If you follow drones at all, you have read stories of planes nearly hitting drones in areas around airports. Some say that a single drone doesn’t present much danger to a large airliner, but a new study conducted by the FAA and its European counterpart the EASA found that medium to larger sized drones could pose a serious risk if they hit a passenger plane.
Unlike birds, drones are made of much harder materials like carbon fiber that can damage a plane’s fuselage with a direct hit or maybe even take out an engine. As an engineer working on the study said, “Birds can disintegrate relatively easily…you get something like a very viscous bulk of fluid on the other side. A drone can be like a rock going through the engine.”
Hopefully this research will dissuade people from flying drones near airports. It also shows the necessity of better sense and avoid systems and even build in overrides that will not allow idiots to fly drones in restricted airspace.