Forget Drones, Watch out for Planes Taking off by Themselves

Forget Drones, Watch out for Planes Taking off by Themselves

The media has done a great job of scaring the public of personal drones. Everyone believes that these flying toys are either spying on them while they shower or falling from the sky onto children's heads. Certainly remote control drones, like anything, have some level of danger, but things seem to be getting out of hand.

Even though driving a car is infinitely more dangerous than sharks, my wife drives multiple times a day but she still won't walk waist-deep into the ocean. We are all afraid of what we don't know. I've been flying drones for a while now and therefore I feel very comfortable with them, but the average person only knows what they see on the news and of course that is drones crashing into objects or people.

A couple weeks ago we posted a video of a woman lying about being in danger from a falling drone when it wasn't even near her and she tried to secretly steal the drone. It was a great example of the way so many people can overreact to things they aren't familiar with.

It reminded me of all of the things in this world that are actually extremely dangerous, yet we aren't worried about them at all. I ran across this shocking video of real, full-sized airplanes taking off and flying around by themselves in high winds. I've worked on my pilot's license and I've certainly seen planes lift up or get blown backwards in high winds but I wasn't aware that they could fly like this.

Obviously this is a rare occurrence and I wouldn't suggest wasting your life looking up anticipating falling, unmanned aircrafts. But I just want to make the point that we live in a very dangerous world. We can die any day, in any number of ways. But statistically speaking, drones are pretty safe, especially the small ones that have become so popular today. Nobody is spying on you and you have a much better chance of being hit in the head by a bird than a drone.

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Spy Black's picture

Notice they're all high-wing planes, plus a glider. Never saw the attraction of high-wing planes, as they were always suspect to being greatly affected during takeoff or landing. I was awaiting clearance at Stewart Airport NY on a windy day with a Cessna ahead of me. The thing got tipped on two wheels, wing and prop almost hitting the ground before settling back down again. Guaratee you that guy flew home on a wet seat...

Spy Black's picture

You're correct that a strong enough wind will make any aircraft airborne, but the height of the wing definitely has an effect on the craft, especially during takeoff and landings. The incident at Stewart was a shining example. The Cessna in front of me and the Cherokee I was in both got hit with the same blast of air, and both of us had our control surfaces set to minimize the potential of being deflected. The Cessna tipped over, the Cherokee did not.

Simon Patterson's picture

High wing aircraft are handy on unsealed air strips. I flew (as a passenger) to a village in the middle of the Kalahari Desert in a high wing Cessna once. The locals had done a reasonable job of clearing the yellow grassy strip, something you can never be certain about until you arrive, but having the higher clearance was a bit of added insurance.

Spy Black's picture

I'm not arguing the merits of high wing planes, but I disagree with Pete that they're not more suseptible to wind on takeoffs and landings, as well as taxing.

Leigh Miller's picture

C'mon Lee....

We have done a pretty good job of giving the media lot's of material to scare the public with.

Shawn Conrad's picture

Sorry to say friend but those planes are all manned. They were tow planes for the gliders and to prevent any further damage they took off during the microburst. Unfortunately the wind does not control the engine power nor does it take control of the control surfaces. If they were unmanned they would've simply been blown over by the wind.

Shawn Conrad's picture

Perhaps but they are not going to act in the way they did in this video. They are clearly manned and no unmanned aircraft is ever going to do anything that these Scouts did in this video.