Friday, August 24, 2018

How High is the Sky

I looked up today and there were dozens of cormorants flying over.  How High is the Sky? This is a philosophical question asked in Irving Berlin's song:  How Deep is the Ocean (How high is the sky).  

I don't know the answer for how low or how high is the sky.  So I checked out some sky facts:

The Earth's atmosphere is divided into six layers. The closest one to the surface is called the “Troposphere”, It varies in height from 8 km (5 miles/26,400 feet) at the poles to 17 km (11 miles/58,080 feet) at the equator. The sky starts where the ground ends.

So we're walking 'in the sky'. 

But airplanes don't fly at our feet or even 100 feet from the ground.  Here's an excerpt from an article discussing whether a drone camera plane can be prosecuted under the FAA regulations.
"[O]perated the above-described aircraft at altitudes of approximately 10 feet to approximately 400 feet over the University of Virginia in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another
The trial itself will determine whether or not Pirker's flying was reckless. There's a chance, however, that it will instead determine the limitation of FAA standing. The counter-motion filed by Pirker's defense counsel raises the question of jurisdiction. Recklessly operating a vehicle is certainly a public safety concern, but rather than being a matter of aviation security it might fall instead to local police, who have taken the lead in other cases where unmanned vehicles have caused injury or death. This includes a recent and infamous incident where a young man in New York died after a remote control helicopter struck him. NYPD, not the FAA, investigated the case, even though a flying vehicle was involved."

There's a question of whether the FAA has domain over all flying things or over the regulated sky which starts at 700 feet? And it is answered in part:  "If there is any area where jurisdiction of the sky intersects with that o the ground, it's at the point of takeoff".

I don't think this aircraft will take off from the Hamilton Airport.

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