Pilots cannot see drones as they approach a runway, warns a shock for a new study.
According to the findings, they fail to see the flying gadgets 70 percent of the time – even when they are in their airspace.
And they almost never identify the machines as they float immovably above the ground.
The disturbing findings reveal a & # 39; real and present danger & # 39; for safety, warn US aviation experts.
Co-author Dr. Ryan Wallace, of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States, said: & Dangerous close encounters between aircraft and drones are becoming an increasingly common problem.
& # 39; Pilot sighting statistics continue to increase year after year, and what pilots report is probably just the tip of the iceberg.
The disturbing findings reveal a & # 39; real and present danger & # 39; for safety, warn US aviation experts
& # 39; Pilots are not seeing unmanned aircraft for most of the time. & # 39;
Two years ago, a drone put 130 lives at risk after it nearly hit a passenger plane on its way to London Gatwick.
During experiments, 10 certified experienced pilots did not notice a common type of quadcopter controlled by four rotors during 28 of the 40 meetings.
RULES FOR DRONES
A new rule whereby everyone who is responsible for a drone or unmanned aircraft (including model aircraft) that weighs between 250 g and 20 kg, registers as an operator, goes live November 5, 2019.
The costs for this will be £ 9 renewable annually.
In addition, all registered drone operators must take and pass on an online education package.
This is free and renewable every three years.
Both requirements will take effect on November 30, 2019.
State current rules:
You may not fly above 120 m and keep a direct line of sight.
You may not fly your drone in the vicinity of emergency situations such as car accidents, firefighting and search and rescue.
You can only fly with drones during the day.
You may not use your drone in restricted areas such as near airports.
You may not fly above busy areas, such as sporting events and beaches.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority
In other words, they saw the invading drone in just 30 percent of the cases. And when it didn't move, the task became even more difficult.
Only three of the 22 immobile machines, less than 14 percent, were observed by the participants.
What's more, the few successful detections were done at distances of only 213 to 2,324 feet.
Even in the best case, the maximum range would give a pilot about 21 seconds to prevent a collision.
Dr. co-author Matt Vance, an aviation expert at Oklahoma State University, said: & # 39; That may be enough time if the drone was hovering in one place, but not nearly enough if it was in flight on its way to the plane. & # 39 ;
He explained: & # 39; The situation is much more dangerous when both planes are moving. Our eyes are focused on movement. When a drone does not move, it becomes part of the background. & # 39;
The study published in the International Journal of Aviation, Aeronautics and Aerospace (IJAAA), emphasizes for the first time the extent of the threat.
The final approach to an aircraft to land is a particularly risky time because a drone & # 39; can catch you unknowingly and you have little time to respond & # 39 ;.
Co-author Prof. Jon Loffi, also from the state of Oklahoma, added: & # 39; You don't have the height to maneuver safely, and if an engine picks up a drone, it can take the plane down. & # 39;
In a unique analysis, the American team investigated what happens when a pilot prepares for landing and switches from instrument-driven to visual flight. The participants were selected from a training program for university flights.
During the tests, they landed in a Cessna 172S while a DJI Phantom IV quadcopter drone flew a scripted series of maneuvers along the same path. The pilots were told that they might or might not encounter a drone.
During experiments, 10 certified experienced pilots did not notice a common type of quadcopter controlled by four rotors during 28 of the 40 meetings. A drone is depicted near Heathrow Airport in London
In the US there are currently more than 1.4 million registered drones, and probably many more unregistered. They continue to grow, said Dr. Wallace.
The number of drone users in the UK is unknown, but the Civil Aviation Authority has estimated that 170,000 people will sign up for a proposed registration scheme.
Close conversations between drones and commercial aircraft are increasing. Last week, a commercial crew en route to Logan International Airport in Boston reported a drone at around 3500 feet – higher than the regulations of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) allow.
Just a week earlier after another crew saw a drone after taking off from the same airport.
Dr. Wallace and colleagues & # 39; s said that the FAA has taken steps to secure control airspace against drone raids. But & # 39; their efforts have yielded mixed results & # 39 ;, she added.
There is currently no reliable method for tracking drone flights in the United States.
The researchers are now planning to rig a drone with an electronic device that uses surveillance technology to track aircraft. They will assess whether it helps pilots locate and prevent a collision.
Runway view from the west just before landing at London airport. Since successful observations were made during the descent, even in the best case, the maximum range would give a pilot about 21 seconds to prevent a collision
The use of remote drone identification data has been proposed as a way to reduce the risk of accidents.
From January 2020, no aircraft will be allowed to fly in controlled airspace near airports without tracking technology. Vance.
But the law does not apply to small unmanned aircraft. If all drones had such technology, pilots would have a more complete picture of the air around them, thereby improving safety, he said.
In July 2017, a drone drove directly over the right wing of an Airbus A319 when it was preparing for London Gatwick at West Sussex airport.
It was described by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB). if & # 39; very large, certainly not a toy & # 39; with four blades and a diameter of about three feet.
Despite the drone's presence, a safe landing was completed, but the report warned: & # 39; A larger aircraft may not have missed it and, in the opinion of the captain, it had endangered 130 lives. & # 39;
The airline concerned and the origin of the aircraft are not identified. Last April a pilot was forced to take an unplanned turn to a & # 39; high risk & # 39; prevent drone crash.
The Airbus A320, which carried up to 186 passengers, also approached Gatwick when the drone was noticed, the UKAB said.
The aircraft flew at 1,700ft (520m) – drones are not allowed above 400ft. The aircraft was at the same height as the drone, but the pilot turned a maximum of eight degrees to the right and set a horizontal distance of 80-100 ft.
UKAB concluded that the near-accident April was category A, the highest risk. The airline concerned was again not identified.
Three other category A drone incidents were highlighted in the report – two in June and another in May.
There were 125 near misses with drones reported in 2018, compared to 93 in 2017.
Six were recorded in 2014.
Last December, three days of chaos ensued after drone sightings in Gatwick caused 1,000 flights to be canceled or diverted, ruining Christmas for 140,000 passengers.
. (TagsToTranslate) Dailymail (t) sciencetech