Aircraft Accidents and a Matter of Opinion

I am not a good tweeter; I don’t do social media very well; I do not like them Sam, I am. My PR people say I must embrace them, so I do what I’m told.
I follow a pilot on Twitter and he made a comment recently saying that the commotion about laser-pointers lighting up of an aircraft cockpit is over-rated and distorted by the media; that there is no danger from it; that there are brighter man-made objects that cause worse blindness. But then he said the same thing about the threat of drones.
I wasn’t sure I read his comment right, so I wrote him to clarify. He stated that he felt that drones were a non-danger; that their threat was also a figment of an overblown imagination.
I agree with the first opinion: unless directly aimed at a fast moving aircraft precisely, it could be argued that a laser pointer is not that dangerous. But the second opinion I would beg to differ for the same reason: that a fast moving object is hard to aim at precisely – if one is aiming.
An aircraft, even during approach, is a fast moving object. Having flown in the cockpit on many occasions, my perception that other aircraft flying below or above while coming towards you is deceptive just how fast they are going; they appear to approach at an incredible rate. The beauty of that is that one, you are warned they are there; two, they are above or below you; and three, they are big enough to see with navigation lights on.
A drone is nearly invisible, especially at night. They fly on the level that the operator decides to fly it. They are big enough to introduce incredible damage to an engine. Perhaps the pilot who wrote that comment never saw the damage a chicken launched at an engine during testing can do to a compressor fan; it can be fantastic. And mark it: a drone is much sturdier than a chicken carcass.
But also include in the equation a person who cares not for the consequences of endangering people, like the laser-pointer guy or the random college shooter. Now you have a random terrorist who can cause extreme damage and possible death to those on an aircraft as well as those who the aircraft crashes on. The speeds that they meet are too fast for a pilot to react to, if they are even looking out the windscreen.
And that is no media hype.

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