In case you missed the news story last week, someone apparently flew a drone over the top of a Frontier Airlines Airbus that was on final approach to Las Vegas McCarren International Airport.
As you’ve heard us say here many times, flying drones near an airport is problem enough, but flying one in close proximity to an airplane is simply foolish and dangerous. While the culprit hasn’t yet been caught, the feds are close on their heels.
What this incident does highlight though, is that the chances of a collision between a drone and an airplane are rising, if for no other reason, that the number of drones registered to date with the FAA recently soared above the 1,000,000 mark. This number only includes people who bothered to register their drones, something that was not always required.
So if you own a drone, or you’re even thinking about buying and using one, please think about our airport before you fly. If you’re simply using your drone for fun, you probably don’t need a license. But that doesn’t mean you can fly it anywhere you choose.
A drone is a flying vehicle, certainly smaller than most airplanes, but a flying machine none the less. That means the pilot needs to use a little common sense and realize there are other people nearby who might be injured if a pilot operates their drone recklessly. If they do and they’re caught be the FAA, the penalties could be severe, especially if we need to send our eagle Ed out after a drone.
But more than simply worrying about avoiding penalties, let’s avoid flying a drone over groups of people, or at night or anywhere near an airport. Take a look at this short safety video we created for a quick look at the issues any drone pilot should be thinking about and why.
Have a question about how or where to operate your drone? Join the dozens of other pilot who called before they flew just to be sure they wouldn’t get in anyone’s way. Our drone and airport noise hotline is 847-537-2580, X117. Send your drone operational questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll do our best to answer as quickly as possible.
Thanks and fly safely.