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Stop the drone panic!

For an industry that’s usually obsessed with “risk management,” aviation sure isn’t using much of it when it comes to drones. The constant drumbeat of stories about close encounters between airplanes and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) can be described as nothing short of a panic, with pilots and non-pilots alike convinced that a drone disaster is looming. Flying Magazine has chronicled the drones disrupting wildfire aircraft operations in California and AOPA has written about about “chillingly… ( More...

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Peter Douglas 1
This has to all be put in perspective. Hobby drones are generally made of plastic, and even though they may be bigger than most birds, their weight/mass is similar, or smaller. So hitting one generally would mean that the aeroplane will still fly, even if the drone or bird is ingested into the engine.

The chance of hitting one is also a lot less than hitting a bird. There are millions of birds, but very few drones.

And there is absolutely NO RISK when a drone passes within hundreds of feet of an aircraft. Just stay awake and aware that something may actually be in your way, and avoid that one, instead of the ones that were never a threat!

An analogy to all this is cars on the roads - you drive down a 2-way highway at closing speeds that will do a LOT of damage, and probable loss of life, if a collision occurs, but the oncoming car goes past VERY close by, and usually you think such passing distances are OK.
preacher1 1
Well, it is good that there is an awareness. I will grant the miss category. That said, one of these days an accident will happen, but take the Miracle On The Hudson to see about bird damage. It's a crapshoot. Flying is about as safe as can be but there is risk in all that we do.


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