I picked up a $30 software defined radio (SDR) kit and am in the process of getting it set up to track ADS-B communications between planes the trick is finding a piece of software so that when anything approaches within a certain radius of my location I’d get an alarm on the laptop to know I’ve got someone else entering the airspace. I’ve never had any close calls, but that might be that most of the use of my Mavic Air so far has been to for photogrammetry of historical buildings and their surroundings and historic buildings in Alaska are rarely over about 60 feet in height although some of the old mines had some pretty big buildings for ore sorting.


Do all the bush planes have ADSB-out in Alaska? Its certainly not true in Australia, where the regulator only really cares about ATC services for airlines.

That is a problem I’m running into, but regulations are a bit stricter up in Alaska since there is so much travel to remote locations by small aircraft and we have a fairly high crash rate because of all the mountains and bad weather that can blow in quickly without anywhere near to land if there is a problem.

Although at this point maybe I need to look into what a portable radar system costs… lol


So would a collision with the helicopter blades brought them both down or just the drone?

I’d think that it could bring both down - if you take a chunk out of a spinning helicopter rotor, it’s going to become unbalanced. Depending on the degree of unbalance, it might be possible to make a quick emergency landing.

Possible, but I’d worry more about going into the engine intake or through the windshield.

The big ones (Drones) are kinda torso size, Hmm…

I think it has more to do with mass as in; How much does a large drone weigh compared to whirling helicopter blades?

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