we are going to have to start thinking of subtle change, I hate changeIf you go back to the 3D masters photos and videos when it was in the UK, you can see fine mesh net catch fences erected on poles like the ones used for bow feather advertizing signs to protect the crowds. It could stand to be even a little higher.
Watch at YouTube
IRCHA is really going to have think this over for show center. You can see through it and it would catch/slow/maybe stop a heli from getting into the crowd.
A 4 x 8 chain link or square mesh style fence mounted vertically to at least step behind for protection would be a first good step for the pilot & spotter. I don't like to have things in front of me when flying but to be able to sidestep behind a fence/net versus turning my back and running like this years IRCHA pilot hit in the back is a better option.
About 10 years ago the accident at Tom Bass park in Houston changed things down there. I visited that field often in 2004 & 2005 while waiting for my ship. The heli area was very protected and nicely executed after changes were done. County gov got involved and they all worked to make it happen.
If nothing else please just move your heli out a little further than you fly now. Yesterday's accident is a tragedy. I always feared it would be one of our top pilots and the community would really be shaken. We've had two wake up calls this year, the gentleman in Europe and now NY, we can do better. It's a wonderful hobby, community, but it's not worth dying or maiming ourselves for. Time to put our heads together and come up with some trial protection devices. We'll eventually get use to them. Sure I don't like it, but I like my friends and family and don't want to see anyone hurt. I teach RED CROSS year round at the college level for professions and I hope each and every one of my students never has to use anything I teach them. The first part of those courses is the use of personal protective equipment and supervising workers under their control to make sure it is used. Do you even wear eye protection? Do you even have a 1st aid kit? 911 is a really lousy bandage. How far away is that at your flying site?
We can't and you can't afford an accident. Fly safe. do the maintenance so you can trust your machine. If in doubt, don't fly it, fix it and fly within your skills. Yes we all want to be Bobby,Nick,Bert, but you have to put in the time and effort and practice, they did. A 1000 safe flights is worth way more than one scary out of control big dawg showboating smack flight.
Think about and maybe build and try a protection device and pass it on if you come up with the next great thing. RIP ROMAN
Here is a place to get some ideas for net types. they do all kinds including sports nets and cages. Even heavy monofilament gill netting is possible, nearly invisible and strong enough to stop a porpoise and sharks.
Something like this at a pilot station on two poles, stand next to it and if something goes wrong step behind.http://www.memphisnet.net/product/5...stops_heavyduty
Here's my choice for a crowd protection net, nearly clear large mesh and comes in 12' and 24' depths. Strectched out on several poles between crowd and flight line, it would serve as a catch net should a heli get away or parts ricocheting into the crowds. openings for the pilot station area. Just an idea, but soon we are going to have to try it. KISS principle, but better than what we're doing now. The same poles being used for loud speakers now could be employeed so very little clutter to the viewing audience.http://www.memphisnet.net/product/6...o_8plymonotwist
Further down you will see comments about spotters and others near close-in flying pilots. Nobody wants to be a BUZZ KILL, but we have to start policing ourselves and not take offense when we are reminded to keep it down to pilot/spotter. IRCHA always starts out great and gets dilluted by the 2nd or 3rd day as everyone gets comfortable. Normal fun fly events, we need to be on top our policing from the start. Smile and eat the ****te sandwich and do the right thing and keep it safe, don't take offense' from Heli Gods to Noobs, live to fly another day.