Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Drone strike

Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:22
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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From the Guardian's coverage:


'Steve Landells, the flight safety specialist at the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), said that data on bird strikes was not useful because “birds don’t have a big lump of lithium battery in them”.


He raised the possibility of engine failure in the event of a drone striking a plane. “You end up with very high-velocity bits of metal going anywhere they like.


That could be through fuel tanks, through hydraulic lines and even into the cabin,” he said.


“Losing the engine is not going to cause an aircraft to crash because they are designed to fly with one engine down. But an uncontained engine failure is going to be different every time. That could be very serious indeed.”


“The first thing we want to do is get a drone or at least the critical parts of a drone flying at a windscreen of an aircraft. The indications so far with computer modelling are that you’ll end up with penetration of a windscreen.

“One possibility is that the battery smashes the windscreen and the inside layer of the windscreen shatters and you end up with a lot of glass in the cockpit, probably moving at quite high speed.


“As a pilot, I don’t want to be sitting there when that’s going on.” '


So research is already happening, albeit in a virtual manner. I would have been surprised to find it wasn't.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:25
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"We need someone to test engines against drones like we do against birds"
Not necessary the answer is already presumed

The engine will be conked and a safe shutdown.

I'll keep my eyes open on the internet for a multi-engine drone ingestion someday in the future where the pilot workload goes up.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:29
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All part of the natural risks of life.
Well ,birds ARE natural and cannot be controlled, drones are artificial and ARE controlled - but some nutters cannot control them properly!!!
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:40
  #24 (permalink)  
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A drone was recently spotted in flight near Biggin at over 12000 feet. The drone must have had a large battery pack to get to this altitude and it may have also contained a camera and it is these two items that pose a problem due to their density.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:43
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Originally Posted by Tourist View Post
We need somebody to test engines against drones like we do against birds.
Who's going to pay for the engine under test?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 20:45
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Originally Posted by Tourist View Post
The simple fact is that the score is currently 1/0 to the "drones don't damage big aircraft" point of view.
What about little aircraft? - it's OK to kill us, is it, as long as the big ones survive?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:06
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Originally Posted by Basil View Post
Correct, 'NO!'
Correct re firing chickens- they are fired into cockpit and radomes and windshields to evaluate certain structural issues. The 767 ' skullcap ' [windshield surround ]was changed to incorporate titanium ' stringers' and substructures and surround as a result of such tests way back in the 80's.

Half frozen chickens and turkeys are one thing- hard metal and batteries are another when it comes to penetration- both for windshields and engines..
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:12
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Only matter of time till this Drone "bubble" is seriously popped by the regulators/governments and so it should be

Think of a not so distant future where Jihadists use them for sinister acts, drug dealers use them with a weapon attached to kill their competing gangsters, to deliver drugs, to deliver stuff into prisons, to take photos of people in their private space..

The Japanese Police already have a master drone to capture rogues drones
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:25
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yawn, do actually believe those wishing to deliver a coup de tat on an inbound airliner with a drone swarm attack are actuaļy going to go legit beforehand?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:42
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Birdstrike is unfortunate, and sometimes cannot be avoided. Stercus accidit.

However, [email protected] attacks and drones which can be ingested into aircraft engines can be avoided as they are largely the actions of people who know the danger that can result. Therefore they must face the penalty of law. Its an avoidable danger that the passengers of any airline do not wish to be exposed to (and the flight crew for that matter)
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:43
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Whikle I agree that some perspective is called for the worrying thing is that with all the publicity plus the law about not flying these things near airports some idiot just ignores the rules.
In UK if you buy a TV=same price or less than a medium sized heavier drone that could cause damage you have to supply name and address and of course thats easily linked to drone model and serial number.

Just that process that implies the authorities can chase down offenders would stop things to a degree as would making it clear that if you damaged an airliner or for that matter any aircraft through operating a UAV (yes I agree a drone is a silly name) in the vicinity of an airport is automatically culpable manslaughter with the likelyhood of 15 years inside might also focus the mind. Neither likely in UK where the civil service /poli/legal culture works on the basis of no ones died yet have they.

I don't agree its the same as a bird strike thats always going to be a random act of nature this kind of thing is a deliberate act of recklessness and as there are numerous places where a hard object could cause serious damage to plane it shouldn't be ignored on the basis that-its no worse than a bird strike. After ll there are decades of experience of bird strike damage and I imagine desingers and engineers have a lot of data to work with but not so with UAVs
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:45
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Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
Peekay4 - I think it's highley unlikley you'll find a UAV of that kind in the hands of a nutter on the approach to Heathrow...
I think a nutter (a serious one) would very likely use a big heavy UAV such as in the upper photo, in order to do maximum damage.

Even the smaller one held by the kid in the lower photo, if flown by said kid into a jet engine while poppa wasn't looking, would be ... interesting.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 21:53
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I think the authorities' reaction to this incident is likely to be along the lines suggested by Tourist: an aircraft hit a drone, no significant damage, therefore drones aren't a danger to aircraft and we can go back to sleep behind our desks. Nothing will be done until serious damage is caused, probably as others suggest above by an engine ingesting a drone. Then there'll be a panic.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 22:14
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Smaller drones represent an insignificant risk to large aircraft like an A320, 64,500 Kg versus 1 Kg is unlikely to end in favour of the drone. The larger 5Kg and upwards semi professional models that are capable of flights to several thousand feet are clearly a potential hazard.

Perhaps larger drones should be fitted with a mandatory TCAS receiver that causes the drone to immediately land in event of a conflict with an aircraft. A permanent serial number burnt into the computer chips or a system to permanently disable the drone operating system if it is operated in conflict with aircraft could be useful. Something along the lines of disabling stolen mobile phones.

Culprits then either lose the use of their drone permanently, or get brought before the courts to give reasons for flying the drone in potentially dangerous circumstances.

Given how cheap complex electronic devices have become, it shouldn't be hard to devise and implement such systems without compromising drone performance. Modern drones are supposed to have geo fencing built in to prevent flight near airports in any case.

So we are left with legacy drones that can still be flown anywhere. No real solution for these although their numbers should decrease over coming years.

As far as the risk of these things being used as some sort of very slow guided missle, radio controlled planes with far greater performance and payload capacity have been flying for years without similar concerns being raised. Why?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 22:21
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UAV / Drone Solution to commercial a/c:

Sorry to be so boring: Roke Manor please take note..... and pay me royalty when you've created it.......

TCAS is a simple interrogation of data.... We have them in all commercial aircraft.

Someone needs to create a TCAS frequency "lookout" for electro data in close proximity and then use the a/c power to create a "boundary layer" safe bubble around the approaching a/c from any direction.

If I can use the a/c power to create a virtual 100 mtr safety bubble around me then I really don't give a to$$ as it should only be a case of "fan stop" on one side or the same drills as a bird strike but clearly hoping it it doesn't come through a windshield like this....... https://youtu.be/9t5VoP9bNQU

Unless someone creates a power source direct from the a/c to detect and deviate drones from near us then we /enforcement agencies or the manufacturers have ZERO chance of doing anything to mitigate the risk of collision and the size, damage done will just increase.

The ONLY way of mitigating this risk of drone strike and potential catastrophic damage is from the a/c itself.

This actual minor incident has created a major media focus but it will not be long and not take long for this to get out of control, drones will get bigger, technology will advance 1000 times quicker than the regulators can adapt and there will never be sufficient resource to enforce from the ground.

If the mfrs / regulators do not understand the need for control and solution from the a/c then we are all on an ever increasing risk scale before the inevitable. It may be a few years away but be sure it will happen.

Blue skies and sorry for spoiling the first summer weekend of the season ..... the weather was probably the biggest factor in it happening today - less than 10 kts and CAVOK

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Old 17th Apr 2016, 22:29
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Originally Posted by tubby linton View Post
A drone was recently spotted in flight near Biggin at over 12000 feet. The drone must have had a large battery pack to get to this altitude and it may have also contained a camera and it is these two items that pose a problem due to their density.
Seriously doubt this claim. 20 minute flight time means it would have to get to 12000ft in about 10 mins which is a climb rate of 1200ft/min. (10 minutes to descend under power). Also over 2 miles vertical range would be at limit for the radio (not the ground transmitter but the drone transponders). Doable for a special attempt but not for a casual amateur. IMHO
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 23:02
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I'm struggling to think of an airport anywhere in the world that involves atmospheric re-entry.
Well now, how about KTTS and KEDW as starters for ten........

Returning to the thread, here's what I wrote in R&N in November 2014

I've been in the air transport industry since 1969, in a number of different sectors, eg airline management, airport management and engineering, working in a number of different countries, eg UK, UAE, Oman, Jordan, USA, Israel (Gaza), Tunisia, Algeria, Greece and the Philippines. Before that I was in the military for 10 years, including the final 3 years working as an Intelligence officer in the Gulf region. At various times, and in various ways, I have been closely involved in anti-terrorist action and aviation security.

In my view, the free availability of the sophisticated drones that are around now, as well as of the more and more sophisticated ones that are coming fast down the line, represents the biggest threat to air transport (to say nothing of humanity as a whole) that has been seen so far, not excluding hijacking by suicidal maniacs, SAM firings by rogue military forces, or Muslim and other religious extremists.

The threat comes from unintentional collisions, or from terrorist attacks for which drones can be used in several ways.

The threat cannot be diminished by laws governing their operation, for the obvious reason that laws are obeyed only by the good.

The ONLY way that the threat can be reduced to as low as reasonably practical is to impose the same controls on their manufacture and distribution that apply to dangerous, ie nuclear, weapons, with very long prison sentences for breaking the law.

And this needs to be done sooner rather than later. Any drone is a threat to safety, or a dangerous weapon if the user wants it to be, and they are out there, now, in the hands of idiots and terrorists.
The funny thing was that at that time I, and the few PPRuNe experts who agreed with that post, were roundly monstered by the R&N majority who saw little harm in drones, live and let live, no real danger from these little toys, got one myself, etc etc.

Last edited by Capot; 17th Apr 2016 at 23:18.
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 23:25
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Has anyone actually confirmed it was a drone? I know that the number of objects it could have been is rather limited, but what physical evidence is there that a drone struck the aircraft?
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 23:36
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Tourist, you make me laugh at your ignorance. You obviously have never seen damage caused by some of the smaller birds never mind a large one like a duck or bigger. Enjoy your keyboard as I highly doubt your feet ever leave the ground.

And these swallows are the worst.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=y2R3FvS4xr4
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Old 17th Apr 2016, 23:41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nige321 View Post
Peekay4 - I think it's highley unlikley you'll find a UAV of that kind in the hands of a nutter on the approach to Heathrow...
I think a nutter (a serious one) would very likely use a big heavy UAV such as in the upper photo, in order to do maximum damage.

Even the smaller one held by the kid in the lower photo, if flown by said kid into a jet engine while poppa wasn't looking, would be ... interesting.
OldLurker is offline Report Post Quick reply to this message
You are missing the point. The nutter we have here isn't flying UAVs like in the photos. They are big, serious money pro vehicles. Anyone flying one of those is going to know the rules...

The nutters at Heathrow are the Phantom-From-Maplin brigade, fancies a 'drone' not enough brain cells to work out Heathrow's a stupid place to fly it.

And forget the 'ban them now' idea, the nutter at Heathrow will ignore it...
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