A recent report indicated that an international flight from Paris had a close call with a drone as they were landing at Dulles International Airport. The pilot reported a drone was with 100 feet above the Boeing 777 jet. The tower responded that had other reports of the drone inside the restricted airspace.
A commercial pilot commented that this occurrence is definitely something that could cause major damage to a plane especially during takeoff and landings. If a drone interfered with the normal operation the pilot doesn’t have much opportunity to take corrective action.
Drones should only be flow outside of restricted airspace. The FAA has created regulations that provide guidelines for airports, businesses, and hobbyists. One such suggestion is to check with local airports to make sure you are not in danger of harming other flights.
The FAA has reported as much as a 50 percent increase in pilots spotting drones from the previous year. As prices come down, more uninformed and senseless drone operators are not paying attention to the potential dangers they create. They are not being respectful of others. There are currently less than a million drones registered in the nation at this point.
The Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) has made a statement regarding these more common occurrences of drone sightings:
“Reports of airline pilots encountering UAS while in-flight are occurring way too frequently. For years ALPA has called on the FAA to mitigate this hazard to safe flight. There are risks associated with operating aircraft and the nation’s incredible airline safety record is due to constant efforts to identify and mitigate those risks. Drone operators should adhere to FAA regulations which includes seeing and avoiding manned aircraft…”
They go on to conclude:
“An aggressive effort to identify and penalize those who choose to jeopardize aviation safety is needed.”
To those of use with common sense, it just seems like a no-brainer to not fly near manned aircraft. Don’t be one of those guys, be responsible with your drone, and be sure to know and follow the rules.