The Malicious Side of Drones The dispute over the dangers of quad copters

9 January 2016 | Tomas Curwen ____________________________________________________________

A British Airways Airbus A320 was struck by an unidentified drone on the nose as it landed at Heathrow Airport in London at 12:50 BST, Saturday, April 18, 2016. The plane landed surprisingly without any damage.

Usually, quadcopters are seen as a pleasurable way to relax and unwind with a beautiful view. All across the world, these small drones, accessible to the public are popular with tech-lovers, hold the key to birds eye views never seen before, but there are countless dangers lurking within this newly introduced technology.

Unfortunately, this high-tech equipment can jeopardize the safety of others. If the drone were to get destroyed or torn from the sky by the wind or possibly an animal, it would be a great loss of money to replace the expensive parts or even just buy a new drone. These are just minor disadvantages compared to the majesty of disaster.

You are on an airplane, when suddenly a drone hurdles into view, and rips right into the turbines of one of the large engines, which are spinning past supersonic speed. What happens next could potentially be fatal. That is something that you would see in a drone incident.

Bird strikes are similar to drones colliding with aircraft. They weigh about the same as drones and can do a lot of damage to a plane. The following video shows the similar extremes of bird strikes.

There are many near-misses between drones and aircraft every day. If a drone were to collide with the windshield of an aircraft it would shatter the enforced glass and potentially kill both pilots due to the force of the drone against the speeding aircraft and the sudden loss of pressure. The percentage of an aircraft accident will total loss of life is high.

A study showed that a drone could rip a jet engine apart. It also showed that it could gash open the nose cone if it collides even at slow speeds with a plane, as low as only 200 miles per hour.

The damage of a drone to an aircraft if it collides with a nose cone was tested. A drone like object was shot at a mock nose cone at 200 mph, ripping into the thick metal.
The damage when a drone collides with an airliner.

There are many ways to prevent these accidents. Drone pilots can simply obey the law. Fly under 400 feet, under the path of aircraft flying above and stay at least 5 miles away from all airports when flying. For the enforcers these laws are hard to enforce but they are not hard for drone pilots to follow.

According to Ms. Grogan, 8th grade Language Arts teacher of Westport CT, “I think that there are many positive and exciting things that are capable with drones, but have concerns about privacy and safety issues. For example, they can be a distraction. A drone was flying above the highway one day and I immediately was intrigued by it, but had to maintain my focus on the road. Someone could easily be distracted by such a flying object. Also, sometimes there are drones that take pictures and those pictures can be saved and used in whatever way the owner chooses. This makes it even harder than it already to is to control who takes pictures of who and where those pictures end up.”

In most drone and other flying product operation manuals contain in depth information on certain dangers that are possessed by the product. These warnings can save the operator from harm due to the product. In a test looking into these safety warning views 50% stated that they never read them 25% say that they always read these warnings for safety and the remaining 25% said that they read them sometimes, depending on the product they are using.

Ms. Grogan responded to needing of future knowledge about this law, “I am interested in finding out about it because technology is continuously advancing and I think we will be seeing more and more drones.”

A DJI Phantom quadcopter slices through a sausage with ease.

In one test, a drone propeller was able to chop up an incredible amount of vegetables and other foods fed in its path. Carrots, cucumbers, a banana, popcorn, a sausage, blackberries, grapes, eggs, a doughnut and even a yogurt in its plastic container way chopped to pieces, and the quadcopter was able to fly with no damage. A similar study showed that a realistic fake hand was severely damaged by drone propellers.

One video revealed a DJI Phantom quadcopter being driven over by a car. The casing received minor damage the legs simply bent under the weight of the vehicle just to pop up again. It is practically indestructible, even to a car!

Amazon, for example has vowed to use large drones to deliver small packages. These drones will have their own air traffic control (atc) that will monitor them as they fly to their destination. It will have access to communicate with the atc of full size airliners to avoid a collision with a delivery drone.

Amazon is taking extreme safety measure, but it will not see on the radar, nor be able to do anything about private drones flying in an airliner’s path. It is up to the drone pilot to obey all drone laws and regulations while flying because they are in full control of their copter, so if an incident occurs, it will result in the pilot himself being at total fault, while the only exception is a mechanical failure of the controller or the copter itself.

An Amazon Prime Air octocopter delivery.

If you are reluctant to put your safety and the safety of others in jeopardy, please emphasize the dangers on drone flying to others to help get the word around. This is a serious problem that should be taken care of quickly as more and more drones take to the skies every day. One small drone has the power to kill a whole plane-load of people, so please, help protect our citizens as technology progresses through the future.

All pretty close callls
Created By
Tomas Curwen

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