Paris-Dulles Flight Has Close Call With Drone

Close Call With Drone

By BriYYZ – Flickr: Air France Airbus A380-800 F-HPJB, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Paris-Dulles Flight Has Close Call With Drone

Yet another story about an aircraft that had a close call with a drone.  This time, the Air France flight was landing at Dulles International Airport in Sterling, Virginia, when the drone came into sight of the pilot.

According the NBC Washington,

The pilot of Air France Flight 54 reported to the tower crossing a drone about 100 feet above the Boeing 777. The tower then warned other pilots about the drone deep inside restricted airspace.

“It’d definitely shake you up, I mean, if you see a drone 100 feet above you and you’re already at 700 feet,” commercial pilot JC Silvey said.

A small drone can cause major damage, especially during takeoff or landing, said Silvey, who’s been flying for a commercial airline for 20 years.

“You’re low on energy at that point, and to think that you can really maneuver that airplane around to avoid it, not very likely,” he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which governs the use of drones, has very strict regulations in the use of drones.  The Washington, D.C. area has strict guidelines and the 30-mile radius around Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport that prohibits the use of drones.  There is absolutely no drone usage allowed within 15 miles of DCA and limited usage of drones in the 30-mile radius.  However, it is likely that since the plane was on approach, that the drone fell out that range.  That being said, the FAA suggests operators should never fly near aircraft, particularly near airports.

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