While the benign carnage occurred north of the US border, the second such incident since 2016 involving a drone operated within proximity to an airport, the incident Thursday marked the first time a drone made airborne contact with an aircraft in North America. Luckily, no one was harmed, except the pride of the current system.
The Washington Post reports that a small UAV, collided with a commercial aircraft at Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City at an altitude of approximately 1500 feet. Fortunately, no one was injured and Canadian aviation officials are desperately scrambling to adopt policy and counter measures that could prevent future future accidents.
Apparently, a Skyjet Beech 100 King propeller aircraft carrying six passengers and two crew members was descending for a landing, when the unexpected happened. There are reports that the airplane sustained damaged in the collision.
The current laws on the books in Canada restrict UAVs from flying within 3.4 miles of active airports, though as the incident Thursday indicates, legalism cannot prevent a blatant disregard for common sense or calculated criminal act.
As the distribution and influence of drones continues to propagate from the DIY realm to mainstream consumerism, as is the issue with laser pointers, it is only a matter of time until a real tragedy occurs claiming in the life of hundreds. The only recourse for the preservation of safe airspace in the FAA regulated skies above the US, is to adopt electronic, drone, or simple projectile measures to deter the threat of a hobby anomaly, in averting a real disaster.
Read the Washington Post article here.