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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

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Drones threatening commercial a/c?

Old 23rd Dec 2018, 18:45
  #1081 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by keeprighton1974 View Post
"Sussex Police say there is a 'possibility there was never a drone' despite finding damaged one near runway"

Almost as funny as the 'plastic bag drone' that bothered Heathrow a while ago!
They actually say
He said there was "always a possibility" the reported sightings of drones were mistaken, ​​​​However, he said officers were working on a range of information from members of the public, police officers and staff working at Gatwick who had reported seeing a drone.
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Old 23rd Dec 2018, 19:55
  #1082 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DespairingTraveller View Post
Thanks. Hefty tariff: "A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life." Has there ever been a conviction under this?
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Old 23rd Dec 2018, 21:03
  #1083 (permalink)  
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Given the enormous pressure to find the culprit( assuming it wasn’t all false sightings and hysteria) then it seems perfectly reasonable for the police to question someone if there’s suspicion it could be them. It doesn’t have to be the police who leaked their names either- any neighbour, acquaintance etc can gossip on social media and the press pick that up in no time - it’s an awful consequence of the speed of communication and the lack of any self control in some people posting whatever they hear/see/think without actually knowing facts. In the past it was just gossip over the garden fence or down the pub- now it’s instantly spread to millions.
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Old 23rd Dec 2018, 22:27
  #1084 (permalink)  
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Devil No Drones at all??

According to both the BBC News Channel and the BBC News Webpage, there are no actual photos or videos of a drone over Gatwick Airport!!

a) This would make the determination of the type of drone exceedingly difficult.

b) It does raise the possibility that this is some kind of heightened sensitivity causing repeat mis-reporting.
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Old 23rd Dec 2018, 23:49
  #1085 (permalink)  
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Question No Drones at all??

The Guardian is also reporting:

​​​​​​Confusion deepened as a senior police officer in the case said it was “always a possibility that there may not have been any genuine drone activity in the first place”. DCS Jason Tingley added that although the damaged drone was a significant line of inquiry, wet weather could have washed away evidence. He also noted that there were no pictures or video of the drone incursions into the airspace around Gatwick despite 67 sightings. He said there was “no available footage and [officers] are relying on witness accounts”.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 07:10
  #1086 (permalink)  
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I would suggest that the information supplied by crews and ATC would be on the whole reliable, being somewhat skilled at identifying what is around them and possessing documented levels of eyesight.

Last edited by currawong; 24th Dec 2018 at 14:18.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 09:07
  #1087 (permalink)  
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Not necessarily - it's winter there - dark early (15:30 Zulu was lights on), and it's been a foul week for weather around LGW - I was there (or nearby) at the time - low cloud, showers, very poor light levels all day . There are birds, blowing trash bags, leaves in the air. It's very very hard to judge distances

Hard enough to spot a drone in a clear blue sky - and once one person says "is that a drone?" then you've got everyone pre-programmed to "see" one

I suspect that someone MAY have been flying drones around the area - one of the local guys told me there are a couple of oil well sites they've been protesting about a few kms away from LGW and the protesters use drones to spy on the oil works - but they may have been well outside the airfield boundary.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 09:22
  #1088 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
Hard enough to spot a drone in a clear blue sky - and once one person says "is that a drone?" then you've got everyone pre-programmed to "see" one..
That was indeed mentioned here as a theory here earlier today....

We don’t know (yet) if any of the reported observations were made by ATC and pilots.
There don’t appear to be any reports of confirmed sightings made by those equipped with binoculars/telescopes/image enhancement equipment.
There have been instances in the past of a flawed/mistaken observation of something being seen in the sky being published in a manner that has led to a cascade of “ copy cat” observations from other eyewitnesses.

I’d suggest until the authorities come up with something more concrete it is as valid a theory as to the chain of events at LGW as any other.

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Old 24th Dec 2018, 10:33
  #1089 (permalink)  
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FPV UK offer services of Aerial SWAT team
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 10:44
  #1090 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher View Post
In many countries , there is the presumption of innocence and confidentiality of the investigation . Is that not the case in the UK ?
It it is the case then the person from either the police or the justice department that released the names and addresses to the journalists should face strong disciplinary action .
I fell very sorry for this couple, remember all too well when a similar cock-up ended in tragedy when a journalist released the name (and the village where he lived) of the air traffic controller working the aircraft during the Ueberlingen collision.
The father of one of the victims showed up in his house and stabbed him to death in front of his wife and kids. I always wondered how the person that leaked his name and the editor that published it still feel about it today ?
Whilst there is technically a presumption of innocence in Law, it is for all practical purposes an illusion. The great unwashed conflate investigation with guilt and the media are far more concerned with their right to publish the first thing that comes into their heads than with publishing facts - suggest that they hold back on pillorying some individual and they'll scream "censorship" at you. You'd've thought they might have learned a thing or two from how they treated Cliff Richard but apparently there really is no discenable thought process involved with journalism.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 10:46
  #1091 (permalink)  
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Walking the North Cornwall coast path not too long ago, saw a guy on a headland who was clearly operating a drone about 400 metres ahead of us, kept eyes on it for ages. Walked onwards to pass him 5 mins later....... turns out he was photographing a Peregrine Falcon hovering and repositioning itself along the cliffs in darting manoeuvres. In fact it might have been 800m ahead or 300m when first spotted. Ranging is not easy without a surface reference point. Just saying.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 11:00
  #1092 (permalink)  
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especially when most of us have no idea of how big (or small) the things are.......
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 12:06
  #1093 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Joe_K View Post
Thanks. Hefty tariff: "A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for life." Has there ever been a conviction under this?
It was recently used to prosecute the "Stansted 15" - the anti-deportation protesters who surrounded an aircraft at Stansted. Its use in that case has attracted a lot of criticism in some quarters. The "15" were convicted and sentencing is expected in February.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 12:43
  #1094 (permalink)  
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Re "Was a drone spotted or not" arguments, this may be a good time to repost something I posted back in October:
I wonder how easy it is to identify an object passing you at 150mph and perhaps below or above you?
While watching departures at Heathrow recently, I watched as a Buzzard turned up and began circling to the South of the last couple of hundred yards of the runway. The bird's pattern was slightly elliptical so took the bird closer to the runway with each circuit. An aircraft departed and the bird was below and slightly to one side of the aircraft. The bird wasn't bothered by the sight and sound of his huge brother roaring by and continued focusing on his potential prey. A second aircraft then departed and this time the bird was slightly closer and slightly higher than previously. About this time, the controller was heard warning departing aircraft of the possibility of a drone being flown in the area. This warning was soon modified to include "but reports say it may be a bird", which of course it was. This incident highlighted how difficult it must be to identify something the size of a buzzard, 100 ft or so below and to one side and appearing in your peripheral vision for a matter of a second or two.
I once caught a Red Kite racing a landing G450. I guess the Kite decided it couldn't eat the G450 so cleared off:
Ship Photos, Container ships, tankers, cruise ships, bulkers, tugs etc
The confusion on that day was in excellent visibility, good sunshine etc.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 13:29
  #1095 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Re "Was a drone spotted or not" arguments, this may be a good time to repost something I posted back in October:

The confusion on that day was in excellent visibility, good sunshine etc.
And had it been a falcon or similar hawk that would explain the difficulty of triangulation on its radio transmissions and the failure of the associated tracking systems. It would also explain sporadic return flights. Then the night observations could be blue-on-blue mis-idents in the poorly controlled 'crime scene' or straight forward suggestibility.

Overall a lack of professionalism in response - that led to considerable upheaval to thousands of the airport customer pax and to their user airlines.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 15:27
  #1096 (permalink)  
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Here we have a senior police officer saying the unsayable truth, and a junta of government ministers calling it miscommunication.
Given the ministers' competence in other matters, I think I will go with the officer.

It is truly amazing that, after the first "sighting" and "chaos", when everyone within 10KM of Gatwick with a decent lens on a good camera [and every smartphone junky ] was looking for a scoop, there are no photos. Airports are often home to long lenses poking skywards.

The policeman may well be right.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 15:34
  #1097 (permalink)  
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With no planes flying, the hawks and kestrels would have thought it was open season, plenty of prey on airfields. Genaral Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, sums it up “ a national embarrassment of near biblical proportions “. - from the DM.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 18:24
  #1098 (permalink)  
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I also find the emphasis on "sightings" and "witness statements" strange.
With the military Gizmos rushed very slowly into position, and the confidence that "drone" or "drones" had been removed as a threat, one would imagine record, radar, electronic or visual would be available.

If so, judging from his unrehearsed remarks, the police officer fronting the investigation had not been told of this, or he would not have pleaded Occam's Razor.

I smell a rat or rats.
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Old 24th Dec 2018, 18:35
  #1099 (permalink)  
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This incident comes to mind: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_clown_sightings
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Old 25th Dec 2018, 09:37
  #1100 (permalink)  
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The whole thing seems somewhat contrived, admittedly easy to say with hindsight. If i was a conspiracy-minded person, you could almost believe that it (event and subsequent airport closure) was used as a springboard to maybe allow for a new bill to be pushed through parliament that may have previously stalled, or received adverse reaction? or perhaps to allow rapid deployment of new equipment at all UK airports that is utilised to detect such errant drones as was purported to have been the case (press reports suggest 'yes' here). Of course, such equipment may have further monitoring capabilities as well as that applicable to drones?. It is of course beneficial to have such monitoring (to identify errant drone activity for one) for safety and security, but it all seems a little too convenient and maybe some other less publicised 'activity possibilities' are introduced alongside the main purpose as well?. You have to wonder what (if any) other benefits are realised at a less obvious level. Maybe none of course. And there has been recent press speculation of increased threat levels again to aviation from new ISIS groups, so again anything to combat perceived or actual threats and protect the interests of all involved, can only be good. Time may tell i suppose, but i doubt it. And to treat the couple arrested like they did - sacrificial lambs on the alter of public desire for a lynching? whatever, that was very badly handled and watching and reading the press its all to easy to see where that is now likely headed with regard to compensatory considerations - and arguably fair too given the nature of it all.
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