The problem of flying drones, which can lead to an airplane crash, is getting narrower nowadays.
From 2014 to 2017, the number of such flying devices increased almost threefold. Although from the ground this problem may seem inconspicuous or insignificant, experts argue that the consequences can be the most serious.
Former pilot of the Royal Canadian Air Force and instructor of the US Air Force David Cooke shared his vision of the problem. He said that the drones represent a serious hidden danger because they can prevent the flight of the aircraft, confuse the pilot and one day it will lead to a catastrophe with a fatal outcome. All this is due to the irresponsible use of drones by amateurs, in his opinion.
In 2014, only 38 drones, which flew too close to the aircraft or to the territory of the airport, were recorded. In 2017 this number was already 135 drones. In the first half of this year, 48 such cases were recorded.
President of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association Bernard Gervais is also seriously concerned about the situation. He represents the interests of more than 16,000 people who fly on their own planes and confirmed that some of the participants in his association already had unpleasant incidents connected with drones.
In his opinion, if a drone falls into a rotating propeller of an aircraft engine, this will cause the aircraft to fall. He compared the drones with the big bird, which has metal parts instead of feathers.
Cooke, however, believes that the probability of a collision between a drone and an airplane is quite small, despite the fact that such a case was already in Quebec. The main danger he sees is that pilots are forced to react sharply to the emergence of a drone in front of the plane, and their maneuver can damage the aircraft and its passengers. It also causes the danger of a collision between two aircraft.
Most cases of illegal violations of airspace by drones are recorded in the air traffic of major cities in Canada. According to the law, such flying devices should not approach the places where aircraft lands or takes off at a distance closer than 5.6 km.
According to Cooke, the people who run these drones do not even think that they are breaking the law. They just want to shoot the video on the drone’s camera about how the plane flies. Such videos are gaining huge popularity in social networks or on YouTube. This is really bad, because everyone who sees such a movie, thinks that he can do the same.
Transport Canada fines people or issues verbal warnings for violations of the law on airspace. Although the fine can reach 3000 dollars, it stops very few people because it is very difficult to catch the person who manages the drone. Since 2015, only 60 such fines have been written out.
Gervais sees a solution to the problem in increasing the responsibility for violating airspace and introducing a licensing system for drones’ pilots.