Did We Have 764 or Just 27 Near Misses Between Drones and Airplanes?

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Did We Have 764 or Just 27 Near Misses Between Drones and Airplanes?

When you read stories about near misses between airplanes and drones, it’s easy to get the impression they are almost daily events. Especially when articles are being published detailing estimates of drone incursions into restricted airspace. However, the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) found that many of the “reported to FAA were vague, mistaken or involved remotely piloted aircraft that were following the rules.” In a study completed by the AMA, they found that just 27 cases or 3.5% of the reported 764 close-call incidents were accurately reported. 764 vs. 27, seems like a big discrepancy to me.

Hobbyists who scrutinized reports to the FAA of alleged close calls with drones found that pilots reported near misses in only a small fraction of the cases, according to a study obtained by USA TODAY.

The study found that of the 764 close-call incidents between drones and other aircraft, only 27 were actually described by pilots as a “near miss.”

But the Academy of Model Aeronautics found that many drone sightings reported to FAA were vague, mistaken or involved remotely piloted aircraft that were following the rules.

The study found 27 cases, 3.5%, where the pilot reported a “near miss” or “near collision” or “NMAC,” for near mid-air collision. The study also found several reports where the pilot “isn’t reporting a near mid-air” or “did not consider it as a NMAC.”

“I think it should be better defined where the problem lies,” Hanson said.

Drone hobbyists find flaws in “close call” reports to FAA from other aircraft

Thank you to Bart Jansen of USA Today for breaking this story.

Academy of Model Aircraft

Academy of Model Aeronautics

About the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA)

Contact AMA today to learn how you can join one of the world’s most thrilling and high tech sports, model aviation. Whether you want to hear the whine of a turbine-powered jet, learn to fly a helicopter, pilot your own giant-scale aircraft, or enjoy a quiet afternoon soaring your sailplane with friends, the AMA can show you where to find instructors, how to become involved, and help answer almost any question.

  • World’s largest model aviation association, representing a membership of more than 175,000 from every walk of life, income level and age group.
  • Self-supporting, non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote development of model aviation as a recognized sport and worthwhile recreation activity.
  • Organization open to anyone interested in model aviation.
  • Official national body for model aviation in the United States. AMA sanctions more than 2,000 model competitions throughout the country each year, and certifies official model flying records on a national and international level.
  • Organizer of the annual National Aeromodeling Championships, the world’s largest model airplane competition.
  • Chartering organization for more than 2,500 model airplane clubs across the country. AMA offers its chartered clubs official contest sanction, insurance, and assistance in getting and keeping flying sites.
  • The voice of its membership, providing liaison with the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Communications Commission, and other government agencies through our national headquarters in Muncie, Indiana. AMA also works with local governments, zoning boards, and parks departments to promote the interests of local chartered clubs.
By | 2017-08-31T15:24:26+00:00 September 15th, 2015|Drones, FAA|Comments Off on Did We Have 764 or Just 27 Near Misses Between Drones and Airplanes?

About the Author:

Sam Estrin
I'm an avid drone enthusiast and part-time drone blogger living outside of the DC area. I track drone news and write editorials and timely drone news stories that I find interesting. If you like my stories, you can follow me on Twitter or visit me at LinkedIn. If you'd like me to write for your drone oriented publication or blog, you can contact me at info@droneuniversities.com.