• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!

Stansted Airport: Drone 'missed landing plane by 15m'

JacksinPA

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
21,375
Reaction score
12,192
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-46540592

A drone flying more than 20 times the allowed height came within 15m (50ft) of a Boeing 737 approaching a runway at Stansted Airport in Essex.

The plane was flying at 10,000ft (3km) and coming in to land on 17 August when the captain spotted the drone.
=====================================
Another drone/commercial aircraft incident, this one luckily only a 'near miss.'

The first officer stated that the drone passed under the aircraft with 'minimal separation.'

The drone was being operated well above the regulation altitude. The drone operator has not been identified.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-essex-46540592

A drone flying more than 20 times the allowed height came within 15m (50ft) of a Boeing 737 approaching a runway at Stansted Airport in Essex.

The plane was flying at 10,000ft (3km) and coming in to land on 17 August when the captain spotted the drone.
=====================================
Another drone/commercial aircraft incident, this one luckily only a 'near miss.'

The first officer stated that the drone passed under the aircraft with 'minimal separation.'

The drone was being operated well above the regulation altitude. The drone operator has not been identified.

I get it, but how massive was the drone? The story omits information that allows one to adequately suss the nature and extent of the risk that was involved and the nature and extent of the greater risk drones may pose to commercial aircraft.

Materially more so than a goose? Planes can, after all, withstand a certain amount of impacts....it's not as though they're made of balsa wood or paper.


Drones roughly like these...


151215-F-IO516-017.JPG

...probably aren't a big deal.


Drones like these....


drone-yamaharmax-grapevinesap453726277652.jpg


694940094001_5490076425001_5490068351001-vs.jpg

...most assuredly are.


I realize that "anything can happen," I don't dwell in the world of "what if XYZ unlike-or-rare-yet-possible event occurs." As Momma says of both risks and realities, "Are we talking about more than you can count with your fingers and toes?"
 

Skeptic Bob

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
16,626
Reaction score
19,488
Location
Texas
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian - Left
I get it, but how massive was the drone? The story omits information that allows one to adequately suss the nature and extent of the risk that was involved and the nature and extent of the greater risk drones may pose to commercial aircraft.

Materially more so than a goose? Planes can, after all, withstand a certain amount of impacts....it's not as though they're made of balsa wood or paper.


Drones roughly like these...


151215-F-IO516-017.JPG

...probably aren't a big deal.


Drones like these....


drone-yamaharmax-grapevinesap453726277652.jpg


694940094001_5490076425001_5490068351001-vs.jpg

...most assuredly are.


I realize that "anything can happen," I don't dwell in the world of "what if XYZ unlike-or-rare-yet-possible event occurs." As Momma says of both risks and realities, "Are we talking about more than you can count with your fingers and toes?"

Birds can take out an engine so my guess is a hobby sized drone could as well. It would be unlikely to cause a crash, though. I’m less concerned about these accidental encounters and more concerned about how terrorists could use this. Could a drone like that carry enough explosives to take down a plane? I’m hoping it would be too difficult to maneuver the drone into the right position in time, but that is something that will just get easier as the technology improves.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Birds can take out an engine so my guess is a hobby sized drone could as well. It would be unlikely to cause a crash, though. I’m less concerned about these accidental encounters and more concerned about how terrorists could use this. Could a drone like that carry enough explosives to take down a plane? I’m hoping it would be too difficult to maneuver the drone into the right position in time, but that is something that will just get easier as the technology improves.

Red:
That's a very fair concern...I suspect, tech improvement or not, it's only a matter of time before that happens....I mean, really...How much explosive does the thing need to carry? Surely not that much to blow a hole in a wing, which is where the jet fuel is.
 

JacksinPA

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
21,375
Reaction score
12,192
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Birds can take out an engine so my guess is a hobby sized drone could as well. It would be unlikely to cause a crash, though. I’m less concerned about these accidental encounters and more concerned about how terrorists could use this. Could a drone like that carry enough explosives to take down a plane? I’m hoping it would be too difficult to maneuver the drone into the right position in time, but that is something that will just get easier as the technology improves.

As many drones are already equipped with GPS, programming one to loiter on the center line of the approach to an active runway would be half the battle. With Go-Pro camera looking to see incoming aircraft, setting up a situation where there would be a high probability of collision seems doable.
 

JacksinPA

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
21,375
Reaction score
12,192
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Red:
That's a very fair concern...I suspect, tech improvement or not, it's only a matter of time before that happens....I mean, really...How much explosive does the thing need to carry? Surely not that much to blow a hole in a wing, which is where the jet fuel is.

If you've seen the movie 'Hurt Locker,' the size & weight of blocks of C-4 explosive would be well within the lifting capability of even a modest sized drone.
 

beefheart

You left out a Hoongadoonga
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
40,599
Reaction score
30,784
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Moderate
A drone hit an AeroMexico plane last week in TIJ, dented the nose cone, could have been much worse.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
If you've seen the movie 'Hurt Locker,' the size & weight of blocks of C-4 explosive would be well within the lifting capability of even a modest sized drone.

I haven't seen that film (and let's be honest: anything's possible in a movie), but I didn't need to to know that a half pound to a pound is well within the lifting/carrying capability of small, non-military-grade drones ranging from some "beginner-grade" ones to purposely "heavy lift" ones, none of which are inordinately pricey or difficult to operate. One drone can certainly carry enough. Several drones can be used on concert to do even more damage.
 

JacksinPA

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
21,375
Reaction score
12,192
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
I haven't seen that film (and let's be honest: anything's possible in a movie), but I didn't need to to know that a half pound to a pound is well within the lifting/carrying capability of small, non-military-grade drones ranging from some "beginner-grade" ones to purposely "heavy lift" ones, none of which are inordinately pricey or difficult to operate. One drone can certainly carry enough. Several drones can be used on concert to do even more damage.

I bought it from Amazon Prime & have it saved on my tablet. Great flick.

The blocks of C-4 they were handling were not much bigger than a pack of cigs. There would have to be some kind of detonator system. 'Tickler' switches of one type have one conductor being a pendulum inside a ring of the other conductor. Any disturbance swings the pendulum against the ring & closes the circuit.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
I bought it from Amazon Prime & have it saved on my tablet. Great flick.

The blocks of C-4 they were handling were not much bigger than a pack of cigs. There would have to be some kind of detonator system. 'Tickler' switches of one type have one conductor being a pendulum inside a ring of the other conductor. Any disturbance swings the pendulum against the ring & closes the circuit.

Red:
Okay...?

I'm not sure why you're noting observations made from a movie as a basis for inferring/positing/thinking XYZ minimum quantity of C4, about as much as occupies the "space" of a cigarette pack, be sufficient for a "small drone" to, upon impact, "devastate" a commercial plane. As I wrote earlier, anything can happen in a movie....If the plot were to call for it, however much C4 that could be fit inside 'James Bond's" watch could be enough to blow up a Sherman tank if that's what the movie's producers/directors wanted the plot line to be.
  • How much C4 does it take to have XYZ effect?
    • At least ABC specific quantity, that quantity being dependent on the explosive force of C4 and the item one aims to damage using it.
    • The size of that quantity will be given largely by the g/cm[SUP]3[/SUP] of C4.
      • Is the minimum requisite quantity to "fatally" damage an in-flight (or stationary) airplane containable in roughly the space a cigarette pack occupies, as was suggested in "Hurt Locker?"
        • I have no idea, and I'm not going to rely on what's implied in that film as my basis for even speculating on what be that minimum quantity and the space it occupies. I'm not because "Hurt Locker" is a work of fiction, regardless of what of its plot elements be based on reality.
      • Is a "consumer-grade" drone capable of carrying a C4 payload that is sufficient to "fatally" damage an airplane? Absolutely, and one can know that regardless of what the "Hurt Locker" portrayed be the capabilities of a cigarette-pack-sized mass of C4. That, not whether the minimally necessary quantity of C4 is cigarette-pack-sized, is the relevant factor, given the line of discussion we've been having about drones and the danger they pose to commercial (or other) airplanes and their passengers.
 

Grand Mal

bas air son Eachin
DP Veteran
Joined
May 6, 2013
Messages
39,317
Reaction score
21,086
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Liberal
Twice last summer here (B.C.) drones being flown illegaly forced fire-fighting to stop.
I've never approved of over-regulation of human behaviour but those individuals deserve an uncomfortable prison holiday.
 

JacksinPA

Supporting Member
DP Veteran
Monthly Donator
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
21,375
Reaction score
12,192
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Progressive
Twice last summer here (B.C.) drones being flown illegaly forced fire-fighting to stop.
I've never approved of over-regulation of human behaviour but those individuals deserve an uncomfortable prison holiday.

I understand the drone interference problem in the NYC area has become a real plague. Three busy airports in a 5 mile radius + millions of people, many with drones.

I've been tempted to get one but I live within a mile of our local airport so any flying would mean a road trip.
 
Last edited:

What if...?

DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 10, 2010
Messages
30,705
Reaction score
11,672
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Other
I get it, but how massive was the drone? The story omits information that allows one to adequately suss the nature and extent of the risk that was involved and the nature and extent of the greater risk drones may pose to commercial aircraft.

Materially more so than a goose? Planes can, after all, withstand a certain amount of impacts....it's not as though they're made of balsa wood or paper.


Drones roughly like these...


151215-F-IO516-017.JPG

...probably aren't a big deal.


Drones like these....


drone-yamaharmax-grapevinesap453726277652.jpg


694940094001_5490076425001_5490068351001-vs.jpg

...most assuredly are.


I realize that "anything can happen," I don't dwell in the world of "what if XYZ unlike-or-rare-yet-possible event occurs." As Momma says of both risks and realities, "Are we talking about more than you can count with your fingers and toes?"

As a drone pilot, impact isn't the real issue. its getting sucked into an engine. The batteries alone burn most vigorously, supposedly roughly equal to thermite. Takes a class a extinguisher to put them out.

I wonder though how a jetliner can actually identify one at the speeds they are travelling. There are usually lights, but in the daytime.

Back when the anti-drone furor was at its height, it was discovers by RC pilots who happened to also be actual pilots revealed that non passenger and cargo pilots, crop dusters, mappers, aerial video pilots had decided "see something, say drone". The "700" serious drone incidents, when gone over by the AMA yielded IRC 40 actually serious incidents. 40 is enough for concern, but 660 were little or nothing.

That list included Mylar balloons and something that "looked like a dog". Also winged RC aircraft flying at official fields at permitted altitudes.

When it became obvious there was lots of money to be made, the FCCs original draft of the commercial rules stated, in flowery words, "if you can afford to comply with these rules, you will enjoy a large market share."

And few people are aware that the multi-rotor was an open source project developed by hobbyists at their own expense, collaborating across the globe. The first real example of the "new economy" everybody was talking about. And the government decided to simply hand it over to the old economy.
 

Xelor

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 20, 2018
Messages
10,257
Reaction score
4,161
Location
Washington, D.C.
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Off-topic:
I'm surprised we haven't seen a huge spate of drone-obtained paparazzi images of celebrities "doing their thing."

Then again, perhaps there have been, and I just don't know it....I'm not exactly a "celebrity news" follower.
 

Manc Skipper

Wrinkly member
DP Veteran
Joined
Jan 25, 2008
Messages
34,630
Reaction score
23,446
Location
Southern England
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Slightly Liberal
I doubt whether an average "hobby" drone like the white one has the power to get to 10,000 feet, or the standard control unit have the range to steer it at that distance.
 

Lovebug

Let go and let God
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
23,855
Reaction score
10,014
Location
south
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Other
I get it, but how massive was the drone? The story omits information that allows one to adequately suss the nature and extent of the risk that was involved and the nature and extent of the greater risk drones may pose to commercial aircraft.

Materially more so than a goose? Planes can, after all, withstand a certain amount of impacts....it's not as though they're made of balsa wood or paper.


Drones roughly like these...


151215-F-IO516-017.JPG

...probably aren't a big deal.


Drones like these....


drone-yamaharmax-grapevinesap453726277652.jpg


694940094001_5490076425001_5490068351001-vs.jpg

...most assuredly are.


I realize that "anything can happen," I don't dwell in the world of "what if XYZ unlike-or-rare-yet-possible event occurs." As Momma says of both risks and realities, "Are we talking about more than you can count with your fingers and toes?"

When you get into a situation where your own hide is in jeopardy, who really cares about minor details? It turned out just fine... this time.
 

Lovebug

Let go and let God
DP Veteran
Joined
Jul 19, 2011
Messages
23,855
Reaction score
10,014
Location
south
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Other
Off-topic:
I'm surprised we haven't seen a huge spate of drone-obtained paparazzi images of celebrities "doing their thing."

Then again, perhaps there have been, and I just don't know it....I'm not exactly a "celebrity news" follower.

Off topic...celebrities would be nobody without the papz.
 

braindrain

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 1, 2009
Messages
10,419
Reaction score
2,885
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Independent
I bought it from Amazon Prime & have it saved on my tablet. Great flick.

The blocks of C-4 they were handling were not much bigger than a pack of cigs. There would have to be some kind of detonator system. 'Tickler' switches of one type have one conductor being a pendulum inside a ring of the other conductor. Any disturbance swings the pendulum against the ring & closes the circuit.

The standard block of C4 that the US uses weighs 1.25 lbs but can be cut into as little of a size as is needed. The trick is always in the initiating system. Building a blasting cap that is not only reliable and strong enough to ensure the C4 initiates and not low orders but is also sensitive enough to function correctly but not so sensitive that it goes off prematurely is something terrorists have traditionally struggled with. And the instant the plane hits the drone if the cap losses contact with the C4 the odds of a successful explosion are not good. Something like a piezoelectric fuze would probably be a good place to start.
Now obviously it is possible to make a system that will work but it will take some decent knowledge.

I have to disagree with you on hurt locker though. Thoight it was a crappy movie.
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom