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Pilot of Commercial Airliner Nearly Collides with Drone Near LAX

AltiGator civil drone OnyxStar reportedly too close for comfort, says pilot at LAX


November 8, 2016

AltiGator civil drone OnyxStar Fox-C8 XT in flight. Similar drone was reportedly too close to an aircraft at LAX, a growing problem for urban US airports.

The pilot of a commercial airliner reported seeing a drone flying Monday near Los Angeles International Airport, reports City News Service. The unmanned aerial vehicle came dangerously close to colliding with the airline, with potentially disastrous consequences.

The crew of a departing WestJet Boeing 737 spotted the drone 1,500 above the ground shortly after noon, according to Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The jetliner was departing runway 24L when the unmanned aircraft was sighted, Gregor said. "The crew did not provide a description or proximity and did not take evasive action," he said.

An unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone, as an unmanned aircraft system (UAS), or by several other names, is an aircraft without a human pilot aboard. The flight of UAVs may operate with various degrees of autonomy: either under remote control by a human operator, or fully or intermittently autonomously, by onboard computers.

Compared to manned aircraft, UAVs are often preferred for missions that are too "dull, dirty or dangerous" for humans. They originated mostly in military applications, although their use is expanding in commercial, scientific, recreational, agricultural, and other applications, such as policing and surveillance, aerial photography, agriculture and drone racing. Civilian drones now vastly outnumber military drones, with estimates of over a million sold by 2015.

UAVs can threaten airspace security in numerous ways, including unintentional collisions or other interference with other aircraft, deliberate attacks or by distracting pilots or flight controllers.


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