Drone crashes into landing passenger jet, reports say – CNET
Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that’s taken over our lives.
It was going to happen sometime.
The only question was when.
After reports of drones nearly missing planes rose exponentially, there had to come a report of one actually hitting.
As the BBC reports, a British Airways flight from Geneva to London’s Heathrow Airport was struck by what is believed to have been a drone.
The drone reportedly hit BA flight 727, an Airbus 320, from the front.
Neither British Airways nor London’s Metropolitan Police immediately responded to requests for comment.
However, a Metropolitan Police spokesman told the Independent: “A pilot on an inbound flight into Heathrow Airport from Geneva reported to police that he believed a drone had struck the aircraft.”
The BBC said that the plane, with 132 passengers and five crew members aboard, landed safely with no injuries. Indeed, it reportedly took off again on its next flight.
The Guardian reported that there have been 23 near-misses at UK airports between planes and drones in the April to October period last year. In the US, 650 near-misses were reported by pilots between January and early August last year.
The Federal Aviation Administration has rules that state you shouldn’t fly a drone within five miles of an airport. In Britain, flying drones near an airport can lead to severe sanctions, including jail.
It seems, though, that some people might think they can flout such rules.
Not every pilot believes drone strikes are a real problem. For example, airline captain Chris Manno believes they’re “much ado about nothing.” He says there are hundreds of bird strikes reported, but very few lead to anything remotely significant.
Birds, though, cannot help flying where they do. Drone pilots surely know where they are, especially near an airport as busy as Heathrow. Shouldn’t they be at least a little more responsible?
Because drones are a relatively new phenomenon, it’s not clear how much damage they could do. Some worry that they could go through fuel tanks, smash windshields and cause considerable damage.
Perhaps the only way the danger will be made real is if something like that actually happened.
But the best way to prevent it is to keep drones away from flight paths.
Unless, that is, you believe in the Kentucky rules. There, at least one judge has ruled it entirely legitimate to shoot down drones.
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