The inevitable has happened. After months – if not years – of near-misses involving drones and aircrafts, it finally happened. Drones nearly colliding with aircrafts are rising at an alarming rate the past few years. Most incidents occur near major airports and airspaces with lots of traffic. Most drones involved are civilian; meaning a navigator simply got it off the stores as a hobby. Flying a drone may seem like a fun toy to play with, but it also comes with responsibilities. Not every toy in the store can float to hundreds of feet off the ground.
Most toys do not have remote controls that can reach the toy hundreds of paces in any direction. Therein lies the subtlety of the drone. It can be a toy, a hobby, and a tool to help take videos and photos. It can also, however, be an aerial obstruction. And an aircraft filled with passengers and busy crew may be in for a bit of trouble if a drone is idly flying by. The engines of the plane expose at the wings, and it is the only thing that keeps the plane on the air. Any small drone can innocuously be on a plane’s way, and fly directly into the engine. This can instantly take down an aircraft of any size.
Waihi Plane Crash:
A drone recently is getting the blame for the crash of a small plane in Waihi, New Zealand. The country is not new to the headlines of drones’ close encounters with planes. Just this month alone, two instances received reports on the same airport in Auckland.
The plane, while it was about 1600-1700 feet hit something, and crashed down in less than a minute. The incident described involved the windscreen of the plane “exploding” and filled the inside of the aircraft with air. This lead to the plane’s side windows suffering the same fate as well. A crash landing was attempted but it proved to be futile as the plane landed upside down in a nearby field.
Luckily, both passengers made it out and rushed to a nearby hospital. The navigator of the drone in question, like in previous cases, was not in the scene after the events have taken place.