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 …

  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 Silver badge

        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.

          1. mallettron

            Re: Risk?

            Now where have i heard that before

        2. Triggerfish

          Re: Risk?

          Great now we''ve got to go of and fire bloody great coconuts into turbines as well.

  7. Timmay

    Sigh

    This is why we can't have nice things.

    1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Sigh

      Well, it's why PIGEONS can't have nice things, at any rate.

      // carjacking pigeons will never be a "thing"

  8. Daniel Hall

    Well, the article was getting chrome to download a malware file as soon as the page loaded.

    It has now stopped.

    1. waldo kitty
      Facepalm

      Well, the article was getting chrome to download a malware file as soon as the page loaded.

      It has now stopped.

      not "the article"... an ad(vertisement) on the page was doing that... that ad comes from a 3rd party site... it is the advertising service's fault, not El'Reg's fault... it is up to that 3rd party ad service to properly vet the ads they serve...

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Conspiracy theory

    I don't believe in conspiracy theories but I do wonder if this really happened and in fact the news report is part of a carefully managed project/scheme to ban the proles from having drones as they could be used against the uk mafia (AKA the "establishment") and allow normal people to have power to overthrow corrupt governments (pick any)

    Better go and hide under the bed again as I think they are coming to get me....

    [Not really paranoid]

    1. Credas Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theory

      I don't believe in conspiracy theories but [...conspiracy theory...]

      I really hope that you're wrong and that you are paranoid, because otherwise the diagnosis will likely be something much more serious.

    2. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Conspiracy theory

      That's me, leading the charge for the illuminati establishment, one spurious Cornish drone report at a time.

      1. Toltec

        Re: Conspiracy theory

        Speaking of conspiracy theories, what I want to know is why the line -

        "The cops will be tasking their specialist drone unit to investigate."

        made the theme from Airwolf start playing in my head?

      2. Mr_Pitiful
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Conspiracy theory

        Why have there been 'NO' actual incidents of drones hitting a plane.... as far as I know. I fly my drone in the Cornish countryside, close to St Mawgan & RNAS Culdrose, I haven't been out this week, so it wasn't me!

        I always keep outside the perimeter fences and keep a close eye for any ground movements (take offs etc). I also keep an eye on flight radar on my laptop for incoming flight traffic. RNAS Culdrose is in such a flat area that you can see anything incoming for miles. Flight Radar doesn't cover much military air traffic.

        I've even been asked to film parts of St Mawgan by their security personnel, to check outlying buildings. when there is not much happening, and they are happy to receive the video footage on email.

        Drone-ish icon as I can't fly helicopters, I just lose them!

    3. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: Conspiracy theory

      There is much hysteria about these quadcopters, that the media likes to call drones.

      The press were very disappointed when the last terrible, reckless, dangerous, potentially catastrophic drone encounter turned out to be a phantom.

      I'll interpret this one from media language to reality:

      "Idiot flies drone alongside jet"

      is in fact

      "Turboprop plane crew passed what they believe to be an RC quadcopter whilst on their final approach.".

      ATR-72, approaches at 120-140 knots (airspeed).

      DJI Phantom 3 can manage about 35mph.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: Conspiracy theory

        Caution: wake turbulence

        // no inverted drone icon...

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Conspiracy theory

        "There is much hysteria about these quadcopters, that the media likes to call drones."

        When is a helicopter not a helicopter? Apparently, when it has more than two lifting rotors.

        Normally, when we mentally picture a helicopter, it has a one lifting rotor and one tail rotor. But we don't call flying machine with two rotors bicopters. So why do we need numerical names relating to the number of lifting rotors for 4, 6 and 8 spinney whirly things? Surely they are all just remote/radio controlled helicopters?

        Has anyone trademarked pentacopter yet?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Conspiracy theory

          The difference is in the props.

          A helicopter has variable-pitch blades on the rotors, while a multicopter has fixed-pitch blades.

          This means that tri/quad/hexa/etc/copters are much simpler to build and repair as there are far fewer moving parts.

          - A quadcopter has exactly four moving parts and eight bearings/bushings.

          That said, this almost certainly was not a drone anyway. It will have been a balloon or a plastic bag. Model aircraft do not fly fast, and are relatively rare. Balloons and plastic bags do not fly fast, and are very common.

          In both cases you'd get to see it for a second or less, only enough time for a "flash of colour".

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: Conspiracy theory

          So what about an Osprey, is it a helicopter or not?

      3. mallettron

        Re: Conspiracy theory

        In sport mode the p4 can hit 50mph and it would be very difficult, if not impossible to position a drone next to a flightpath so it would be directly next to a plane as it went past

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To all commercial pilots everywhere...

    Get back on the bottle, you seem to be less hysterical when you're Mullered.

    1. BMWMcW

      Re: To all commercial pilots everywhere...

      Just like any self respecting Canadian whilst overnighting in bonny Schotland...

  11. Marvin O'Gravel Balloon Face

    Police have found no trace...

    Give it a day or two, then check youtube.

  12. A. Coatsworth
    IT Angle

    Malware alert?

    are this page -and this site- safe?

    Thanks to the [insert expletive here] logic of TI where I work, I can only use Internet Exploder to browse the net, so I am in a constant state of panic.

    Should I run away from El Reg forever?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I guess that

    it will take n actual strike before something is done about the idiots who like to fly and show off their so called prowess at flying a drone.

    This along with the numbskulls who shine lasers at aircraft need to be taught a lesson. One of these days a plane will crash and people will probably die as a result.Never mind the perps got their kicks and Faecbook bragging rights so the human cost does not matter now does it eh?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I guess that

      Nothing should be done about imaginary dangers WHICH DON'T ACTUALLY EXIST.

      No drone has caused any accident with a plane, no drone has hit a plane, no drone would cause damage if it did hit a plane.

  14. Daniel Hall

    Ive spoken to Gaz and passed some info back as well as my contact details.

    I appreciate there are contact us options but I am staging 5 new PC's in a bit of a hurry so was flapping slightly.

  15. Gordon Pryra

    The cops will be tasking their specialist drone unit to investigate.

    The cops will be tasking their specialist drone unit to investigate.

    Which, if as well funded as their Cybercrimes division, will be Dave from IT who likes mucking about with remote control boats on a Sunday afternoon and they are pretty similar to drones

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The cops will be tasking their specialist drone unit to investigate.

      "Which, if as well funded as their Cybercrimes division, will be Dave from IT who likes mucking about with remote control boats on a Sunday afternoon and they are pretty similar to drones"

      Oh god, yes! When I first got into field PC repairs, at least half, maybe more, of the "IT" people I met in SMEs were the one and only person in the company who had a Sinclair Spectrum at home so "know about computers".

  16. JaitcH
    Meh

    Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

    The ATR 72 is one of a family of twin turboprop passenger/freighter aircraft manufactured by Avions de Transport Regional (ATR). ATR, of Toulouse, a joint venture between EADS and Finmeccanica / Alenia Aeronautica (Italy).There are around 1000 flying.

    They are popular in 'developing' such as Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and VietNam because they are tough and easily maintained, VietNam Airlines does maintenance for itself as well as Cambodia and Laos. Laos is notorious for increasing seating capacity by adding plastic chairs in the aisles, along with caged pigs, etc.

    I have seen one of these ATR72s land, and overrun the runway, and end up mowing the bush at the end of a runway. A simple wipe down of the propellers, along with a touchy-feely gloved hand and the machine was ready to continue.

    So for some pilots to complain is stupid as these aeronautical bush whackers would make short shrift of a drone. I suspect, given the speed of the ART72, the size of a drone, and the inability of pilots to focus on distant objects.

    Besides, it was THE ATR72 that flew ALONGSIDE the DRONE - the ATR72 being the faster winged object. If this was a road, a faster vehicle approaching from the rear would have to accommodate the slower vehicle by driving to one side and passing.

    The fastest quad-drone is around 70-80 K(ilometres)PH and the ATR72 can easily top 300 Knots.

    In the States you can fly a weather balloon, with a 12 lbs (5.4 kg) total payload without a permit - and how many of these balloons (popular with students) are reported by aircraft?

    As I said, unnecessary scaremongering. Just civil servants trying to make work for themselves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

      Your assessment is a tad blinkered, and, dare I say, one sided?

      Yes, the props would do that drone a world of good but let's start with the physical element. Unless you're willing to assert that the propellors are actually made for cutting down bush you should not have a problem with the assertion that a drone is not a load they are *designed* for - so we're already moving from normal flight to operating with parameters outside design.

      Key to this is timing, and that is why drones are so exceptionally problematic. Landing is one of the more critical phases for a plane. As you're in descent, you're set to a number of fixed parameters and thing you need to pay attention to to eventually end safely on the ground - and that EXACT moment Joe Sixpack decides to show off his toy and (a) potentially change your mechanical parameters but also (b) distracts you at the one precise point of your journey that you could really, really do without.

      So, talking about drones around airfield being a bad thing is correct, and personally I'd hope that someone will eventually catch some percussive education when they endanger a plane containing someone's loved one. Because they're worth it.

      BTW, I also don't care what *else* is out there - it not only fails to justify drones, it should serve as a heads up that you're aggravating an already established problem.

      1. DougS Silver badge
        Mushroom

        You're an utter moron

        MAYBE it is true that the props would simply chew up the drone without damage. But where exactly is it guaranteed that if the plane strikes a drone it will hit on the props? What if it hits the cockpit windscreen, or strikes the flaps during descent?

        You must be one of the idiots who flies drones around airports, thinking the worst that could happen is you lose your drone. I hope you get caught and put in prison for a few years for endangering the lives of all the passengers on that flight. Maybe the publicity from you getting what you deserve would stop other morons with your attitude from doing the same.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

        So what you're saying is, because it will definelty hit the small area of props, on a very specific type of aircraft, It's perfectly safe to fly drones at all airports.

        Ummm......

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

          It IS perfectly safe to fly drones at airports. A statement backed up by the fact that they DO fly drones at most airports! Airports quite happily use these to inspect aircraft/runways/fences, for security or even to film promotional videos during normal plane operations. The rule that a vehicle under 7Kg doesn't need permission from ATC precisely because your typical 0.5kg drone is too small to pose any danger whatsoever.

          Not only that, it is physically impossible for this pilot to have identified a drone at the speeds involved so the whole thing is baseless.

          People need to stop getting worked up about a problem that is not real. And authorities should know better than to needlessly scaremonger.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

            It IS perfectly safe to fly drones at airports. A statement backed up by the fact that they DO fly drones at most airports! Airports quite happily use these to inspect aircraft/runways/fences, for security or even to film promotional videos during normal plane operations. The rule that a vehicle under 7Kg doesn't need permission from ATC precisely because your typical 0.5kg drone is too small to pose any danger whatsoever.

            I think the correct statement would be "It is perfectly safe to fly drones at airports when operated by professionals who know how to manage the risk and who abide by airport rules and applicable laws". You're deliberately trying to merge the work of people who know what they're doing and are properly insured and briefed with the actions of utter idiots who should not even be operating a bottle opener without supervision.

            Your argument is basically that 13 year olds are perfectly safe to drive a car on the road and motorways (as long as they can reach the controls) because so many people who have at least *some* idea of the rules and had enough judgement to get a driver's license are presently doing so well too.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

              No what I am saying is that 13 year olds are perfectly safe to throw a polystyrene aeroplane on the motorway because even if something hits it it won't do any damage.

    2. David Roberts Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Yet More Pilot Ado About Nothing - Unnecessary Scaremongering

      So because in this specific case the aircraft was more robust than average, no problem move right along?

      So if you are driving dangerously and just miss a truck this isn't a problem? Only if you just miss something more vulnerable?

  17. Arachnoid

    UFO....

    Whilst aircraft have excellent eye sight is there any viable proof that it was actually a drone in the incident it as in the past it would have been classed as a UFO?

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      Re: UFO....

      Unidentified Fool's Object? Yup.

  18. Marc 25

    Prop vs Jet

    Anything hitting a TurboProp is gonna get shredded - think "will it blend". There's surely enough RMP there to blend a primarily plastic drone into plastic snow flakes.

    Flybe manly fly Q400's (which are not jet engines) I think bird strikes are usually less severe on Turbo Props as Jet engines are more delicate?

    More damage is caused when bird/drone hits just about anything else instead. Pretty sure it could easily punch it's way through a window or even take off the tip of the tail plane at the right angle.

    I agree with the main sentiment though...what a sodding arsewipe!

    1. vir Silver badge

      Re: Prop vs Jet

      While some of the structural components would likely be reduced to harmless chaff, the LiPo batteries would also be blended, resulting in finely divided particles of reactive metal being flung about, which could be a problem.

      1. John Bailey

        Re: Prop vs Jet

        "While some of the structural components would likely be reduced to harmless chaff, the LiPo batteries would also be blended, resulting in finely divided particles of reactive metal being flung about, which could be a problem."

        In what way?

        Before you answer, go and read up on what actually happens when a lithium battery goes pop.

        Hint.. It doesn't really explode.

        Then when you actually understand the mechanism.. explain to me where the pressure will build up in finely divided lithium battery confetti.

      2. Daniel Palmer

        Re: Prop vs Jet

        >LiPo batteries would also be blended, resulting in finely divided particles

        >of reactive metal being flung about,

        LiPo batteries don't contain sheets of pure lithium metal. While there are videos of people cutting them with metal objects thus internally shorting them and causing them to burst into flames most LiPo explosions happen while actively pushing energy into them not when discharging.

        There are also videos of people crushing them in a hydraulic press and nothing happening.

        I doubt they pose a massive problem once cut into confetti sized pieces.

    2. Down not across

      Re: Prop vs Jet

      Flybe manly fly Q400's (which are not jet engines) I think bird strikes are usually less severe on Turbo Props as Jet engines are more delicate?

      I'm not so sure. Both are turbines, the biggest difference being that in turboprop thrust is mainly via the propeller driven by gearbox (and generally less than 10% of exhaust produces any thrust).

      If you suffer an impact causing failure of the prop, pieces of the prop can actually penetrate the fuselage causing all kind of grief. Depending on how many blades you lose you could also end up with very unbalanced prop. If really unlucky the PCU or its drive mechanism could get damaged and end up with similar situation to Flight 2311 (which was technical failure, but serves as an example what can happen should the pitch of the propeller get too low).

      With a turbofan the turbine blades are quite well encased in the nacelle and less likely (can still happen and has happened with catastrophic results) to actually puncture the fuselage should they break so worst case scenario is likely to be loss of thrust. I suppose theoretically damage could cause thrust reverser to deploy (yes it has many fail safes, but then so did the PW118 / 14RF-9).

      TLDR; I wouldn't want anything to hit either kind of engine.

  19. Jonathan Richards 1
    Megaphone

    OT re St Columb Major

    >...hamlet...

    Oi! It's been a chartered market town since the fourteenth century! Well, there was still a cattle market there when I was a boy, but now ... not.

  20. MrDamage

    Specialist Drone Unit

    They're the drab looking folks with monotonous voices who read out those long winded press statements, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Specialist Drone Unit

      ...delivered by special van, too. Just park the vehicle securely in the allotted space, open the loading bay ... and drone on!!!

  21. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    A case for Adam and Jamie to take on!

    1. DropBear Silver badge

      Not a good idea - if they got their hands on this even the ATC tower would end up blown up, "because Mythbusters".

  22. Alistair Silver badge

    for the 'drones can't cause problems' crowd.

    Its amazing the damage that insulating foam can do to the leading edge of a wing.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: for the 'drones can't cause problems' crowd.

      That's where the wing is accelerating like a bat out of hell pushed by solid rocket boosters and is also made of rather flimsy carbon material meant to withstand a blowtorch...

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: for the 'drones can't cause problems' crowd.

      Yes, foam can damage the leading edges of wings ... when the leading edge is travelling at about Mach 2.5, and is made of extremely specialised material designed to cope with heat, not impact.

  23. David Lawrence

    Alter headline and article content please

    First 3 words of current title will suffice. No need for rest of article.

    Thanks!

  24. tfb Silver badge
    Boffin

    Risk

    I presume it's just a matter of time before some nasty person thinks to intentionally fly a drone into the engine of some aircraft (yes, I realise this is hard to do, not least because drones aren't very fast, but that doesn't make it not possible). Indeed, since I've thought of it, I would assume that the nasty people already have, and indeed that the people whose job is to defend us from nasty people have too.

    So it seems to me that there are really three possibilities here.

    1. Actually, drones don't present any kind of serious risk to aircraft, so no-one is worrying about the problem.

    2. They do present a risk, people don't know what to do, and are just waiting for the bad thing to happen and a lot of people in the plane to get killed (best case) or the plane to fall out of the sky over (say) London (much worse case).

    3. Our defenders are not terribly smart and have not realised there's a risk.

    I think, on the whole, I believe in (1), although I am confused as to why there all this fuss each time an incident happens if that is true. My second choice would be (3).

    1. ShadowDragon8685
      Stop

      Re: Risk

      Because people are panicy and stupid about things they don't understand.

      Look, guys, let's face it: a dronestrike isn't gonna be any worse than a birdstrike, unless the drone was intentionally weaponized with like, C4 or something. That, or if the drone in question is a General Atomics product, but that would more correctly fall under the category of "midair collision between aircraft," the distinction being only that one of them was not manned.

      Yes, a birdstrike is bad. A bad birdstrike can take down an aircraft. And a bad dronestrike could take down an aircraft, too.

      But here's the thing: there's epic craptons of birds on the planet Earth. We have neither chosen to cease manned heavier-than-air flight, nor have we chosen to exterminate all birds, either.

      We just take reasonable measures to prevent it (discouraging birds from congregating in flight paths, as opposed to unreasonable measures, such as launching massive avian extermination campaigns,) reinforce our planes as much as is practical and economical to do so, and deal with it when it happens.

      So just do like the poster says: keep calm, and carry on. Everything is going to be fine.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Was that a?

    Was that a bird, was it a plane, weather balloon, a drone or Superman!

    Or maybe it was a hint by the sky-fary to go to Specsavers

    Now some say drones are a hazard and some say they are not - why take the chance just fly well away from fast moving tubes carrying people

    Ok I'll go away now, carry on with the confusion

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