Drone pilots keep nearly crashing into real pilots

Consumer drones have been near to bringing down planes filled with passengers

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The Independent Tech

Pilots of consumer are flying dangerously close to passenger aeroplanes, according to new information, and have been within feet or seconds of bringing down planes in New York and Washington.

Since June 1, airlines, pilots and air-traffic controllers told the FAA that drones have been within a few seconds or a few feet of crashing into aircraft, the Washington Post reported. The near-misses mostly happened as planes took off and landed from some of the US’s biggest airports, including those in New York, Washington and a US Air Force base in Oklahoma.

Although most of the drones are very small, experts say that if one hit another plane’s propeller or was sucked into a jet engine, it could very easily trigger an accident, said experts.

The FAA is under increasing pressure to allow remote controlled aircraft and drones to fly, but the regulator is considering requiring those that fly them to get licenses, to avoid such problems.

At the moment, drones can be flown in the US under 400 feet, five miles or more from airports.

In the UK, the first person was convicted for dangerously flying a drone in April.

Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority doesn’t require permission or licenses for small drones, as long as their pilots can see them. It advises drone pilots to “stay well clear of airports and airfields”, and it is illegal to fly unmanned aircraft over congested areas such as towns and cities..

Personal drones are becoming increasingly cheap for consumers, leading to a huge increase in the number of unmanned aircraft flying around Britain’s skies.