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Old April 17th, 2016, 01:22 PM   #1
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Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Was just a matter of time…Drone hits British Airways plane near Heathrow...

Drone hit British Airways plane approaching Heathrow Airport - BBC News

For those that might not be able to access the link in non-UK locations, here is some of the BBC news text (posted about 30 minutes ago on their website):

A plane approaching Heathrow Airport is believed to have hit a drone before it landed safely, the Metropolitan Police have said.
The British Airways flight from Geneva was hit as it approached the London airport at about 12:50 BST with 132 passengers and five crew on board.
After landing, the pilot reported an object - believed to be a drone - had struck the front of the Airbus A320.
Aviation police based at Heathrow have launched an investigation.
Police said no arrests have been made.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 01:25 PM   #2
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Just posted this !

I wonder if new rules and regulations will come in to place because of this incident.

Only allowed to buy one if it's registered to an owner like a car ? so it can be traced perhaps ?
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Old April 17th, 2016, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

I imagine new rules and regulations are almost CERTAIN to occur after such an incident.

Info is still coming in...but it sounds like it was pure luck for those 137 people on board (and those that live/work/were travelling on the ground below them) that the thing hit the front of the plane and did not get sucked into an engine etc.
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Last edited by Andy Wilkinson; April 17th, 2016 at 03:06 PM. Reason: Typo! Imagine not image!
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Old April 17th, 2016, 01:52 PM   #4
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

I hope they tighten up regulation massively. It seems completely out of control. There have been many reports of near misses.

Lives should not be put at risk by drones.

Perhaps I should declare an interest : I live under the Heathrow flight path!
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Old April 17th, 2016, 01:53 PM   #5
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

I drove my daughter to the Charleroi airport last week because they where planning a holliday abroad and there was military inspecting every single car that came in, I was not allowed to drive to the front gate but had to drive to the underground parking instead, inside the airport security was also much higher then usual.

So with all this tight security at airports because of recent terrorist attacks I just wonder after reading about the drone incident what is keeping terrorists from attaching a explosive device to such a drone and just bypassing all the security by flying it from a distance right onto a airstrip into any incoming or leaving plane.

Eventhough that incident was not caused by a terrorist the operator should be treated as one, he/she clearly has no idea what consequences their drone might have if a plane would crash because of it.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 02:49 PM   #6
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Which one landed safely and which one was blown to smithereens, the 2lb drone or the 60 ton Airbus?

I can't wait to see how this "investigation" plays out.

So many of these drones are seen from aircraft. 1) It seems to me it'd be hard to see a drone with an 18" wingspan when going 500mph. 2) How come we never catch these nefarious pilots from the ground? How come no one having lunch outside the airfield ever sees these guys with the drone? And yet there are SO MANY of these "near-miss" incidents. Seems like once in a while someone would bust a guy flying the drone at the foot of the runway, no?
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Old April 17th, 2016, 03:28 PM   #7
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

I'm surprised an airliner flying 150 mph (240 Kph for you folks out of the U.S.) could even SEE a drone.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 05:10 PM   #8
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
I drove my daughter to the Charleroi airport last week because they where planning a holliday abroad and there was military inspecting every single car that came in, I was not allowed to drive to the front gate but had to drive to the underground parking instead, inside the airport security was also much higher then usual.

So with all this tight security at airports because of recent terrorist attacks I just wonder after reading about the drone incident what is keeping terrorists from attaching a explosive device to such a drone and just bypassing all the security by flying it from a distance right onto a airstrip into any incoming or leaving plane.

Eventhough that incident was not caused by a terrorist the operator should be treated as one, he/she clearly has no idea what consequences their drone might have if a plane would crash because of it.
Couldn't agree more ! I hope they catch him / her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
Which one landed safely and which one was blown to smithereens, the 2lb drone or the 60 ton Airbus?

I can't wait to see how this "investigation" plays out.

So many of these drones are seen from aircraft. 1) It seems to me it'd be hard to see a drone with an 18" wingspan when going 500mph. 2) How come we never catch these nefarious pilots from the ground? How come no one having lunch outside the airfield ever sees these guys with the drone? And yet there are SO MANY of these "near-miss" incidents. Seems like once in a while someone would bust a guy flying the drone at the foot of the runway, no?
That 2lb drone is the equivalent of a bird strike / much worse if it hits the engine.

If one of the engines blew up whilst the pilot was trying to land the air craft I dread to think what would have happened.

Getting sick of drone operators recklessly flying these things wherever they please.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 05:13 PM   #9
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Benda View Post
I'm surprised an airliner flying 150 mph (240 Kph for you folks out of the U.S.) could even SEE a drone.
I had an admin job at Easyjet several years ago in health and safety and had to log incidents including bird strikes. You would be surprised what the pilots can see.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 05:18 PM   #10
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

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Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Getting sick of drone operators recklessly flying these things wherever they please.
Allegedly. Drone operaters *allegedly* flying these things wherever they please.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 06:26 PM   #11
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

the problem is, that they can bring in all the rules and regulations they can think of! it wont stop reckless, stupid people from doing it.

Theres been lots of reports of laser beams pointed at aircraft during landing/takeoff operations too, with that sort of mentality rules don't mean a thing!

Here in Ireland i'm sure the vast majority of registered operators would be very compliant but what of the rogues??

I've read of reports here that in the commission of rural crime, that drones have been employed at night to recce an area before doing the break-in etc.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 06:28 PM   #12
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
Which one landed safely and which one was blown to smithereens, the 2lb drone or the 60 ton Airbus?

I can't wait to see how this "investigation" plays out.
The outcome would always have depended where on the aircraft the drone impacted. Sucked into an engine or an impact with the cockpit would obviously have a different result to hitting (say) a wheel as it comes into land.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
So many of these drones are seen from aircraft. 1) It seems to me it'd be hard to see a drone with an 18" wingspan when going 500mph.
The landing speed of an average airliner is nowhere near 500mph - that's typical of cruise speed at altitude. I believe on final approach a figure of around 130mph is far more likely, and at that stage of flight the crew are very likely to be paying careful attention outside the cockpit, so I don't see any problem with such drones being spotted? This is assuming the majority of incidents are most likely to be in the height range 200-2,000 feet roughly?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Watson View Post
2) How come we never catch these nefarious pilots from the ground? How come no one having lunch outside the airfield ever sees these guys with the drone? And yet there are SO MANY of these "near-miss" incidents. Seems like once in a while someone would bust a guy flying the drone at the foot of the runway, no?
Well, the footprint around Heathrow where planes are below about 2,000 feet covers a pretty big area, made even bigger as it varies depending which runway is being used, and in which direction. So "outside the airfield" is not like "just outside the perimeter wire". It also covers large areas of residential property, so theoretically the drone owner could be standing in the seclusion of their own garden.

Add to this that the problem drones may have "escaped" from their owners control, and the area where owners may be becomes pretty big.

It's also wrong to say "nefarious pilots" are "never caught" - see Man fined after flying drones over Premier League stadiums - BBC News . Point is it takes time for law enforcement to catch up with new problems - just think back to mobile phone usage whilst driving a car, and how many accidents happened before legislation?

To quote a bit more from the BBC link earlier in this thread:

Quote:
But the latest incident will only add to the pressure for further steps to be taken.

The US recently introduced a compulsory registration scheme so any drone recovered from an accident can be traced back to its owner.

In addition, officials could make it mandatory for drones to run geo-fencing software - that would prevent them flying in restricted areas.

The Department for Transport has promised to publish a strategy for unmanned aircraft this year.

And pilots have also called for the DoT to fund tests into what would happen if a drone got sucked into an engine or crashed into a plane's windscreen.

Last month, the British Airline Pilots Association noted that while the threat of bird strikes had been well researched there was little data about how much damage a drone could cause a plane.
Now that an impact has actually occurred, feel sure that pressure will really be on the authorities to take action - and I suspect that will include pressure to find a culprit and make an example of them. If I had owned the drone in question here I would be a very worried man - and not simply due to the loss of the drone. :-)

It all depends how much resources the police are prepared to put in - and I think it's likely to be ramped up heavily after this incident. I also agree with Noa's point. So far, it's likely the incidents have been down to drone-owning idiots. What about if terrorists did decide to try them with explosives as a rough and ready "missile"? They needn't even be successful in downing a plane - a near-miss explosion could cause huge public panic with enormous ramifications for aviation.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 06:36 PM   #13
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

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Originally Posted by Rob Cantwell View Post
the problem is, that they can bring in all the rules and regulations they can think of! it wont stop reckless, stupid people from doing it.
Well, one possibility would be to make it mandatory for ownership of all drones to be registered, and possibly for them to be required to broadcast an identification code upon interrogation.

So any misuse is relatively easily traceable back to the owner. It may not stop all reckless flying, but once a few people get prosecuted it could decrease the amount substantially.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 07:03 PM   #14
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

Here in Ireland it is mandatory, but after a recent data breach it was revealed that 2000 registrations were exposed I presume that represents the total of owners that registered here, however I have read someplace that up to 4000 drones could be owned here thats only 50% take up, with I no way of identifying these.

Id agree that a broadcast ID would be useful, but again people will disable them and or not register and remain outside the whole regulatory area.
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Old April 17th, 2016, 08:11 PM   #15
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Re: Drone Hits British Airways Plane at London Heathrow

I think the issue of Drones vs Aircraft is in most case way overblown. Most people have zero clue about modern aircraft and modern jet engines and their ability to withstand debris or bird strikes

read this Do Consumer Drones Endanger the National Airspace? Evidence from Wildlife Strike Data | Mercatus
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