• Plane came within 80ft of colliding with drone as it went to land at Southend
  • Pilot of 74-seater airliner said quadcopter was 'very close' to right wing-tip
  • Co-pilot told investigation drone was deliberately flown at aircraft at 1,500ft
  • UK Airprox Board incident report concluded there was 'high risk of collision'

Source, Daily Mail

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  • I think there is little chance that this actually was a quadcopter.  The plane travelling ~200mph and he can see a hovering ~0mph quadcopter?  I don't think so, it would be too small to see.  Reading the transcript the pilot was even prompted that that was what it could be rather than saying it himself.

  • Notice that in the actual report the incident was given an official Degree of Risk of "D". Poking around the airproxboard site turns up their definition of a D Degree of Risk:

    "Risk not determined: aircraft proximity in which insufficient information was available to determine the risk involved, or inconclusive or conflicting evidence precluded such determination."

    But again, that's not a very good headline.

  • I call it a pant load of C. First they say 'An investigation launched into the incident recorded the risk of collision as 'high', Then it changes to "there was too little information available to make a meaningful analysis of the occurrence or to accurately assess the risk."  Which is it? Sounds more like a Jihad Duck.

  • The fact that it wasn't a Phantom is news in itself. 

  • Rather than reading the account in the Daily Mail (Sweet Jeeezus!), the actual report is much more informative and may be found here.

    While the headline screams "deliberately flown at passenger airliner", the actual report uses different language. It states, "The co-pilot formed the impression that the quadcopter had been flown deliberately close to the AT72 because he had seen it around 100m away as it approached from the right-hand side and made a turn to fly in the opposite direction to his aircraft, around 25m away and at the same level."

    While flying anything that high in an obvious approach corridor is incredibly stupid, it seems implausible to me that given the closing speed of an airliner of approach there would have been sufficient time to see a quadcopter approach from the right at 100 meters, get within 25 meters and execute a U turn.

    Also "flown deliberately close to" doesn't seem nearly as attention grabbing a headline as "deliberately flown at". But hey....Daily Mail. Unfortunately that headline will get picked up by dozens of lazy reporting outfits across the globe.

    Well, being black and red, at least it wasn't a Phantom....

  • But, of course, this story really took place in reality since it's in Daily Mail, right?

    Unless some radioscanner publishes the actual recording of that transcript,

    this article is just an example of sponsored journalism.

    This is especially ridiculous:

    AT72: 'Was not sure it was you know a helicopter it looks like it's a brand new thing that are flying around now on remote control'

    ATC: 'Oh a quadcopter type thing maybe'

    AT72: 'Say again sorry'

    ATC: 'Perhaps something like a quadcopter er we've had a couple of those around here er been reported'

    I don't know though, maybe spending a considerable part of your life flying at speeds nearing mach 1 exposes you to relativistic effects and you stop keeping up with the progress down there on the Earth, since you, even being a pilot, don't know how those things with 4 props are called?

    "Hey folks, we are trying to create a Dangerous Quadcopter narrative for our gullible readers!"

    "Say again, sorry? The music in the cockpit was too loud"

    "THAT WAS A QUADCOPTER, do you copy?"

    "Sorry, I forgot the script, how many times do we have to repeat this word?"

  • Sometimes I just want to kill those idiots who will get this field banned, but that reminds me that there are too many idiots to kill, so we gotta propose some kind of tracking device for small UAVs + some kind of licensing (before FAA does). This way it would be easier for law enforcement to track and prosecute these vandals without affecting our interests too much. 

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