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FAA reports show rise in airprox events with drones
26 November 2014
Typical small drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

Typical small drone with camera (photo: Don McCullough / CC:by)

An FAA report obtained by the Washington Post shows a recent rise in the number of airprox events involving drones.

The Washington Post reports that since June 1, 2014, commercial airlines, private pilots and air-traffic controllers have notified the FAA of 25 cases in which unmanned aircraft were observed in the vicinity of aircraft. These airprox reports were among more than 175 incidents in which pilots and air-traffic controllers have reported seeing drones near airports or in restricted airspace.


Some events reported by the FAA include:

Sept. 30: Republic Airways Flight 6230 was “almost hit” by a brightly colored small drone at an altitude of 4,000 feet as it was approching New York-LaGuardia.

Sept. 8: At LaGuardia, ExpressJet, Pinnacle and Chautauqua reported “very close calls” with a drone within minutes of each other at a height of about 2,000 feet as they were approaching the airport

July 29:  A US Airways Shuttle flight that had departed from Reagan National Airport reported an extraordinarily narrow encounter with a yellow drone with a four-foot wingspan that suddenly passed within 50 feet of the aircraft while it was approaching  New York-LaGuardia.

June 29: Porter Airlines Flight PD725, a DHC-8 from Toronto, was descending to Washington-Dulles International Airport at an altitude of 2,800 feet when it reported that a black-and-silver drone zipped past, just 50 feet away.

June 1: A United Airlines flight UA967 originating from Rome, Italy alerted the control tower at Washington-Dulles that a four-engine helicopter drone interfered with its descent and passed just 100 feet underneath the Boeing 767.