Drones, Deserts and Danger

Drones, Deserts and Danger

Go watch my Field Day! This is the reason I was out in California, and the result looks incredible: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gO3LUhFwx6k
In the desert of California, we’re flying drones. It’s safe out here: but just how many people are flying near airports? The answer: a lot.

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  1. Slovak_Cat on September 12, 2022 at 8:38 pm


  2. sleepy03 on September 12, 2022 at 8:38 pm

    Drone laws do not vary state by state, they are controlled by the FAA and it has nation wide jurisdiction.

  3. Silent Games on September 12, 2022 at 8:40 pm


  4. Chris on September 12, 2022 at 8:43 pm

    was this when you did the California city video?

  5. John Doe on September 12, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    here’s what I have to say: for jets, they might be a problem, I don’t know, I am not as familiar with them, I’d imagine they’d be fine though. for small aircraft… the prop is going to chew that up and spit it out without a second thought, I’ve seen Cessna props tear through aircraft grade aluminium without any visible damage on the prop. most aircraft are designed to deal with goose strikes at normal operating speeds, and let me tell you, a goose is a lot heavier, and a lot less fragile than a drone.

  6. Oxy Bright Dark on September 12, 2022 at 8:44 pm

    Being delayed at gatwick due to drones makes this more real

  7. Raphdroid T on September 12, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Well, in The Netherlands they overregulated everything as soon as possible, typically Dutch, so there’s like 5 square miles left where you can fly.

  8. Russ Crawford on September 12, 2022 at 8:47 pm

    nitpick: airspace is controlled by the Feds, not states …

  9. Mick Avoidant on September 12, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Some authorities have eagles trained to take down drones flying too near to airports.

  10. Jacob Yudkin on September 12, 2022 at 8:49 pm

    Still waiting!

  11. Jhawk2tall on September 12, 2022 at 8:50 pm

    As a former air traffic controller, the problem is only a problem around airports or General aviation aircraft. General aviation aircraft cannot fly below 500 feet, that’s a long ways up if you actually think about it. Only the high powered drones are able to get up there. The other areas are airports when the aircraft or below 500 feet. Here in America we have second amendment which allows us to keep our weapons. We have found another great use for them. If a drone is spotted where it should not be and is causing a problem, just shoot it down. The operator will get the point when they lose a few hundred bucks. No need to find them.
    I was also told that there is a tool developing that they can aim at the drone that will block radio signal and just make the thing crash…..but that isn’t as fun

  12. Paul Fornage on September 12, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    Mavics collided with a military helicopter in south america recently. Left a drone shaped hole in the windshield.

  13. J P on September 12, 2022 at 8:53 pm

    Has Tom’s prediction come true?
    search for:
    "Drone collides with commercial aeroplane in Canada"
    "Drone Hits Army Helicopter"

  14. O.M.B. Demolition Enterprises on September 12, 2022 at 8:54 pm

    This aged well

  15. Anthony DeAcetis on September 12, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    In the US, drones must be registered with the FAA and must follow rules and regs set forth. Also, commercially you need a pilots license as well. The state’s really don’t have much to do with it.

  16. Lest Hodson on September 12, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    Five years on, still no collisions.

  17. cryptosteve on September 12, 2022 at 8:57 pm

    Know a Drone with air too air missiles on board pose more a risk too aircraft

  18. Honesty Counts on September 12, 2022 at 9:00 pm

    You are in the desert. If you come up to any large rocks, watch out for rattlesnakes, as they like to hide in the rocks in the daytime.

  19. Mick Avoidant on September 12, 2022 at 9:02 pm

    The Dutch are training eagles to take down drones near airports.

  20. vroomoon on September 12, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    My best friend damn near hit a drone coming in for landing in his Cessna a few months ago. Somebody was literally flying it at the airport… which is a felony.

  21. Tim Holyoake on September 12, 2022 at 9:04 pm

    Oh Tom… as if there isn’t enough paranoia and witch hunts regarding drones. Yes, we know that there are some idiots out there. But most of them don’t restrict themselves to drones. Some ride bicycles on the footpath, and actually cause fear, and sometime damage to pedestrians. Some ride horses and foul pavements, and abuse other footpath users. Some on motorcycles , everywhere from fields where children play, to motorways. Car drivers who want a “Burn up” etc etc. Need I go on.
    But, Even with a qualified, law abiding drone crew in the shot. You have to jump on the old band wagon , and take a cheap shot at the drone pilots. I honestly thought that you were better than that mate.
    When landing or taking off an airliner, the flight deck crew are extremely busy. The windows are very small, and the “Drone” is even smaller. With a closing speed of close to 200 M.P.H. I doubt if you would see the drone even if you were aware that it was in the vicinity, and you were looking for it. And I have been on both sides of this equation.
    At Gatwick, (London) , the whole airdrome was closed by a drone… except that it wasn’t. Close to a million people were in the affected area. And NO ONE got even a blurry vertical video of the beast. Not one person. The government spent literally millions of pounds investigating, and many months. And came up with the conclusion that there was no evidence to say that there was ever a “Drone” in the area. And … so far… this has been the conclusion in almost all cases. Yet the paranoia carries on.
    As a professionally qualified U.A.S. (Drone),pilot , with eight years experience. Even now, when I’m setting up, people will ask me if it was me at Gatwick. We have a laugh about it. But it wasn’t me, it wasn’t anyone. But it still persists.
    Yes, there are those who flout the rules, as there are in any discipline. But the singling out of drones is more to do with them being “New Tech” which people don’t understand, and are not yet comfortable with… but, given time….. they will be.

  22. rootbear75 on September 12, 2022 at 9:05 pm

    In the US, there are dedicated people in the FAA who actually track down idiots who do this and post it to youtube. I keep seeing videos of people who were cold-called by the FAA

  23. Anderson Klein on September 12, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    It is sad that what you say is so true, all it takes is one tragic magazine headline before all hell breaks loose and they start putting out those ridiculous laws.

  24. eggnblood on September 12, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    Sorry for the dumb question, why don’t drones show up on radars?

  25. lightsboy1 on September 12, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    And in December 2018 the UK suddenly started to take drone misuse seriously.

  26. pax und peace on September 12, 2022 at 9:08 pm


  27. Ard-Jan van Etten on September 12, 2022 at 9:11 pm

    a normal consumer drone isn’t much heavier or harder to break than a good bird, and planes are built an tested to withstand small amounts of birds… What does make a drone more dangerous?

  28. pixle ace on September 12, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    i would love to see air crafts with small anti drone cannons

  29. stuntaneous on September 12, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    The report link provided is now dead, interestingly.

  30. Limp Wibbler on September 12, 2022 at 9:13 pm

    I fly my drone illegally. Sadly it is nothing bad, but drones are basically banned by me. So my illegal activity is flying around a church. It sucks that some people find it ok to fly at airports or towards people.

  31. Daniel Dionne on September 12, 2022 at 9:15 pm

    4 years in and I haven’t heard of any jetliners being taken down by pedestrian drones. Another case of media hysteria.

  32. Kevin Luo on September 12, 2022 at 9:15 pm


  33. Ranudar on September 12, 2022 at 9:16 pm

    sure a drone shouldn’t get close to wn aircraft and shouldn’t film private stuff without permission. but most of the time both are already illegal so it doesn’t make sense to pile on with a huge number of regulations that just punish those that follow the rules.

  34. markkNL on September 12, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    I always thought this was a "two guys in a basement" kinda channel, seeing like 7 trucks on this video for the crew tells me I’m a bit off by that assumption.

  35. flanker on September 12, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    As you’ve said, so far there has been no dangerous accidents involving UAVs and manned aircraft. As you said, part of the reason is most UAV pilots have enough brain cells to know not to fly them close to dangerous areas. That being said, there’s very little evidence that says a hobby grade UAV can cause life-threatening damage to a manned aircraft.

    FPV planes are usually 1 to 2 kilos of foam. Depending on where it’s engine is, it probably won’t cause any harm if you took it to your face. Let alone a full-size aircraft.

    Commercial FPV drones like that DJI you got there, weights around 1 to 2 KGs. If you take them to the face, you’ll definitely feel it. But there’s no evidence that suggests a single prop aircraft can’t just chew it and spit it out. Sure it could damage the propeller, but considering birds that are considerably heavier than 2 KGs regularly impact them and nothing ever happens, there’s really no reason to think a drone impact would instantly destroy a Cessna.

    I really love your work, Tom. But your "warning" in this video is based on an unscientific assumption. One might even call it fear mongering. It frankly reminded me quite a bit of those "Devil worshipers at CERN will open a portal to hell and doom us all" of folks…

  36. Cassandra on September 12, 2022 at 9:18 pm

    For a time, in my state, it was completely illegal to fly a drone.

  37. hani on September 12, 2022 at 9:20 pm

    *_< alliteration appreciation >_*

  38. Shattered DnB on September 12, 2022 at 9:21 pm

    5 years and still no serious collision, alot of fear mongering and new laws that will effectively kill of a hobby enjoyed by many people for more than 100 years though

  39. STUBB BOSS on September 12, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    why does tom keep looking at the camera mans crotch?

  40. Metal Puppet on September 12, 2022 at 9:24 pm

    Drones are definitely dangerous to any aircraft BUT I absolutely cannot imagine a drone taking out an engine of a passenger aircraft. Its just gonna get pulverized and thats it. Theres no way the drone is winning there

  41. 57thorns on September 12, 2022 at 9:25 pm

    Those drones grounding fire fighting helicopters should be shot down. One solution is to send up capture drones with a net. And if they flee you follow them and get the idiot on camera so you can prosecute. Either way, the drone would be confiscated.

  42. OA_FPV on September 12, 2022 at 9:28 pm

    two years away from a collision – we’re still waiting Tom! 🙂

  43. Azriel Satan on September 12, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    Its cool to see how much goes into some of these videos, normally all we see are you and sometimes a person you interview.

  44. Egon Freeman on September 12, 2022 at 9:29 pm

    0:30 "to spot the drone visually" — which is *extremely difficult to do*, actually – so it must’ve been *really close* at that point. I mean, if two planes are flying at each other, they have at most 10 seconds to have any sort of meaningful reaction between "it’s potentially visible" to "they’ve collided" – and as real life has shown us, that time is often much, much less.

  45. ShihammeDarc on September 12, 2022 at 9:30 pm

    did a collision happen yet?

  46. championarrow8 on September 12, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    4 years later and we still don’t have a major collision

  47. LB Joum on September 12, 2022 at 9:32 pm

    Probably the best information you had at the time. Drones are not the huge problem people predict. Yet. Ever?

  48. flanker on September 12, 2022 at 9:33 pm

    You should probably do an update to this one Tom. It’s been 5 year. There are far more drones out there than ever before. Yet not even a single incident that resulted in injuries or even significant damages. This whole, "drones are gonna crash out 747s!" thing turned out to be another Y2K panic… Everyone who operated drones back then knew this would be the case all along. Birds that can weight 5 to 10KGs hit jet engines since there has been jet engines. They are yet to kill anyone. But everyone is somehow convinced 250gr racing drones or 500gr foam airplanes will bring down the entire aviation industry…

  49. Mick Willy on September 12, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Amazing 2019 and still no planes brought down by drones 🤔

  50. Kirk Eby on September 12, 2022 at 9:35 pm

    Canada has similar drone laws to England

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