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Old 01-08-2019, 08:32 PM
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Default Begun, the drone wars have.

First we had a near-total shutdown at London Gatwick airport for a few days before Christmas due to repeated drone sightings.

Military called in to help with Gatwick drone crisis | UK news | The Guardian

Now, London Heathrow has been temporarily halted for the same.

Heathrow airport 'drone sighting' leads to brief runway closure | UK news | The Guardian

Note the 'scare quotes' in the second headline. No actual drones have been captured, no firm claims or reliable witnesses let alone clear photos, and no one has been charged. Unidentified Flying Objects, in fact.

Clearly it's
  1. undeclared war
  2. terrorists
  3. rogue nerds who need to be rounded up and shot
  4. the Empire
  5. the rebel alliance
  6. something to do with Brexit

To be fair, an accidental drone collision with an aircraft could be a lot more serious than a bird collision (which is already serious enough) due to metal and other rigid parts, fuel and/or flammable batteries, and omg technology.

But is this a sensible precaution? Or the aviation authorities being overcautious? Or telling the public we can still f you up? Or telling the government see we told you we needed more regulation preventing civilians from having any fun? Or giving terrorists and activists some handy suggestions?

Or is it just another British "the wrong kind of" excuse?
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2019, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

This isn't overreaction. You don't fuck around with non-public areas at the airport. You just don't. Not even badge-carrying personnel can do that, not without telling airport control exactly where they are and what they're doing at all times.

I don't even blame calling the military. Sure it's overkill, but what else are you going to do when you need a small flying target safely destroyed? Train an eagle?
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:17 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

So a good step would be to confirm if there are actually any drones when a sighting is reported. And since that doesn't seem to be possible at the moment, investing in some detection equipment might be worthwhile. Is that easy (and UK airports have just not got around to it), or is it a challenge to say whether a black dot 1 mile away is a drone or a bird or something else?
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:20 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

DroneCatcher | DroneCatcher
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:30 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Something happening in Canada today, something about having to have a license to operate a drone and no drunk-droning.
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Old 01-09-2019, 06:53 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Licensing what amounts to antimissile radar into the hands of civilian operators is going to be a bitch. Again, the military are the ones to ask right now.
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Old 01-09-2019, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Reflector on a drone, to make it visible to airport RADAR:


Maybe they should be mandated for fully autonomous drones, like taillights on cars. I bet there's ways to make the reflector smaller and lighter too, like a modern flat antenna.

This won't prevent anyone from building and using unmarked drones, but establishes what the "right thing to do" actually is, and allows people to make drones less of a hazard whether homebuilt or what. It also helps establish intent to trespass when a "stealthed" drone gets found in controlled space.

It's also something nobody has to wait for technology to catch up to.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeP View Post
Is this a sensible precaution? Or the aviation authorities being overcautious? Or telling the public we can still f you up?
It's an exasperating nuisance, like blocking a fire hydrant. Usually it's just a way to demonstrate how much of an asshole someone is, but on rare occasions could be genuinely dangerous. We'll stop laughing the first time some idiot clips a landing gear.
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

You're focusing on the need to suspend flights when there is a drone in the area, but I'm not questioning that. I don't doubt the risk involved.

I'm anticipating flights being stopped every few weeks (or days now that the public are more aware) because there is a mistaken sighting of a drone. The articles don't confirm that drones were actually there.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Just this once I'd suspect malice or misguided humor before idiocy. Malice, because people realize they can shutdown an airport with a phone call, and misguided humor, because pilots have been lambasted for claiming they hit drones when they hit birds:


The whole idea is pretty funny. How can you see what you hit at 400km/h? You can't. That's why they pay to DNA analyze bird hits.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Begun, the drone wars have.

Next up, the slaughterbots.
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