Drone hits passenger plane but information sketchy

Ivan Schwartz
October 17, 2017

The drone hit the nose of a Skyjet-operated Beechcraft King Air A100 when the aircraft was inbound to Quebec City, says Transport Canada's online aviation incident database.

The drone that struck the passenger plane last week was following the 3.5-mile restriction but was flying much higher than legally allowed, hovering some 450 meters (1,500 feet) above the ground. And while there have been reports of pilots claiming that drones crashed into their aircraft in the United States, FAA officials confirmed to The Post that such a crash has never been verified in the United States.

A drone has collided with a commercial aircraft in Canada, the first such incident in the country, according to the Transport Ministry.

Canada's transport minster has told drone operators to stay away from airports after a remotely piloted craft bonked a passenger plane during its final approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City.

Based in Quebec, Skyjet operates a fleet of small twin-engine aircraft, according to its website.

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So far this year, there have been 1,596 drone incidents reported to Transport Canada, including 131 due to aviation safety concerns.

Despite all those sightings, however, an FAA spokesperson says the only actual drone-aircraft collision she knows of in the U.S. occurred last month and involved a US Army helicopter.

Federal Aviation Administration data compiled between February and September 2016 lists 1,274 possible drone sightings by USA air traffic facilities, compared to 874 for the same period a year earlier. In stern language, as a drone striking a propellor or being sucked into a jet engine has the potential to cause a very nasty incident.

Those include a Socata TB10 light training aircraft that suffered wing damage after hitting something in July that was assumed to be a drone. The minister did identify the type of aircraft that was struck.

Other reports by GizPress

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