back to article Idiot flies drone alongside Flybe jet landing at Newquay Airport

A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk. The flight – BE804, which arrives at Newquay from London Gatwick airport and shares codes with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways – was at 900 feet and about two …

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  1. Daniel Hall

    MALWARE ALERT!

    Reg! Youve got Malware coming from this page!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Facepalm

      Re: MALWARE ALERT!

      That's embarrasing...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: MALWARE ALERT!

        Explain more...

        1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: MALWARE ALERT!

          your_mortgage_payments.rar is downloaded upon opening this article!

          This is much more interesting than a write-up of some tedious press release promoting the Police's agenda that drones are going cause the end of civilisation unless they are all banned instantly.

          What happened to the last story along these lines? Oh yes, I remember now, "A passenger plane thought to have been struck as it approached Heathrow airport was probably not hit by a drone after all, the government says."

          Zero day drive-past download bug? What browsers are affected?

          1. theModge

            Re: MALWARE ALERT!

            your_mortgage_payments.rar is downloaded upon opening this article!

            Not with adblock it isn't.

            Can I now feel slightly less guilty about adblocking a site I like?

            1. VinceH Silver badge

              Re: MALWARE ALERT!

              "Not with adblock it isn't."

              Nor NoScript.

              "Can I now feel slightly less guilty about adblocking a site I like?"

              Yes. For me NoScript was always more about security than ad-blocking, anyway - ad blocking is a nice side effect - so I feel less guilty to start with.

  2. Daniel Hall

    your_mortgage_payments.rar is downloaded upon opening this article!

    Sorry dont have your number to warn you!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The corrections@theregister.co.uk is checked more regularly than the forums...

      Also the "Contact us" link at the bottom of every page is a good starting place when looking to contact someone.

      1. Captain DaFt

        Neither link is on the mobile page.

        At the bottom of the mobile page:

        Explore The Register

        Forums

        Send us news tips

        Video

        Advertise with us

        The Channel

        Company info

        Privacy

        So which one should I select? "Send us news tips" might be the one, but pretty sure the "Advertise with us" link would be answered faster.

        1. waldo kitty
          Boffin

          Neither link is on the mobile page.

          maybe you're looking too far down? on the normal browser page, the "Tips and corrections" button link is to the left of the "comments" button link... if you can find the "comments" button to get in here and comment then you should be able to find the other one, too...

          plus, if someone is using a mobile and a dedicated app (one of the silliest ideas ever) instead of a standard web browser, how can they protect themselves from drive-bys? AFAIK no-script and adblockpro only work with real browsers... not dedicated app things...

          FWIW: i still use a real computer for all my computer stuffs ;) ;) ;)

          1. Hyphen

            I'm reading El Reg on Firefox Android with uBlock Origin running quite nicely, TYVM.

            Sadly NoScript doesn't appear available for it yet.

  3. Paul Smith

    ...when the drone flew alongside it.

    Cool, a drone that can fly at 140knots (160+ miles an hour)! Where can I get one of them?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: ...when the drone flew alongside it.

      1) Put a jet engine into it

      2) Dress up as flying Pokemon

      3) ???

      4) GO!

    2. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: ...when the drone flew alongside it.

      Cool, a drone that can fly at 140knots (160+ miles an hour)! Where can I get one of them?

      General Atomics might be a good place to try. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Atomics_Avenger for their latest offering. You might have to save up your Saturday pennies for some time though cos they don't come cheap; at the same time the bank rate has dropped so you could always borrow a bit.

      On a serious note keeping pace with the aircraft does sound a bit suspect, and controlling it from the ground at the quoted height might prove a bit challenging.

      Perhaps it really was a proper drone...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Alien

        Re: ...when the drone flew alongside it.

        "Perhaps it really was a proper drone..."

        Apparently, commercial pilots are a bit averse to reporting UFOs. One wonders if some have leaped at the opportunity to report "drones" as being more plausible and less likely to cause career "problems".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...when the drone flew alongside it.

      I agree 140mph+ isnt a hobby drone, perhaps another plastic bag incident?

    4. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: ...when the drone flew alongside it.

      *Pedantry alert*

      Technically the ATR-72 flies at 100 to 120 knots on approach. With a lighter load probably closer to 100. Still rather bloody fast for a drone though.

      */pedantry*

  4. Chris G Silver badge

    Ban Them!

    Clearly the Brit!ish public can't be trusted to operate drones responsibly or safely, so ban them all!

    Afterall it worked perfectly with handguns didn't it?

    By the way had no problem with malware here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ban Them!

      By the way had no problem with malware here.

      Me neither. *shakes fist at pesky adblocker*

      1. Ben Tasker Silver badge

        Re: Ban Them!

        > Me neither. *shakes fist at pesky adblocker*

        Same here. Was only yesterday I was debating whether to whitelist the Reg so they could earn some income from my views. Guess that settles it.

        1. Ian Emery Silver badge

          Re: Ban Them!

          White listing El reg is probably fine as the ads come from 3rd party websites; just use NoScript to turn off unwanted active scripts and you will be fine.

          1. Known Hero

            Re: Ban Them!

            Is probably fine turns out it isn't though as they don't care what sort of ads go on their site and if something like this happens. "NOT OUR FAULT" but mind you they have been suspiciously quiet about this.

            When ya going to BITE your own hand El' Reg -

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Ban Them!

      It did work quite well with handguns, yes, if the aim was to reduce the associated death rate. Obviously it did not completely remove the problem of people shooting each other, but you only need to compare statistics with countries which restrict firearm ownership much less aggressively to notice quite a significant difference.

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Ban Them!

      I don't get the problem. Surely we could scramble a Typhoon or two from the RAF base and hunt down the ISIS-loving, terrorist sonofabitch who deliberately tried to take down one of our airliners by flying a small drone into it.

      What would The Donald have done, eh?

  5. Dabooka Silver badge

    No malware here either.

    I never win anything....

  6. tony72

    Risk?

    A drone was involved in a near-miss with a Flybe passenger flight on approach to Newquay Airport on Tuesday, putting the aircraft's 62 passengers and crew at risk.

    I believe it's been established that drones do not really pose much of a threat to aircraft. Given that, do we really need to give the idiots a headline every time? It probably just encourages people to pull stunts like this.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk?

      If anything "has been established", it's that the article/research you link to is pretty useless!

      All the researcher appears to have done is to calculate the random chance that a bird flies into an engine and extrapolate to drones. No account is made of the fact that the drones are almost certainly being deliberately flown close to the aircraft, as opposed to a bird just randomly being in the vicinity.

      Moreover, as the article confesses, no account was taken of the difference in composition between a bird and a drone which is, let's face it, pretty significant.

      So no, it's not been established that there's not much of a threat.

      Lastly, I don't believe anyone flies a drone close to an aircraft in order to gain column inches in the media. If someone is idiot enough to do that, then personally I'd hope that at least some proportion of them would come to their senses when they read in the media just how stupid they are.

      1. tony72

        Re: Risk?

        If anything "has been established", it's that the article/research you link to is pretty useless!

        It is limited, but there seems to be a distinct lack of any research or data contradicting the conclusions.

        No account is made of the fact that the drones are almost certainly being deliberately flown close to the aircraft, as opposed to a bird just randomly being in the vicinity.

        True, but by the same token, the drones pilots probably want to actively avoid the aircraft, whereas those birds probably have no clue what's coming at them.

        Moreover, as the article confesses, no account was taken of the difference in composition between a bird and a drone which is, let's face it, pretty significant.

        True again, they are making an assumption. There is however some discussion on that subject in this article, where Ian Horsfall, head of Cranfield University’s Impact and Armour Group states that "The controlling factor is how big a drone it is,” he said. “If it’s a small drone then it’s unlikely to be any worse than the equivalent size bird." So the assumption doesn't seem to be entirely unreasonable.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Risk?

      lets do a little comparison shall we:

      birds = bone, meat and feathers

      drones = steel, plastic and potentially explosive lithium ion batteries.

      Which do you think you want being ingested into your engine during take-off or landing - the two points in a flight where you do not want a sudden loss of power!

      muppet...

      1. graeme leggett

        Re: Risk?

        there's also the issue of the pilots being distracted at a crucial moment.

        Or have you never flinched when a stone is thrown up on the highway and bounces off your car windscreen?

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: Risk?

          Or have you never flinched when a stone is thrown up on the highway and bounces off your car windscreen

          I once a hit a pigeon (bumper or thereabouts not windscreen) shortly after joining the M5 from the M42. That made me flinch. It also made me laugh a bit as I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a small cloud of feathers.

          I suppose the laughing makes me a bad person. Sorry.

          1. AdamT

            Re: Risk?

            Bizarrely, I've done exactly the same in almost the same place. My pigeon swooped out the trees from the side and hit right in front of my face on the windscreen - it was loud and I totally flinched! But was quite proud of myself that I didn't swerve or do anything disastrous. The cloud of feathers was impressive ...

          2. BMWMcW

            Re: Risk?

            Try hitting a pheasant, there are a LOT of feathers..

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
              Black Helicopters

              Re: Risk?

              Bloody painful, too, if it (a) gets you in the chest and (b) you happen to be flying a paraglider at the time.

              Been there, done that, got the bruises. But I'd rather meet a pheasant than a drone.

      2. Lyndon Hills 1

        Re: Risk?

        If it looks like a duck, and it, oh wait....

    3. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Risk?

      As stated above, it hasn't been established in any sense of the word that drones 'do not really pose much of a threat'. For one thing unlike birds there is no requirement to test the ability of aircraft structures to withstand hitting one at 120+ knots, in fact the last time I looked* no one has got round to even doing serious trials to find out what the damage might be.

      *About six months ago, there was some extrapolation based on a trial involving something like ball bearings and wing leading edges but nothing you'd bank on.

      1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Risk?

        For one thing unlike birds there is no requirement to test the ability of aircraft structures to withstand hitting one at 120+ knots, in fact the last time I looked* no one has got round to even doing serious trials to find out what the damage might be.

        I am just amazed that people can apparently see and correctly identify something as small as a drone when they are travelling towards it at 120+ knots. They probably aren't visible more than a couple of hundred yards away, so at that speed there is at most about three seconds to notice it in the sky (and it is a very small object in a very big sky), carefully examine it and conclude that it is a drone and not a greater spotted grebe or whatever.

        1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Passport to Magonia? First, you have to pass the TSA!

          Maybe "apparent drone" is the Foo Fighter of the two-oh-tenners?

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Risk?

          That wasn't a study that was a guess. I would at least expect a study on the risks to do similar tests to birdstrike tests.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Risk?

          "there is at most about three seconds to notice it in the sky (and it is a very small object in a very big sky), carefully examine it and conclude that it is a drone and not a greater spotted grebe"

          Or a plastic bag, which is what the last "drone sighting" over heathrow was most likely to be (yes, they can end up wafting about at 1000 feet if caught in an updraft)

          As has been pointed out in various places, the decline in reported bird-misses in the UK has been matched by the increase in reported drone near misses.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Risk?

          @ Smooth Newt

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLJ_iKWi2T0

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk?

        Actually they do tests of jet engines withstanding throwing 23kg of metal into them. A 0.5kg drone poses no threat to a plane whatsoever. Not to mention drones can't travel at these speeds and wouldn't be clearly visible. Pilots have been reporting UFOs for years, now they call any half seen blur a drone even when its a carrier bag. This is just scaremongering and it is this feeding paranoia that is reckless.

        1. sniperpaddy

          Re: Risk?

          There are a lot of people on this thread who do not have a clue what they're talking about.

          .

          I have seen a single 6 mm nut take out a gas turbine engine.

          .

          All it takes is one blade impact and you get a cascade back through the remaining 6 to 20 compressor & turbine disks each willing to contribute further broken blades.To make things worse, modern ceramic blades are more brittle than stainless or inconel blades.

          .

          I, for one, certainly do not want to play russian roulette with sudden power drops.

          1. Triggerfish

            Re: Risk?

            Yes my understanding of turbine blades, nice at taking certain forces like tension, rather brittle for other ones like sharp impacts. Admittedly been a few years since did anythng on them. Which is why I have some doubts about them resisting the harder parts of drones, compared with say the hollow bones of a bird.

            1. Triggerfish

              Re: Risk?

              Both birdstrikes

              Manchester airport

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L1jZvlFmqQU

              Actual test

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgspIiTFWIk

              As much as you can try and work to negate them, Murphy is always there to add some random factor that buggers up all engineering.

    4. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Re: Risk?

      A drone may not be a physical threat to the aircraft, but it is a huge, potentially fatal, distraction to th crew right at the moment when they are working hardest to ensure the safety of themselves and their passengers.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Risk?

      The study in your link considers probabilities of impact. If we make the assumption that the study is the definitive work on the subject, (unlikely in my opinion) that's only half the information needed to properly assess the risk; because a proper assessment of the threat needs to include the effects of a drone strike on an aircraft as well as the probability.

      No studies (to my knowledge) have been completed which assess the damage caused by consumer grade drones impacting aircraft by actually performing lab tests. (bird != drone of equal mass) Until that's done, the jury's out.

    6. Lars Silver badge
      Go

      Re: Risk?

      They are also getting bigger and who knows what they could carry with them, so lets just get rid of that stupidity now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Risk?

        They are also getting bigger and who knows what they could carry with them, so lets just get rid of that stupidity now.

        Well, European drones are rather smallish. African drones, however,....

        1. Roj Blake Silver badge

          Re: Risk?

          Depends a lot on the airspeed velocity and whether or not they're laden.

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