Reply to post: How many drones does it take ...?

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

Milton Silver badge

How many drones does it take ...?

One the one hand a DCS says that because the police have only eye-witness accounts (nothing photographic) it is conceivable there were no drones at all. Whereas I hear DoT claim there is at least one bit of video footage. A dead drone is found near the airport, but dead drones lost in out-of-the-way spots are common now anyway. We were told these were "large commercial-type" drones early on, later to hear that actually no one really had a clue what kind they might be. It's all very uncertain, isn't it? In fact, it began to smell like a dodgy kipper at least four days ago.

It occurs to me that one drone seen by 40 different people can easily become many drones. That near a very busy airport with big jets (even A380s fly from LGW) the "multiple sightings near a runway" (very hard to judge range, so "near" could mean "hovering over the threshold" or "500 yards beyond") causes justifiable concern, followed by the old abundance-of-caution reaction. That the possibility of a twinjet at MTOW losing an engine to FOD on climbout turns "abundance" into "excessive" for perfectly understandable reasons. That pretty soon, in crappy winter weather and short days, everything from a seagull to a floater in your eyeball becomes a drone. That confirmation bias kicks in, plus folks excitedly telling each other that they just saw another one ... a single sighting turns into a fleet of X-Wings en route to the Death Star.

Pretty soon an early Xmas present unwisely but innocently used once by a clueless teenager becomes a national disaster.

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