A video has been circulated showing a UAV hitting a Southwest Airlines’ left winglet. The amateur video-prankster obviously feels people are as incompetent as he/she. For one, why is someone operating an electronic device during climb when they are supposed to turn electronic devices off? Second, the aircraft is climbing at a climb-angle of about fifteen degrees and the UAV descends at the exact same angle, only negative fifteen degrees to the zero-horizontal plane, to hit the winglet. Amateurs!
But it does remind us of a concern that was echoed in Saint Cloud, MN, this week on KARE news in Minneapolis/St Paul. A helicopter pilot spraying for mosquitos had to divert away from a drone that was in her airspace. The KARE-TV reporter said that the local FAA office has about two hundred drone sightings a month where the drone violates an aircraft’s airspace.
According to where a drone strikes a helicopter or even gets pulled into the rotors if too close can be catastrophic. Fixed wing aircraft have their own dangers when drones threaten their flight. With serious business entrepreneurs trying to get the rights to operate drones from the FAA, they still have to deal with amateurs that have no concern for life or property.
Some amateur will cause an accident someday, it is inevitable. When that happens, all hell will break loose.