While the number of reported close calls between drones and airplanes has been climbing, the FAA has no mandated requirements for airplane engine manufacturers. With safety being the concern here, I would have expected the manufacturers to be more proactive. It’s illegal for drone operators to fly near airports or aircraft, but we will always have to contend with unsafe drone operators, drone operators that haven’t taken the time to learn the basic flight and safety skills from a legitimate drone college. Hopefully the FAA will step in here and force the manufacturers to test for UAV collisions in the same fashion that they test for bird collisions.
Close calls between small drones and passenger planes have been skyrocketing, but no tests have been done to determine what would happen if an unmanned craft was sucked into a jet engine.
The federal government has long required that planes be tested for how well they tolerate the impact of bird strikes, but none of the major jet engine manufacturers has done the same for drone impacts, NBC News has learned.
CFM, GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt & Whitney, which combined account for more than 80 percent of the engines used by the world’s commercial planes, all confirmed they had not conducted such tests because the FAA has not mandated such testing.