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Author Topic: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.  (Read 403 times)

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Offline richardg6paj

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Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« on: January 11, 2017, 09:22:51 »

This drone pilot has pictures of Lincoln City cathedral for sale on his website. He's obviously qualified, but does that really give him the right to fly over a congested populated area. There is still a huge risk to the public, qualified or not. :shrug:



Offline Hands0n

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 16:43:25 »
Qualified SUAS/SUAV pilots could probably elaborate on this very much more clearly than I of course.  But here's my stab at the question ;)

However, it is my understanding that such qualified pilots are entirely accountable for their actions.  Being qualified does not give them licence to take action that puts people or property at risk.  So they are required to perform a risk assessment to take into account of what they intend to do.  And that is, I believe, pretty much all that their qualification does - it satisfies the CAA that the pilot will actually perform such Risk Assessments before flight.  Unlike a hobbyist or consumer who will be far more likely to simply fly their aircraft model with little other regard.

But even that is no actual protection should something actually go wrong and people or property are harmed. 

So in that respect, his flying over a congested or populated area may well have satisfied the pilot's own Risk Assessment (rightly or wrongly).  Which is why we see such things as aerial surveying performed in the centre of the City of London during a weekday in the middle of the day.  Couldn't get a more congested, built-up or populated area. Yet a perfect legal flight is held mere feed away from pavements full of people, roads full of traffic. 

And yet we all know that these machines can, and do, go very wrong very quickly and catastrophically! 
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Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 05:22:12 »
Ask him ...

However you cannot guess what he was flying ... It may have have been an Octa with a redundant system onboard

Which then makes it much safer than a phantom or inspire

Offline DarrellW

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2017, 06:47:49 »
Have a look at his site, he has a S800 evo that he may have been using - or not......
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Offline Beaver2206

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2017, 14:48:36 »
The operator in question is a very responsible individual and I have no doubt that everything was in accordance with safety and regs. If anybody has any issues with an operators flying, I'd rather it was addressed directly with the individual than on a public forum.  Just my opinion.
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Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2017, 16:14:53 »
Surely the point of him appearing on the radio and maintaining a social media page is he wants people to talk.

There is no such thing as bad press ....

Somebody has asked a fairly simple question ... It's not a slur.

I will repeat what I said above in the opposite way ... You cannot guess if he was flying within the regs!

Offline Michael Kheng

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2017, 17:19:44 »
Thank you to a good friend for bringing this post to my attention.

Firstly as a professional operator in my 4th year with a CAA PfCO I am permitted to fly in a congested area. I often fly in congested areas and do so after a full RA and with safety as my main priority. The flights in Lincoln are within the restricted R313 area and as such flights in this area in particular are planned well ahead of time.

All flights near the Cathedral have been carried out in accordance with my PfCO and on one occasion when filming with the BBC the area and buildings around the Cathedral were all under our control.

I am happy to answer to the CAA as I have done in the past when people have questioned some of our flights. What people see on an image or video does not tell you the whole story. I used to question flights in my early days but as I now know what is possible with planning and discussion I try to refrain from questioning someone's footage as unless I know 100% what planning has, or has not,

Having been issued an OSC last year our safety procedures have been scrutinised by the CAA.

Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2017, 22:15:40 »
Michael,

While you say you don't questions some footage anymore we find it very hard not to.   We see enough evidence here and on Facebook groups of people who have bought off the shelf, don't want to know the rules and go flying in a particular place.... just like you stated on the original posts radio clip....

When they are directed to the very basic rules to follow, which keep the amatuer side of the hobby safe - we get abuse.

We like transparency,  we like to know things have been done right ... we don't like the idea of somebody trying to copy your work with no experience or something off the shelf.

We (the hobbist) get it in the ear because of a few irresponsible users .... who have probably just bought off the shelf and not spent time building and learning

Why don't you tell the whole story ... show people how much hard work it is to get an image like you do. Most people will scan over but those interested will appreciate it all the more!

Offline richardg6paj

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2017, 23:15:25 »
The operator in question is a very responsible individual and I have no doubt that everything was in accordance with safety and regs. If anybody has any issues with an operators flying, I'd rather it was addressed directly with the individual than on a public forum.  Just my opinion.
I have no issues with Michael's flying or his preparation and safety record. The issue I have is that his autonomous drones could still go out of control or fail in some way over a congested area no matter what safety precautions or risk assessments are taken or how many years he has been flying. A qualification doesn't remove that risk, it possibly reduces the risk. And as we know a drone of the size that a "Professional" uses can cause serious injury and damage to whatever it comes into contact with. The point I was trying to make was that just because a member of public has become qualified, it seems they are able to fly almost anywhere they like including congested areas. In my opinion, a congested area like Lincoln is a definite no. And why should it be necessary to fly over a congested area and risk killing or maiming someone, makes no sense. If this did happen, our hobby would suffer immensely. 

Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2017, 05:45:13 »
Richard,

Never mind the conjested area, The CAA says that as long as i am over 50m I can fly over people that don't even know I'm there. So they have obviously looked at this in depth and decided the risk is so small that it's not worth questioning

In a risk assessment POV the risk of it actually failing at the exact moment that it is directly over somebody, falling straight down and hitting the person is going to be low.  People move, machines move,  wind moves ...

It's not like a conjested area is full of crowds all standing shoulder to shoulder looking down at there feet. 

If you were apply that level of thought to driving, you just wouldn't get in a car ever.
What if the brakes fail
What if the throttle sticks
What if a rear tyre bursts

The guy is insured and as long as he car prove the risks were ALARP then the insurance will cover it from there!

Offline Hands0n

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2017, 12:03:24 »
The key here is that the pilot being discussec is qualified, licensed and insured as any other aerial operator should be. 

Aside from that the Risk Assessment is only that. An assessment that cannot take into account 100% fail safe.  Things can and do go wrong as we see everywhere we look.  To expect one individual facet of life to be 100% risk-free is unreasonable and disproportionate. 

So yes, these aircraft can and do fall out of the sky. They do malfunction and they do cause damage and injury (yet to read about a fatality caused in such circumstances). 

All that said, I'd also support that hobbyists will see such resulting video and be objectively critical of it.  That is also quite reasonable and proportionate.  Forums cannot have such things outlawed.   And we've always enjoyed a good old robust debate on Multi-Rotor.co.uk without breaking the world.  Long may that continue  ~~

If we were to curtail debate then the numpties out that who are causing a lot of the bad press will literally get away with it without scrutiny.  Our own silence could be regarded as acceptance of such.   Which of course we most certainly do not.

My thoughts on the matter.
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Offline Yellow

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2017, 12:14:29 »
Never mind the conjested area, The CAA says that as long as i am over 50m I can fly over people that don't even know I'm there. So they have obviously looked at this in depth and decided the risk is so small that it's not worth questioning

just so this doesn't go out the wrong way, the 50m rule is NOT a bubble, you have to be horizontally 50m away from people and property not under your control. That's the standard permission anyway. Once you gain congested areas OSC it is very different from person to person, as it depends on their kit and their risk assessment, some people even get it down to 5m.

I do like your point in the post above though about making more about how hard it actually is to get these shots done legally, and especially with people like th BBC who are pretty strict with doing stuff by the book in my experience. I love hearing how my friends have managed to get certain shots in tough areas, its probably not interesting to everyone, but it may give people more appreciation to the work that goes into the shots and stop them just going out and flying over a city themselves to copy your shots.

Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2017, 12:31:03 »


just so this doesn't go out the wrong way, the 50m rule is NOT a bubble, you have to be horizontally 50m away from people and property not under your control. That's the standard permission anyway. Once you gain congested areas OSC it is very different from person to person, as it depends on their kit and their risk assessment, some people even get it down to 5m.

I do like your point in the post above though about making more about how hard it actually is to get these shots done legally, and especially with people like th BBC who are pretty strict with doing stuff by the book in my experience. I love hearing how my friends have managed to get certain shots in tough areas, its probably not interesting to everyone, but it may give people more appreciation to the work that goes into the shots and stop them just going out and flying over a city themselves to copy your shots.

Yellow,

The latest drone aware guideline shows a bubble .... I can be over them

Offline Beaver2206

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2017, 13:07:45 »
just so this doesn't go out the wrong way, the 50m rule is NOT a bubble, you have to be horizontally 50m away from people and property not under your control. That's the standard permission anyway. Once you gain congested areas OSC it is very different from person to person, as it depends on their kit and their risk assessment, some people even get it down to 5m.

I do like your point in the post above though about making more about how hard it actually is to get these shots done legally, and especially with people like th BBC who are pretty strict with doing stuff by the book in my experience. I love hearing how my friends have managed to get certain shots in tough areas, its probably not interesting to everyone, but it may give people more appreciation to the work that goes into the shots and stop them just going out and flying over a city themselves to copy your shots.

I can also confirm that the latest PfCO supports a bubble and this has been confirmed in writing from the CAA themselves and this definition is included in our Ops Manual which has been passed.

Also worth noting that many broadcasters in my experience are not pretty strict on flight rules.  I have trained and assessed many of them and they are getting much better though.  Sadly the phrase "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission" was a common sentiment.
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Offline Yellow

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2017, 13:16:57 »
That's retarded, when did the CAA change that?
Well I suppose it makes it easier in the long run, not that I do much work in congested areas anyway.

Beaver, all the broadcasters I've done work for have wanted to make sure I'm doing it all by the book, so that's just my experience from big ones to small ones.

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Offline Fletch

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2017, 15:07:21 »
I don't think it's ever been changed ... It's never said above ...

It only changes for a crowd of >1000

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2017, 17:58:00 »
I don't think it's ever been changed ... It's never said above ...

It only changes for a crowd of >1000

When I qualified it was definitely not a bubble, even with some dodgy wording it was definitely confirmed in person to be horizontal and not a bubble.
Doesn't surprise me they changed it though.

Offline Hands0n

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Re: Michael Kheng-qualified drone operator etc.
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2017, 20:25:19 »
Bubble actually makes sense to me, and seems entirely reasonable.  Most lay people would understand that.
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