Fighter jets scrambled after drone spotted near Ottawa airport

NORAD dispatched two CF-18 fighter jets to the skies over Ottawa after a drone was spotted flying near the airport of the nation's capital last month.

The CF-18s were scrambled from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Quebec at about 5:45 p.m. ET on May 25, after commercial airline operators raised concerns about a "suspicious" unmanned aerial vehicle seen near the Ottawa airport, according to a Department of National Defence spokesperson.

The drone was spotted by the pilots of WestJet Flight 366, from Toronto to Ottawa, as well as Air Canada Flight 458, also from Toronto to Ottawa.

The WestJet pilots flew past the drone as the Boeing 737 plane was descending into the Ottawa airport at about 4:45 p.m. ET.

The pilot's call to the airport's air traffic controllers was recorded by the website, which monitors air traffic control communications across the globe.

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What a lot of hog wash.  Regardless of acuity of eye sight, there is no way that anyone can not see an object 2000 feet below you and 1.8 km away unless it is as big as a house.  I don't know of many flying houses.  I am personally fed up with these sort of bogus reports.  If there was actually something seen, it was more likely to have been a full sized helicopter, certainly not a drone.

I talked once with both civilian and military pilots and they both told me they can spot birds, drones, ... from long distance even when they flow fast. It's just part of their job and with time they can see stuff the normal guy don't.

Now, Monday the new rules are coming, brace for the impact. A lot of unhappy guys in perspective because of a bunch of morons who just think they can do whatever they want.

Simple math makes the distance to the observed object 1.9 km.  (2000 feet below and 1.8 km out) at a height of 6700 feet.  Scanning the forums for best opinions on the practical meaning of "Visual Line of Sight" yields consensus on an average of about 200 meters before a DJI Phantom 3 becomes a speck with insufficient definition to even identify it as a drone.  I'd bet dollars to donuts that this is another example of a false report like the one at Heathrow Airport a couple of months ago that got world wide coverage, then proved to be false and was retracted.

With regards to the jets, given that we are not at war, at least here in Canada, air force pilots anxiously look for opportunities to conduct flight operations.  This, I think, was one of those opportunities.

If however it was a drone, it would have to be awfully big to be seen from almost 2 km away.  It would certainly not be a drone in the size class of a DJI Phantom 3/4 or its equivalent.

Having attended several club events, I personally think that racing drones are far more dangerous, and yet Transport Canada has simply ignored them.



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