imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Are we safe from government spy plane "drones" crashing into our homes?

by Alan Levin Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 6:19 AM

Crashes of drone planes flying over the USA are worrying pilots and lawmakers who fear that a surge in interest by federal and local agencies to use the unmanned aircraft could lead to danger in the skies.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2006-08-06-drones_x.htm

Safety a concern as drones catch on

Updated 8/6/2006 10:47 PM ET

By Alan Levin, USA TODAY

Crashes of drone planes flying over the USA are worrying pilots and lawmakers who fear that a surge in interest by federal and local agencies to use the unmanned aircraft could lead to danger in the skies.

SKY-HIGH WORRIES:Crash stirs debate on drone safety

Spurred by the success of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in war zones in Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, the Pentagon says it has seen the number of its drone planes increase from fewer than 100 six years ago to 3,500 in 2006. About 700 of those operate in the USA. Federal agencies such as the Coast Guard, NASA, Homeland Security, and the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration have expressed interest in using drones for everything from border surveillance to finding lost children.

While most drones are small and fly only above military bases, some large UAVs are allowed under U.S. regulations to enter civilian airspace. President Bush has called for expanding their use to protect the nation's borders, and a handful of local police and sheriff's offices are seeking permission to use the planes, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Manufacturers such as Northrup-Grumman and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems say UAVs, some with a wingspan greater than a Boeing 737's, will be as safe as other aircraft, perhaps safer. No civilian deaths have been reported from UAVs.

The Air Line Pilots Association and other critics say recent accidents underline the need for caution:

• A Customs and Border Protection Predator B drone, which is as large as some commuter airliners, slammed to the ground within several hundred feet of homes in Arizona on April 25. Its ground operator accidentally shut off its engine, according to a preliminary federal incident report.

• A prototype of an Eagle Eye tilt-rotor plane being developed for the Coast Guard crashed during tests April 5 in Texas. The UAV, which weighs about 2,000 pounds and can hover like a helicopter, went down after an unidentified radio signal triggered a self-destruct mechanism that killed the engine, according to its builder, Bell Helicopter Textron.

• The Federal Aviation Administration criticized the Los Angeles County sheriff for conducting a demonstration flight without permission June 16. The 3-pound drone, which carries video cameras, crashed in a media demonstration.

House lawmakers concerned about crashes of drones involving federal agencies have inserted language in homeland security funding legislation that demands reports on the accidents.

The airline pilots' union and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) say UAVs are not safe.

"We are sharing airspace where we are assured that a certain level of safety is being met, and yet there is no level of safety for these UAVs," said Heidi Williams, air traffic services director for AOPA.

The FAA has created a UAV division and is studying how to draw up standards for drones.

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/surveillance/2006-08-06-drone-safety_x.htm

Crash stirs debate on drone safety

Updated 8/6/2006 10:59 PM ET



By Alan Levin, USA TODAY

The explosion nearly jolted Barbara Trent out of bed. At first she thought someone had bombed the high-desert scrubland where she lives in southern Arizona.

When daylight arrived a few hours later April 25, Trent and her neighbors realized that what they heard wasn't a bomb at all. Instead, an unmanned drone the government uses to monitor the nearby Mexican border had slammed into a hillside near several homes.

The Predator B, which weighs as much as 10,500 pounds and has a wingspan of 66 feet, had been crippled when its operator accidentally switched off its engine. It glided as close as 100 feet above two homes before striking the ground, says Tom Duggin, the owner of one of the houses. "If it had hit my house, I'd be dead," says Trent, whose home is about 1,000 feet from the crash site.

Flight issues

The crash of the Customs and Border Protection plane has been a catalyst heating up the debate over whether it is safe to operate unmanned aerial vehicles in the nation's airways. Thousands of UAVs regularly fly the skies above the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. As pressure grows to put the UAVs to use in the USA, federal officials and aviation industry representatives are discussing how unmanned aircraft should be regulated.

FEARS OF FLIGHTS: Safety a concern as drones catch on

The debate also addresses the philosophy of what it means to fly. In a sense, UAVs are the first example of robot-like devices roaming the Earth, says Massachusetts Institute of Technology aviation professor John Hansman.

The questions they raise are profound. Can a machine replace the skills of a veteran pilot? If there are no people aboard, should the safety standards developed over the past 100 years for aircraft be eased? Should a human controlling a drone from a desktop computer be subject to the same standards as a traditional pilot?

"The increased use of unmanned aircraft by (the military) is certainly challenging some of the long-held beliefs of organizations that have worked aviation safety for a long time," says Dyke Weatherington, who oversees UAV procurement at the Pentagon.

Safety precautions

In hearings before the House Aviation Subcommittee in March, Michael Kostelnik, a retired general who heads Customs and Border Protection's Office of Air and Marine, assured lawmakers that the agency's Predator had robust backup systems to ensure safety.

"This redundant system works on all levels, from sensors to the flight computer, and provides a triple-check system to protect the vehicle and others in the airspace," said Kostelnik's written testimony.

In an interview last week, Kostelnik said the crash about 30 miles from Nogales had not changed his mind. He and the manufacturer of the Predator, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, blame the pilot of the drone for the accident. He worked for General Atomics, which flew the Predator under contract with the government.

The pilot told investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that his control panel froze up. When he switched to a second control station, he didn't notice that it was set to shut off the plane's fuel. The switch cut off the Predator's engine.

The drone had been given permission to fly at 14,000 to 16,000 feet, an area that was closed to other planes. After the engine quit, it drifted until it struck the ground.

John Porter, manager of business development at General Atomics, defended the control station's design and said the accident did not reveal any safety issues with the plane. Kostelnik said he hopes to have a replacement Predator flying soon and the agency wants to buy additional Predators.

The accident and other crashes are worrisome to the Air Line Pilots Association. Failures such as the accident April 25 occur too easily, and standards must be created that anticipate problems before they occur, says Capt. Brian Townsend, a safety expert with the association.

"If they want to play the game in the same airspace as us, they must meet or exceed the same levels of safety that we operate in daily — without exception," Townsend said.

Creating those standards will not be easy. There are no rules for how to build unmanned planes that fly in civilian airspace, who is qualified to fly them and how they should steer clear of other aircraft.

The Federal Aviation Administration has set case-by-case standards for operations such as border surveillance. The agency is reviewing how Customs uses the Predator.

Who does the investigating?

It's not clear who should investigate UAV accidents. The NTSB's statute says it can investigate only severe accidents of planes with people aboard. (The NTSB is investigating the Predator case as an "incident," usually defined as an event that does little or no damage to the plane.)

Teams of aviation industry scientists, academics and government officials are working to draw up a framework for how to regulate drones.

Hansman, who advises the FAA on drones, says work he has done indicates unmanned planes can operate safely with the right technology.

"You are introducing a totally new class of vehicles into the system," he says.

There are no precedents for how to regulate a plane that — as some drones now do — can pick its own route with an onboard computer, Hansman says. "It's the beginning of an era."
Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 6 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Drone Photo Drone Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 6:27 AM
Drone Photos drone 2 Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 6:28 AM
shoot drones laser worx Sunday, Aug. 20, 2006 at 6:14 PM
"shoot drones" don't try this at home Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2006 at 8:51 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

Paraphysique de l'autorité A08 12:11AM

Two Podcasts on fbi corruption A06 10:13PM

Fbi assassins assault & try to kill DAVID ATKINS A06 7:29PM

EPA Head Scott Pruitt: Of Cages And Sirens A06 2:15PM

The Shortwave Report 04/06/18 Listen Globally! A05 4:25PM

Nicaraguas Conflic with native Peoples on the Caribbean Coast Near Bluefields in Decade80 A05 12:14PM

Millions Boycott The Sponsors Of Laura Ingraham A05 11:36AM

THE CONSERVATIVE THREAT A05 6:51AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy