A recently released report by the MOD has revealed that a Tornado Fighter Jet came close to hitting a drone that was being flown by a farmer near to an airbase.
The fast jet was travelling at around 520mph (451 knots) when it passed the drone at a distance of around 22m.
The RAF Jet, which was flying around 8nm from RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, did not see the UAV which was being used at the time for an agricultural survey.
The UAV was reported to be flying around around 100m at the time of the incident, whilst the jet was at around 122m.
Reporting the incident himself, the farmer involved said that there was a ‘high risk’ of a collision.
The report, released by the Civil Aviation Authority, said that safety had been “much reduced” by the near-miss that happened on 4th July this year (2018).
The report said the proximity of the two aircraft, and the fact the pilot wasn’t able to see the drone, resulted in “a significant and largely unmitigated safety risk”.
It recommended that RAF Air Command use a system to be informed of anyone operating commercial drones near the base.
Featured image credit: RAF.mod.uk
10 things you need to know about flying drones (Gov.uk)
- drones can and do present a very real hazard to manned aircraft – pilots (including military pilots) have reported over 50 near misses with drones last year alone
- drones (including model aircraft) are subject to the law through the Air Navigation Order
- it is your responsibility to fly safely and within the law – if you don’t (and individuals have been) you could be prosecuted.
- never fly a drone near an airport/airfield or close to aircraft. It is a criminal offence to endanger the safety of aircraft in flight
- keep your drone in sight and below 400ft
- do not fly over congested areas and never fly within 50m of a person, vehicle or building not under your control
- if you wish to use a drone for commercial purposes (get paid) then you need to have permission from the CAA
- ensure any images obtained do not break privacy laws
- if you want to buy a commercially available drone for Defence activities (photographs, multimedia, and surveys at height) it becomes regulated by the MAA and you must follow their rules
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