A careless drone operator is being looked for by law enforcement. This is after he almost flew his drone into a Flybe aircraft near Cornwall Airport Newquay. This happened as the Flybe pilot was approaching the airport and was about 2-miles out at an altitude of 975-feet. The flight was an ATR-72 carrying 62-passengers.
Police both from the Cornwall and Devon areas are searching for the drone operator who has since disappeared. Any information from the public leading to the capture and arrest of the operator will be highly appreciated. It is particularly concerning as drone operators should not operate within close proximity of airports or busy aircraft routes. The operator showed complete disregard of air rules and air safety.
Drones or Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) have special safety guidelines that operators must adhere to. One should: Fly at or below 400 feet, keep your UAS within sight, never fly near other aircraft, especially near airports, never fly over groups of people, never fly over stadiums or sports events, never fly near emergency response efforts such as fires, never fly under the influence, be aware of airspace requirements. A new small UAS rule will be introduced by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on August 29th 2016. This is to help control and add to UAS air safety.
There have been several close misses in the recent past between drones and passenger aircraft. A drone almost flew into a Boeing 757 near Manchester Airport a few months ago. A Boeing 737 airliner was almost involved in a collision with a UAS at 3,000 feet in Essex near Stansted Airport. Air operators and pilots have called for tighter regulations controlling drones near airports.