Safety around airports

Not sure if this belongs here. Let me know if this is not the correct place for this topic.

Today I was flying in restricted zone, with waiver and tower knowledge and approval, automated mission using DD and visual line of sight with a VO so eyes on the drone at all times.

Tower indicated that they were aware of flight, and we coordinated the time, they also confirmed the exact area of the flight and the expected duration.

My question is concerning what is supposed to happen in situations where you are flying in what is usually a glide path for landing. In this case multiple runways are available, however aircraft were landing through my flight area every few mins.

We were able to stay “safe” but it was pretty unsettling to have that much traffic. In one instance a plane flew in lower than my altitude (per the waiver) , again not where I was at the time, but closer than I wanted.

I had planned to dump the drone if necessary, in this case I paused the mission, returned to home point and started again at the last waypoint.


Obviously the number one rule is that manned aircraft always have the RoW. If you feel that the amount of traffic is disturbing your flight and will affect the quality of your capture then you are probably irritating them as well. If you were in the close of contact with the tower the patterns is always something you want to discuss and if they can divert traffic to another runway that shouldn’t be a problem for the 15-30 minutes you will be there. Unless you are in the middle of the runway a simple stop and hover is usually the best course of action so the pilots can most easily make out your location. Descending is good but as you yourself said you actually had aircraft underneath you. This is just a scenario where you have to use your best judgement and it sounds like you did the best you could. Kudos!

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Thanks Michael,

I will certainly be thinking through things in a different way in the future.