Update, Arpril 28, 2016 - According to media reports, the British Government said that th plane is now not thought to have been hit by a drone. An investigation launched by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has been closed due to lack of evidence.
San Francisco, April 19, 2016 - On Sunday (April 17th), a drone apparently hit a passenger plane for the first time. The British Airways flight with more than 130 people on board was heading for London Heathrow airport, when it was hit by an object - believed to be a drone. Fortunately, the aircraft was only slightly damaged and could be released for air traffic again shortly thereafter.
Below are some thoughts from Joerg Lamprecht, noted drone expert and co-founder of Dedrone, global leader of drone detection technology: "Pilots, airlines and airports all over the world have been alerted for quite some time, because consumer drones flown by hobbyists are getting dangerously close to airports with increasing frequency. The greatest danger is that the drones are sucked into the engines, which can have disastrous consequences, particularly during takeoff and landing. Airports should take urgent action."Lamprecht's company Dedrone has developed the DroneTracker, a drone warning system that detects approaching drones early and triggers an alarm. "Air traffic control can then warn the pilot accordingly and redirect the plane or postpone takeoffs."
Terrorists could use drones to deliberately cause planes to crash.
So far, most incidents with drones and planes are due to careless hobby pilots. But it is also quite conceivable that terrorists direct drones specifically into the flight paths of planes to intentionally induce crashes: "Planes take off and land in fixed corridors. The coordinates are published so that each pilot can access them. Terrorists could fly a bunch of drones in precisely these tracks", said Lamprecht. “If the pilot is not warned in time, an emergency turn will be hardly possible.”
About DedroneDedrone provides a professional civilian drone early-warning and detection system. Founded in 2014, the company has raised $2.9 million in VC funding, including an investment by successful security entrepreneur Tom Noonan (Internet Security Systems, JouleX). The company leverages acoustic, video and frequency detection technology to detect the drone threats faced by governments and industry. Once detected, it allows prisons and other facilities to react quickly, gathering contraband, locking down jail cells, and looking for pilots close by. The system not only provides real time video of the incident, but records the threat for video evidence. www.dedrone.com
VP Marketing & Communications
Tel.: +49 561 861 799 120