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Who's At Fault in UAV/Part91 MAC?
On Thu, 22 Apr 2004 15:56:33 GMT, "John T" wrote in
"Larry Dighera" wrote in message
How does the military's use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle intend to
comply with the Part 91 See-And-Avoid mandate? Will there be new
Restricted Areas imposed along the border, or will the UAVs be flown
in Positive Control Airspace?
It's not just the military, but civilian government agencies that are
considering the use of UAV's.
The AvFlash article mentioned the Border Patrol UAVs being operated by
If the UAV's are in the flight levels, then they will be in Positive Control
That might be true if they are capable of adequate surveillance
performance from 18,000' MSL, but they will have to climb to that
altitude outside Positive Control Airspace, in Joint Use airspace or
Restricted airspace, as the NAS is currently structured.
If the UAV's are for border patrol, would it not be reasonable to expect
them to be within a few miles of the border? As such, how much of an issue
would you expect them to be to Part 91 flights? Or are you concerned about
the occassional drug-running flight?
While the UAVs may operate within a few miles of the national
boarders, I doubt they will be based there. So it is likely they will
have to traverse Joint Use airspace en route to their stations.
As for your question border restricted areas, I have to question how
many Part 91 flights are conducted close enough to the border for this to be
a problem. Do you know how many occur in any given time frame?
Many international Part 91 flights occur each day. To intentionally
design the NAS in such a way as to permit UAV operation at reduced
vision standards is unprofessional, unacceptable to public safety, and
UAV use in general airspace should be carefully considered before
implementation, but I'm not as concerned about their use in border patrol
use as I am about their loitering over a city with several nearby airports
and busy airspace.
And how long do you estimate it will take for UAVs to be operating
beyond the national boarder corridors, given the national hysteria?
As for your subject line question, I'd wait for an NTSB ruling before
passing judgment on that.
Right. It's difficult to generalize about potential MAC
responsibility without specific facts. However, once the inevitable
MAC occurs, and the Part 91 pilot is no longer able to testify (due to
his untimely death), do you expect the team operating the UAV to
actually take responsibility for their failure to see-and-avoid? From
the past behavior of military in MACs with civil aircraft, I would
expect the military to deny all responsibility.
This begs the question, how is the UAV's conspicuity planned to be