DJI Mavic, Air and Mini Drones
Friendly, Helpful & Knowledgeable Community
Join Us Now

Another unsubstantiated "drone" near miss

gnirtS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 29, 2017
Messages
3,353
Reactions
2,501
Drone near miss 'down to providence'

A mid-air crash between a plane and a drone was only avoided by "providence", an air safety report has said.

The drone missed the wing tip of a Cessna light aircraft by 6-8ft (2-2.5m) as it was flying over Northumberland.

The UK Airprox Board said the drone had been flown "beyond practical VLOS [visual line of sight] limits and was endangering other aircraft".

OK, seems sensible so far...could be a drone... Lets read further:-

The pilot had been flying at 6,000ft (1,800m) over Bolam Lake Country Park in July.

He reported being "startled" by a "large blue object slightly to the left of his aircraft's nose at exactly the same level", the report said.
.
.
"Although the incident only lasted five to six seconds he estimates that the drone was one metre in length and half a metre wide.

Right OK, so its a 1 metre by half a metre "drone" cruising along at 6,000ft AGL. Yeah plausible. But as per usual the Airprox board and CAA trot out soundbites without ever seriously questioning the report or what the object is. That size and flight envelope is so far out of the reach of "drones" its pretty much impossible yet the claim is allowed to stand.

This sums up the problem - drones get a bad press and some really are operated by idiots that help earn that bad reputation. But more and more now every single incident is blamed on a drone without any actual verification or checking of facts thereby making even more bad press.

It took him a few seconds to realise it was a drone.
Or more accurately, it took him a few seconds to convince himself it was a drone despite not having a clue initially.

So, what drone is blue, a metre long, half a metre wide and can routinely cruise at 6,000ft?!


Heres another one:- Drone 'narrowly avoids' plane collision
6,000ft again. and ATC warned of another aircraft passing overhead. There is no way a drone is going to appear on primary radar to that extent or be operating up there yet its classed as a drone near miss without question.

...and another:- Drone 'endangered' plane above school
The DH8 was 150m (500ft) over the school near Birmingham Airport last September when the pilot saw the drone about 500m (1,640ft) away.
Thats utterly amazing eyesight to be able to spot and clearly identify a drone 1600ft away!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SNP and Claybond
Drone near miss 'down to providence'



OK, seems sensible so far...could be a drone... Lets read further:-



Right OK, so its a 1 metre by half a metre "drone" cruising along at 6,000ft AGL. Yeah plausible. But as per usual the Airprox board and CAA trot out soundbites without ever seriously questioning the report or what the object is. That size and flight envelope is so far out of the reach of "drones" its pretty much impossible yet the claim is allowed to stand.

This sums up the problem - drones get a bad press and some really are operated by idiots that help earn that bad reputation. But more and more now every single incident is blamed on a drone without any actual verification or checking of facts thereby making even more bad press.


Or more accurately, it took him a few seconds to convince himself it was a drone despite not having a clue initially.

So, what drone is blue, a metre long, half a metre wide and can routinely cruise at 6,000ft?!

Yes - that sounds really unlikely. A balloon or high performance model aircraft seems more likely. Not any of the common consumer drones.

Heres another one:- Drone 'narrowly avoids' plane collision
6,000ft again. and ATC warned of another aircraft passing overhead. There is no way a drone is going to appear on primary radar to that extent or be operating up there yet its classed as a drone near miss without question.

That is much more credible however. If you read the report more carefully you will see that the controller reported that another aircraft had crossed above - he was not referring to the drone. The pilot accurately described a Phantom 2, which certainly could have reached that altitude.

...and another:- Drone 'endangered' plane above school

Thats utterly amazing eyesight to be able to spot and clearly identify a drone 1600ft away!

Agreed - too far to make that identification.

And while I agree that some of the investigations appear to accept improbable reports without much question, you could be accused of cherry picking, since there are plenty of more credible reports, including the one that I think you wrongly dismissed above.
 
Pilots who train and fly for years or decades know their airspace and spotting other traffic becomes routine. In fact, it is taught during flight training. While a Mavic may not be able to attain that altitude, other drones can.
There are plenty of drone operators here and elsewhere who routinely violate Class B, C, and D airspace, as well as exceed altitude limitations and openly brag about it.
I would take the word of a trained aviator over a drone operator any day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MrsTreat
Pilots who train and fly for years or decades know their airspace and spotting other traffic becomes routine.

Yes it does however basic physics and human reaction times have to come into play. Most consumer drones are tiny and most aircraft go past at high speed.
Lets be charitable and assume on a good day you can see a mavic from say 500ft away (if you know where to look, and its a blob, not identifiable).
Now lets assume a small GA aircraft flying along at 80kts or so, thats 135ft per second. Thats roughly 4 seconds in total from seeing to passing and thats assuming it was picked up immediately it because theoretically possibly to see. If you further assume with really optimum conditions you can identify as a drone not a blob from maybe 200ft away thats less than 1.5 seconds or so to work out what it is.

Now for commercial aircraft at pattern speed, roughly double that 80kts. Now you have 2 seconds in total to see and identify it and thats assuming you were already looking in the right place, not a different part of the sky at the time or anything else. The time where you'd be able to identify it has now halved to 3/4 of a second or so assuming everything else is perfect. Human reaction time isnt that fast.

Spotting traffic is fine but the general size of consumer drones as above means its going to be very very hard for someone to positively identify anything. A fast moving blob is about the limit.

As i said above, i agree that there are plenty of idiots violating all kinds of airspace rules and a lot are happy to boast about it on this forum and the facebook group. The mavic (and consumer drone in general) userbase doesn't seem very grown up or mature as a whole so yes some incidents are real.

The main issue is absolutely ANYTHING unidentified now appears to be "drone" by default despite circumstances in lots making it unlikely or even impossible for it to be so. This spirals with even more bad press, regulation and so on.
If you read the airprox actual report for the second incident there is very little to go on. Something that might be red or blue going past in a fraction of a second is about it. It could have been anything, it could be a bird, a balloon or anything else but it gets called "drone" now without any reservations. What used to be "unknown" now becomes "drone".

Other incidents do happen well within the parameters of a consumer drone and are more plausible but even with those id seriously call into question that a drone is even "probably" in a lot of those and ones where they guess sizes, colours, shapes and distances id class as even less accurate.

While pilots are experienced in identifying normal size and types of traffic i wonder just how many have actually tried to pick out and see a drone for real. The chances are its not a lot of people so this particular observation is nothing more than an assumption. From what i can find out there haven't been any actual real tests to determine exactly how far and for how long they can be seen.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dw911 and lisadoc
Yes it does however basic physics and human reaction times have to come into play. Most consumer drones are tiny and most aircraft go past at high speed.
Lets be charitable and assume on a good day you can see a mavic from say 500ft away (if you know where to look, and its a blob, not identifiable).
Now lets assume a small GA aircraft flying along at 80kts or so, thats 135ft per second. Thats roughly 4 seconds in total from seeing to passing and thats assuming it was picked up immediately it because theoretically possibly to see. If you further assume with really optimum conditions you can identify as a drone not a blob from maybe 200ft away thats less than 1.5 seconds or so to work out what it is.

Now for commercial aircraft at pattern speed, roughly double that 80kts. Now you have 2 seconds in total to see and identify it and thats assuming you were already looking in the right place, not a different part of the sky at the time or anything else. The time where you'd be able to identify it has now halved to 3/4 of a second or so assuming everything else is perfect. Human reaction time isnt that fast.

Spotting traffic is fine but the general size of consumer drones as above means its going to be very very hard for someone to positively identify anything. A fast moving blob is about the limit.

As i said above, i agree that there are plenty of idiots violating all kinds of airspace rules and a lot are happy to boast about it on this forum and the facebook group. The mavic (and consumer drone in general) userbase doesn't seem very grown up or mature as a whole so yes some incidents are real.

The main issue is absolutely ANYTHING unidentified now appears to be "drone" by default despite circumstances in lots making it unlikely or even impossible for it to be so. This spirals with even more bad press, regulation and so on.
If you read the airprox actual report for the second incident there is very little to go on. Something that might be red or blue going past in a fraction of a second is about it. It could have been anything, it could be a bird, a balloon or anything else but it gets called "drone" now without any reservations. What used to be "unknown" now becomes "drone".

Other incidents do happen well within the parameters of a consumer drone and are more plausible but even with those id seriously call into question that a drone is even "probably" in a lot of those and ones where they guess sizes, colours, shapes and distances id class as even less accurate.

While pilots are experienced in identifying normal size and types of traffic i wonder just how many have actually tried to pick out and see a drone for real. The chances are its not a lot of people so this particular observation is nothing more than an assumption. From what i can find out there haven't been any actual real tests to determine exactly how far and for how long they can be seen.

I've never liked the argument that something that size is hard to spot, even from a commercial aircraft. It's easy enough to see and identify birds on approach, even at 180 knots. A Phantom is a similar size.

As an alternative way of looking at it, since in terms of visual angle subtended, speed and size scale equivalently, noticing a 50 cm drone at 180 knots is approximately equivalent to a 20 cm object at 80 mph. I suspect that would be quite easy to spot if it flew past your car.
 
As an alternative way of looking at it, since in terms of visual angle subtended, speed and size scale equivalently, noticing a 50 cm drone at 180 knots is approximately equivalent to a 20 cm object at 80 mph. I suspect that would be quite easy to spot if it flew past your car.

Spotting and identifying are two completely different things. Could you spot something of that size whizzing by you at that speed? Yes. Could you identify it? I highly doubt it.

I have a hard time seeing my Mavic against a bright sky at several hundred feet if I glance down at my screen momentarily. And I know what I'm looking for and almost exactly where I'm supposed to look. A pilot with their attention on the controls of their aircraft, looking out a window with a much more limited view, without the expectation of spotting something hovering in the air, whizzing along at a clip much faster compared to me (since I'm actually standing still on the ground), has far less of a chance of catching even a glimpse of my Mavic, let alone identifying it as it zipped by.

I've never liked the argument that something that size is hard to spot, even from a commercial aircraft. It's easy enough to see and identify birds on approach, even at 180 knots.

Here's a video of a bird strike occurring to the front canopy of an aircraft. It's a bird much larger than a typical consumer drone and with a small aircraft going pretty slow (and it came directly at the pilot, right into his field of view, and he was probably going only 80 knots). As the pilot noted, he "never did see the bird", until his windscreen exploded.

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Even for the "Miracle on the Hudson", the time between the point when Sully sees the birds and when they strike the aircraft was one second. And this was with a large flock of very big birds, not a single small object. Here's the transcript from the CVR:

15:27:10.4 HOT-1 birds.
15:27:11 HOT-2 whoa.
15:27:11.4 CAM [sound of thump/thud(s) followed by shuddering sound]
15:27:12 HOT-2 oh #.
 
Last edited:
Spotting and identifying are two completely different things. Could you spot something of that size whizzing by you at that speed? Yes. Could you identify it? I highly doubt it.

I disagree. Have you never taken evasive action to avoid a 20 cm object on the road ahead of you at 80 mph? Identification of a recognizable object that size is trivial at that speed.

I have a hard time seeing my Mavic against a bright sky at several hundred feet if I glance down at my screen momentarily. And I know what I'm looking for and almost exactly where I'm supposed to look. A pilot with their attention on the controls of their aircraft, looking out a window with a much more limited view, without the expectation of spotting something hovering in the air, whizzing along at a clip much faster compared to me (since I'm actually standing still on the ground), has far less of a chance of catching even a glimpse of my Mavic, let alone identifying it as it zipped by.

Non sequitur. Just because a pilot might not see it doesn't mean that he cannot see it if he is looking in the right direction at the time. Obviously if the pilot is looking down at his instruments at that moment then you are correct - it will not be spotted.

Here's a video of a bird strike occurring to the front canopy of an aircraft. It's a bird much larger than a typical consumer drone and with a small aircraft going pretty slow (and it came directly at the pilot, right into his field of view, and he was probably going only 80 knots). As the pilot noted, he "never did see the bird", until his windscreen exploded.

That's a great video, but a wide angle view, and if you watch frame by frame you will see that from the camera perspective in the middle of the cockpit the bird appears from directly behind the windshield pillar. Had he been looking he would have seen it.

To view this content we will need your consent to set third party cookies.
For more detailed information, see our cookies page.

Even for the "Miracle on the Hudson", the time between the point when Sully sees the birds and when they strike the aircraft was one second. And this was with a large flock of very big birds, not a single small object. Here's the transcript from the CVR:

15:27:10.4 HOT-1 birds.
15:27:11 HOT-2 whoa.
15:27:11.4 CAM [sound of thump/thud(s) followed by shuddering sound]
15:27:12 HOT-2 oh #.

Faster, in the climb, nose up - I agree - those would have been much harder to spot. But again, listing examples of things that were not seen does not prove that they cannot be seen. Certainly not to me since I've frequently seen such things myself. Birds, not drones.
 
Drone near miss 'down to providence'



OK, seems sensible so far...could be a drone... Lets read further:-



Right OK, so its a 1 metre by half a metre "drone" cruising along at 6,000ft AGL. Yeah plausible. But as per usual the Airprox board and CAA trot out soundbites without ever seriously questioning the report or what the object is. That size and flight envelope is so far out of the reach of "drones" its pretty much impossible yet the claim is allowed to stand.

This sums up the problem - drones get a bad press and some really are operated by idiots that help earn that bad reputation. But more and more now every single incident is blamed on a drone without any actual verification or checking of facts thereby making even more bad press.


Or more accurately, it took him a few seconds to convince himself it was a drone despite not having a clue initially.

So, what drone is blue, a metre long, half a metre wide and can routinely cruise at 6,000ft?!


Heres another one:- Drone 'narrowly avoids' plane collision
6,000ft again. and ATC warned of another aircraft passing overhead. There is no way a drone is going to appear on primary radar to that extent or be operating up there yet its classed as a drone near miss without question.

...and another:- Drone 'endangered' plane above school

Thats utterly amazing eyesight to be able to spot and clearly identify a drone 1600ft away!

Great post man.
 

Old news, story changes depending on where you read it, in one the OIC thought it was a black bird, the 2nd officer took avoiding action, in another he thought about disconnecting the auto pilot,
O and judging by the body size described , if you allow for the rotors it probably would have been about the size of a queen size bed, so you think someone would have seem it land

Few years back would have been put down as a bird or a ufo, or more likely nothing would have been said - most pilots used to avoid saying they might have seen a ufo for fear of piss taking-
taking-
But now every thing is a drone, even if its not or unlikely to be :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: MAVEYE
I know this gets posted ad nauseum, but it's applicable here:

drone-id-chart.jpg
 
I know this gets posted ad nauseum, but it's applicable here:

drone-id-chart.jpg
Years of classroom and practical training, thousands of hours of flight time, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, constant and mandatory flight reviews with FAA check airmen. Yet, drone operators know better. Give me a break.
 
Years of classroom and practical training, thousands of hours of flight time, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, constant and mandatory flight reviews with FAA check airmen. Yet, drone operators know better. Give me a break.

Wow. You not only have the thinnest skin ever seen, and can't appreciate benign humor, but you clearly don't know how to let something go. You do realize your last unhinged, over-the-top post and the subsequent replies were all deleted by the mods, right? Let's see how long this one lasts...
 
Drone near miss 'down to providence'



OK, seems sensible so far...could be a drone... Lets read further:-



Right OK, so its a 1 metre by half a metre "drone" cruising along at 6,000ft AGL. Yeah plausible. But as per usual the Airprox board and CAA trot out soundbites without ever seriously questioning the report or what the object is. That size and flight envelope is so far out of the reach of "drones" its pretty much impossible yet the claim is allowed to stand.

This sums up the problem - drones get a bad press and some really are operated by idiots that help earn that bad reputation. But more and more now every single incident is blamed on a drone without any actual verification or checking of facts thereby making even more bad press.


Or more accurately, it took him a few seconds to convince himself it was a drone despite not having a clue initially.

So, what drone is blue, a metre long, half a metre wide and can routinely cruise at 6,000ft?!


Heres another one:- Drone 'narrowly avoids' plane collision
6,000ft again. and ATC warned of another aircraft passing overhead. There is no way a drone is going to appear on primary radar to that extent or be operating up there yet its classed as a drone near miss without question.

...and another:- Drone 'endangered' plane above school

Thats utterly amazing eyesight to be able to spot and clearly identify a drone 1600ft away!

Why in the world don't these planes have something equivalent to a dash cam?
 
  • Like
Reactions: soundesciple
Years of classroom and practical training, thousands of hours of flight time, hundreds of thousands of dollars spent, constant and mandatory flight reviews with FAA check airmen. Beliving our own hype, that we really are Gods ,Yet, drone operators know better. Give me a break.

You missed out the importance bit, dont worry i fixed it for you ;-)

Shame really there are some great pilots on here, one of them, an experience airline pilot, posted on another thread the other day, very sensible reasoned non god complex reply, sadly some others seem to confuse their opinions on stuff with fact just because they are pilots.

Makes me wonder why some are even on here as they only ever seem to post to berate drone pilots whilst waxing lyrical about how amazing they are at being a 'real pilot'
 
  • Like
Reactions: erkme73
OK guy's
I have deleted all the inappropriate and insulting post I am going to .
Danman you have made you opinion quite clear so no more .
I'm sorry but if you can't post in this civilly folks I will just close it .
 
Lycus Tech Mavic Air 3 Case

DJI Drone Deals

New Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
132,644
Messages
1,575,690
Members
161,362
Latest member
Hinzel4000