This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The FAA released new research showing that collisions with drones cause more damage to airplanes than bird strikes do. This comes after more and more reports of near misses between drones and airplanes. Even though the drones are small, constructed of mainly plastic and only weigh a few pounds, the research showed that when a drone enters an engine it can cause more damage than if a similar-sized bird were to do the same thing.
Aircraft are designed to withstand a bird strike of up to 4 pounds to the windscreen and 8 pounds to the fuselage. The study concluded that a drone of similar size would cause more damage than the bird.
The “Miracle on the Hudson” flight crashed into the Hudson River due to a bird strike hitting its engines.
Fortunately, Gerardo Olivares, a researcher at Wichita State University who worked on the study, said that an impact on the plane’s fuselage with a drone wouldn’t be catastrophic. Although, if a drone entered a jet engine at lower speeds, its lithium ion battery would have a chance of surviving, which could lead to an increased risk of a battery fire or explosion.
Both a 2.7-pound quad copter or a 4-pound fixed-wing model could still cause serious damage to the aircraft’s tail fins on a narrow-body aircraft like a Boeing 737. An animation from the FAA shows an example of a crash:
The FAA says that there’s an average of 250 drone safety incidents every month, a 50% increase over last year. It’s illegal to fly a drone with five miles of an airport unless you warn the airport and air traffic control beforehand.
The research, commissioned by the FAA and carried out by four universities, took place over the last 14 months and examined the effects on large passenger jets down to smaller private jets.
While only 838,000 people registered their drones with the FAA, the agency estimates that 2.3 million devices will be purchased in 2017 alone.
Featured image by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images.
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
Aside from the 75,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees