Chock

Droning on...

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Heathrow Airport was closed down for a few hours last night because of a drone flying on the approach. Apparently there was a police helicopter trying to locate the operator, but I don't know how that ended. Because of the closure, Gatwick got a lot of diversionary traffic to the point where it could not take any more flights, and then they started coming up to us at Manchester and to a few other airports, forcing us to deal with some flights we were not expecting as well as causing us to tow off some aircraft from the stands on pier C to make way for other potential diversionary traffic. Then of course the passengers had to be catered for, transported by buses etc. So thanks for that, whoever the dumbass operating that drone was.

Edited by Chock
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Wow! You never realize the implications... 😮

Edited by Anders Bermann

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Off the top of my head, wouldn't drones operate on certain standard frequencies susceptible to being interfered with locally? Drone operators would probably be a lot more careful if their toys were dropping out of the skies in certain areas and not being returned.....

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What a bloody mess.  It's only a matter of time before drones are banned for private use or will have mandatory tracking and ID sensors of some kind.

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Gatwick. Not Heathrow. And still closed. 

Edited by Jetset408

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26 minutes ago, Jetset408 said:

Gatwick. Not Heathrow. And still closed. 

So it's Gatwick, Not Heathrow it happened?! 

Wonder why it's still closed... Flights are being diverted... currently BA2262 is just circling over the English Channel... 

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European air traffic management group Eurocontrol said the runway would remain closed until 11:00 .

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From Eurocontrol:

EGKK( Gatwick)
Airfield unavailable due to drones in the area till 1200 UTC.
High delays.

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At a monthly meeting of flight sim enthusiasts on Saturday in Heald Green (1 mile out from EGCC and right under the flight path) a member brought his new drone. He wasn’t able to demonstrate it as it’s sophisticated enough to know he is inside a restricted area and it won’t respond to commands. It should be illegal to sell or own drones that don’t have that technology.

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53 minutes ago, Ray Proudfoot said:

At a monthly meeting of flight sim enthusiasts on Saturday in Heald Green (1 mile out from EGCC and right under the flight path) a member brought his new drone. He wasn’t able to demonstrate it as it’s sophisticated enough to know he is inside a restricted area and it won’t respond to commands. It should be illegal to sell or own drones that don’t have that technology.

The problem is, people with intent to disrupt or just be numpties will always find ways around that.  This is why, giving  the common man free reign to do as he pleases on the basis that he'll apply sound judgement is becoming an increasingly bad idea.

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1 hour ago, ErichB said:

The problem is, people with intent to disrupt or just be numpties will always find ways around that.  This is why, giving  the common man free reign to do as he pleases on the basis that he'll apply sound judgement is becoming an increasingly bad idea.

The technology is built in to the drone and your average owner won't have the ability to break into it. There are always idiots in all walks of life. The problem as I see it is the law has been slow to respond to the potential damage drones can do in irresponsible hands.

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This seems to be a deliberate attempt to cause disruption.  More drones spotted and they don't think it'll be resolved until 4pm.  Crazy

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Jim,

You don't take the DM too seriously. Everything's a mess according to them. I trust your attention wasn't drawn to the clickbait on the right. :biggrin:

Edited by Jim Young
Removed quote as I edited the OP.
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The latest is that police have called in armed snipers as they don't think its an isolated incident but a deliberate act.   

Edited by rjfry

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12 minutes ago, rjfry said:

The latest is that police have called in armed snippers as they don't think its an isolated incident but a deliberate act.   

I hope that they’re there to take out the operator not the drone !

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3 minutes ago, jon b said:

I hope that they’re there to take out the operator not the drone !

You're kidding, right? 🤨

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17 minutes ago, rjfry said:

The latest is that police have called in armed snippers as they don't think its an isolated incident but a deliberate act.   

Interesting... I'd assume that they could take it out, as long as they can control where the remains lands... 

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If some smart tech guy comes up with something that can detect and trace the signal to the dron they could make some money.

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Just made the mistake of nipping into work to speak to someone who only works until 4pm (my shift starts tonight at 6pm, so I'd have missed them otherwise). When I went in the crew room, they wanted me to stick around and start work right then, but I didn't have my PPE gear with me so couldn't do so, but I said I'd be back and start an hour early to help out, and this is all thanks to those plonkers flying drones about and causing runways to be shut down and making aircraft divert all over the place, so it's gonna be a fun night tonight. Those things should definitely be required to have an operator licence and should be fitted with transponder devices too, so they show up on radar.

I've no wish to spoil people's fun with flying their drones if they enjoy doing so and it is done responsibily, but when it is at the massive expense of causing passenger aeroplanes to go to different destinations and all of the ensuing trouble that causes, I think it's time to address the matter with some legislation, licensing and/or technology to allow the things to be tracked. There's no way anyone who lives near an airport could be unaware of the potential trouble they might cause with a drone operated near a flight path, so I think some prison sentences are in order too if they find the people who do this sort of thing.

Maybe I should go a bit more proactive: I could always go out and buy a drone on the way into work, fly it about a bit near EGCC when I've parked my car up, with a big piece of tin foil tied to it so it shows up on the radar, and that'd shut that place down too. Then I would be in for a quiet night at work lol.

Oh well, last night of shift block tonight anyway, then off work for four days, can't wait for that, it's bloody cold out on that ramp at the moment, especially on Stand 15 where the wind really blows.

Edited by Chock
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It appears that this operator is using a sophisticated drone, above the simple low-end retail ones that run out of battery life quickly and have very limited control radius.

Addressing the issue with further legislation isn't the answer - it already exists and is observed by law-abiding drone operators.

The actual issue is how to deal with the illegal activity of drone operations in restricted areas, such as near airfields and near large concentrations of people.

There have been many attempts to deal with this problem:

Japanese authorities' effort:
566aeac9dd089546488b46c0-750-563.jpg


Dutch authorities' effort (now grounded due to animal welfare activists):

DAveulAW0AEedTW.jpg

French army's effort:
DkoBkrLVAAAsHAI.jpg

UK-based OpenWorks Engineering's effort:
maxresdefault.jpg


I especially like the last one - cool a.f. 😎

Where the tech needs to be developed is to be able to trace the source of the drone's signal back to the operator much quicker.

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1 hour ago, rjfry said:

If some smart tech guy comes up with something that can detect and trace the signal to the dron they could make some money.

It's pretty hard to do, they use Wi-Fi and public frequencies to fly them so it's like looking for someone you don't know what they look like in a very crowded subway system. Hard problem. Counter UAS systems are a billion dollar business right now for this very reason. It's a challenging problem because you cannot really jam the command and control links nor GPS for obvious reasons, and acoustic detection sensors are not where they need to be yet. 

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33 minutes ago, ErichB said:

What a mess.  

Incredible simple and precise statement for the situation they're facing...

Wondering when they have everything under control again. Judging from the descriptions and implications of the problem, this could take quite some time. Especially if they can't find the person / persons piloting and controlling the drones.

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