Reckless Use of Drones Hits UK

It looks like it is not only in the USA that drone mishaps happen. Reckless use of private/hobby drones by amateur pilots has hit the UK, causing much concern among authorities.

In the news, one such incident was reported recently although the incident itself occurred months ago.
A report by the NY Daily News said that a passenger plane carrying 180 passengers was almost hit by a drone near Heathrow airport, it has been revealed. It is the first incident to involve a drone and a jet at Britain’s largest airport, reports the Sunday Times. Read more here:

The Daily Mail also reported on the incident saying that it involved an Airbus A320, and rated rated by investigators as among the most serious near-collisions. The aircraft was at just 700ft at 2.16pm on July 22 when the pilot saw the drone, which had not shown up on air traffic control radar. Read more:

As it has been in the US, incidents like this as well as the proliferation of drones are drawing much attention and concern in the UK.  Aside from the danger on lives and properties, such risky incidents, be it in the US, US or elsewhere, creates an atmosphere of negativity towards drones, may adversely affect all drone users, including professionals and serious enthusiasts, and kill the fledgling drone industry.

In fact, a similar drone incident took place – again – in the US. One article reported that recently, a medical helicopter had a close call with a remote-controlled aircraft as it flew above the Schuylkill County Joe Zerbey Airport. At the time, there were no patients aboard Life Flight 5, which is managed by Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. No one was injured and the helicopter sustained no damage. However, the incident should remind remote-aircraft hobbyists to make additional efforts to contact county communications to report their whereabouts, medical helicopter officials said this week. See more here

It will be recalled that last month the FAA too investigated several incidents, on top of previous near-collisions in the past. See our previous posts: FAA Investigates New Drone Incidents; A Call to Responsible Drone Piloting

Online commentators are getting anxious as well with some saying that it may be well to take drones off the market before they can kill a lot of people and destroy properties. Of course, this is not the answer to the irresponsibility of some users, but more professional drone pilots like those in the aerial photography services are understandably getting peeved.

James Davis, publisher of The Droneologist expressed his concern over the growing drone incidents “that if some people continue to fly drones recklessly, it may all the more destroy the future of drone technology in this country.”


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