Civilian Drone Use

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Civilian Drone Use

Post by Bryant on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:08 pm

Just read this on the a Facebook post from the South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team:


"Rim Fire Update: 192,466 acres and 30 % contained.

Firefighters used aerial ignitions today to burnout Pilot Ridge on the southern portion of the fire. The burnout planned from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir south to Tioga Road in Yosemite National Park did not occur. Conditions were not conducive to lighting and containing the fire. Firefighters continue to provide structure defense and improve firelines. The California National Guard is operating a remotely piloted aircraft to help efforts to contain the fire. It will identify where fire activity is located, how it is moving, including locating and identifying spot fires. It will improve the ability to protect life property and natural resources. The Tuolumne County Sherriff’s Office has lifted the evacuation order and PG&E has restored power to Graham Ranch Road, allowing residents only to return home. Tonight, crews will continue with burning operations as long as weather conditions allow, and will construct and improve firelines."

This suggests that a drone (unmanned platform or remotely piloted aircraft) is being used by California National Guard to aid in the fire suppression effort. While I imagine that most would consider this particular instance benign, what do you guys think about drones being used for civilian, non-law enforcement purposes?
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Re: Civilian Drone Use

Post by Marconius on Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:20 pm

I got pics of this DC-10 on my phone:



It was parked in Santa Maria for a few weeks prior to the fire. Santa Maria airport has several aircraft parked there during fire season. A few years ago they were testing a Russian plane that had its engine nacelles above the wings. They say it is more beneficial for fighting fires. Got pics of that one back home.

Back on topic:

I got no problem with drones being used for this purpose. I can think of several benign uses I have no problem with. Survey, science, and things like this just to name a few.

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Re: Civilian Drone Use

Post by Sir Pun on Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:03 am

I just dont know legally how you can distinguish between say being spied on by guys in a plane, or guys in a trailer flying the plane. I mean weve had unmanned aircraft in our skies for decades. How is a speed patrolling drone any different than a redlight camera? Besides, the only advantage drones offer over satellites is that they can linger. But ive seen myself in google maps, and that wasnt from a drone. Not saying im for it, but it just seems like another tool that can and will be used for both good and bad

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