A problem with drones nearly hitting passenger planes is a growing concern after 10 instances in the last 30 days have occurred, according to a senior aviation official. ABC News reveals in a report surrounding the latest innovation, that the 11th time happened just over 48 hours ago.
There were two cases in which pilots were able to successfully avoid a collision with an unmanned drone.
If a drone were to hit a commercial airliner, significant damage could be done to an aircraft carrying passengers.
Aviation analyst, John Nance, tells ABC News:
“The biggest worry is that one of these drones can be ingested by a jet engine at high power on takeoff, for instance, and shut the engine down.”
The Federal Aviation Administration reveals that in the last 90 days, there has been a small rise in the amount of drone issues involving planes around the New York area. The FAA adds that the increased number might also have to do with an “increased awareness” and pilots reporting close calls since they “encourage” them to do that. On Friday the FAA ordered controllers to document specific details around each drone that approached a jet too closely; this includes everything from observations by pilots to their actions in evading the flying object.
With more inexpensive aircraft taking to the skies, the FAA will be making rules as technology advances.
A drone allegedly hovered above the Seattle Space Needle’s observation deck in July. In 2013, a drone flew over busy New York streets, went past the Chrysler building, then crash landed — almost hitting pedestrians during rush-hour.
“The FAA is going to have to work harder and faster to get these rules written,” Nance said.
In a report by Giant Frickin Robot, a U.S. Airways passenger jet narrowly avoided colliding with a drone when the pilot managed to avoid it. The plane’s pilot reported it being more like an F-4 Phantom instead of a commercial drone making deliveries or taping videos. The Phantom is used by the U.S. Navy. The sophisticated drone appeared to be a two-seater model, according to the U.S. Airways pilot.
Exactly what kind of damage drones could cause a jet is unknown, but the very least would be some type of engine failure, from the information given by the FAA.
Is there reason to worry that U.S. skies are less safe due to reports of drones almost hitting passenger planes?
The Inquisitr also wrote an article about the FAA’s request for drone test sites.
[Image via Giant Frickin Robot]