[OSM-talk] today's tragic helicopter accident in Bavaria

Oleksiy Muzalyev oleksiy.muzalyev at bluewin.ch
Wed Apr 11 07:31:07 UTC 2018

I worked for ten years as a GOO (ground operations) at a major airline. 
I realize that the OSM map is not used by airmen, at least not officially.

I am a certified RPAS (remotely piloted aircraft system) pilot. While 
planning a flight at a certain place I look at the official special maps 
(for example RPAS restrictions map for CH [1]). But, since no map is 
perfect, I look also at the OSM map, different satellite imagery, Google 
map, Wikimedia ground and aerial images of a place, if existing, Youtube 
videos, etc. to understand what is expecting me at this place.

It is even more complicated for helicopter pilots, since risk and 
responsibility are incomparably higher. It is not impossible that an 
airman has got a smartphone in his pocket with map apps, and during long 
autopilot flight has a look at a place where he has to land, which is 
the most complex part of a flight.

Unfortunately, helicopter wire and obstacle strikes happen quite often, 
and the stats are nearly evenly split between day and nighttime events. 
86% of the fatal accidents occur in clear weather with good visibility [2].

My point is that it would at least not harm if towers, not only control 
towers, but communication, observation towers, and other tall structures 
are present on a map with an icon. It would be useful for everyone, 
since these landmarks are visible from far away at day and night.


With best regards,

On 11.04.18 03:21, Jack Armstrong Dancer at sprynet.com wrote:
> Are you saying you think an aviation accident could have been avoided if OSM data was better? I've been an air traffic controller for 38 years. Aviation hazards, such as towers at airports, are well charted on navigational charts and airport diagrams which pilots are required to use. A pilot would never use OSM as a means of avoiding ground hazards at an airport. Besides, this particular accident happened at 10:00 A.M. local time, meaning it was daylight. The vast majority of aviation accidents are the result of pilot error. If a helicopter pilot allows his rotor blades to collide with a clearly visible object, that is negligence on the captain's part.

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