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On 12/21/2018 at 6:43 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

Explainer - How drones caused travel chaos at Gatwick airport

I'm incapable of grasping how a drone can disrupt a few hundred flights and how the police and the army working together cannot catch either the drone or the person/s operating it. I don't mean this ironically, I genuinely can't understand it. How is this possible?

Like birds,  if a drone gets sucked into a jet engine,  the engine can explode,  and bring the plane down.

Remember,  birds took down Sully's plane,  and he was able to save lives by landing in the river.

Not every pilot is as good as Sully.

Just my thoughts.

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But while birds cannot be controlled by airport security, they must be able to do something about drones, mustn't they? Shoot the thing down or something. 

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On 12/21/2018 at 7:43 PM, Marina Schwarz said:

Explainer - How drones caused travel chaos at Gatwick airport

I'm incapable of grasping how a drone can disrupt a few hundred flights and how the police and the army working together cannot catch either the drone or the person/s operating it. I don't mean this ironically, I genuinely can't understand it. How is this possible?

Apparently there were intelligence warnings that attempts would be made to down aircrafts via an army of drones.  Really.  So when the idiot pranksters decided to fly drones around the airport, security understandably freaked out.

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(edited)

On 12/21/2018 at 6:43 PM, Marina Schwarz said:

Explainer - How drones caused travel chaos at Gatwick airport

I'm incapable of grasping how a drone can disrupt a few hundred flights and how the police and the army working together cannot catch either the drone or the person/s operating it. I don't mean this ironically, I genuinely can't understand it. How is this possible?

Engine ingestion is the most obvious concern, as Illurion pointed out.  The information released by the authorities was never crystal clear, so they could have actually been seeing evidence of multiple drones in the aerodrome, or airdrome, at once.  This could in turn put multiple aircraft in danger of a focused attack with the intent to bring down multiple aircraft simultaneously.  However, the threat of bringing down even one aircraft or endangering the life of even one passenger or crew is unacceptable and would have been deemed enough of a risk to shut down operations.  Keep in mind that drones fitted with cameras could be flown right into the gaping inlets of today's fan engines.  Putting multiple drones in the path of an aircraft could have ensured successful ingestion of one or both engines of a typical airliner flown into or out of Gatwick.

Getting a precise location of one of these small drones would not be as simple as it would seem, and shooting them down when located presents many dangerous scenarios as well.  The article you linked to did mention that on the second day, Thursday, In the afternoon, the army was drafted in to Gatwick to deploy “specialist equipment”, the Ministry of Defence said  and that the airport was operating under caution by Friday morning, so the military would appear to have equipment that is at least further along than the commercially available equipment, without the commercial risk as well.  If the authorities were able to locate one or more drones, they would then want to track down the remote operators as well, otherwise the operators could simply launch more drones and carry on with their mission, whatever that may be.  Here is a pretty good article on where one type of commercial technology is at with regards to locating and tracking at this time:

3-D TECHNOLOGY FOR DRONE DETECTION

As you can see, they have some ways to go before they are ready to deploy and guarantee effectivity as a commercial product.  Since this involves the safety of one of the busiest airports in the world, liability for failure would be high with commensurate insurance coverage and costs to match.

But what would be the motivation to do any of this?  Gatwick has been and continues to be a hotbed of controversy regarding noise and pollution, or at least using those complaints to keep the airport from expanding operations to include the full time use of their second "emergency" runway, or in fact building even another runway.  Residents around the airport, rightly or wrongly, wish to block expansion of the airport in any fashion and would like nothing more than to see it shuttered permanently, which would result in a better quality of life for the local residents and increased property values as well.  This is most likely why the police questioned a local couple and even let their identities and address become known to the press.  One could presume that the nice couple that claim to have had their lives upended by the accusations are on someone's list of agitators, but that is only a presumption and we all know where those normally lead.  Oh, and the airport is currently owned by a group out of New York, which doesn't sit well with the locals either; it's pretty hard to fight or picket against owners who are located across the ocean.

 

Edited by Dan Warnick
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On 12/21/2018 at 11:43 AM, Marina Schwarz said:

Explainer - How drones caused travel chaos at Gatwick airport

I'm incapable of grasping how a drone can disrupt a few hundred flights and how the police and the army working together cannot catch either the drone or the person/s operating it. I don't mean this ironically, I genuinely can't understand it. How is this possible?

Its 'elf and safety mate. Th UK is and has been for sometime in the grip of a left wing organised panic about doing anything that may compromise safety so firing a gun gets police in a panic as they are liable to be sued if the spent bullet hits something or body, how a bullet fired upwards would cause a problem I am not sure however that is where the UK is.

The system that stopped the drone, or some say drones or some say none, was an army system believed to be Israeli in origin and it blocks the control signal by swamping it. How a drone falling uncontrollably to the ground is considered safe I am unsure. A damaged drone was found near the airport how it was damaged or got there is unknown. We will find out the governmental version of the truth at some point.

In reply to the airport being American owned that info is out of date a French company bought a majority stake a few day ago.

https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-gatwick-m-a-vinci/frances-vinci-to-buy-majority-stake-in-gatwick-airport-for-2-9-billion-pounds-idUKKCN1OQ0DI

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1 hour ago, jaycee said:

In reply to the airport being American owned that info is out of date a French company bought a majority stake a few day ago.

So much for the EU "won't be doing deals with the UK after Brexit" brigade!

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3 hours ago, jaycee said:

Its 'elf and safety mate. Th UK is and has been for sometime in the grip of a left wing organised panic about doing anything that may compromise safety so firing a gun gets police in a panic as they are liable to be sued if the spent bullet hits something or body, how a bullet fired upwards would cause a problem I am not sure however that is where the UK is.

Right, that toast-making list of instructions comes to mind...

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6 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Apparently there were intelligence warnings that attempts would be made to down aircrafts via an army of drones.  Really.  So when the idiot pranksters decided to fly drones around the airport, security understandably freaked out.

An army of drones? Tell me you're joking, please, despite the "Really."

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16 minutes ago, Marina Schwarz said:

An army of drones? Tell me you're joking, please, despite the "Really."

No, really.  I was following some scuttlebutt before and while it was happening.  There were legit security concerns that coordinated drones could down planes at airports. 

Although my phrase "army" of drones should be better stated as "coordinated" actions by multiple drones.  It's been tried elsewhere, for military purposes, using dozens of drones at once.

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1 minute ago, Marina Schwarz said:

An army of drones? Tell me you're joking, please, despite the "Really."

Absolutely.  Very real concern, indeed.  Watch the following Intel video (from 2016!) and imagine instead of a pretty light show the drones are fitted with small explosive charges and steel pellets or ball bearings. 

100 drones in flight - Guinness World Records

Then watch the following video showing how the U.S. Air Force is weaponizing drones:

F/A-18 Super Hornets Launch 103 Perdix Drone Swarm

Imagine the drones in the video arrayed in the flight path of a passenger aircraft.  This is a very real threat to civil aviation and the authorities in every country are actively scrambling to set rules, develop defensive plans and measures (as you've seen though, those measures are still incomplete as far as I know), and pay for the systems that are or will be available in the future.  One more expense every commercial airport will have to add to our ticket prices and/or taxes.

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In the commercial aviation field, we have been aware of the threats that drones potentially pose since the beginning of this new era of personal sized drones came to be and the drones became available at the local hobby shop.  Many of the earliest enthusiasts were aviation buffs who bought or built drones and flew them at their clubs, which are typically located at or near airfields, and they quickly realized the potential threat drones of this size, price and availability could pose to commercial aviation.  But it's a game of catch up now.  Hopefully sufficient counter measures will be ready and deploy-able before someone uses these things to bring down a commercial aircraft.

Next step in the threat chain will be the difficult decisions about whether or not individual aircraft will need to be fitted with counter-measures of some kind.  If the decision is taken to fit aircraft with defensive counter-measures, ticket prices will again be affected.  Have a look at the video below of the only (to my knowledge) commercial airline (El Al of Israel) to have anti-missile counter-measures installed and note the cost of $1 million per aircraft.  Can a similar system be used to counter drone threats?  Good question.

Sophisticated anti-missile systems installed on commercial aircraft

You will note that there are not many readily available videos on these subjects.  Somebody finally realized that some bad people around the world don't need any help employing these things for all the wrong reasons.  Let them figure it out for themselves.

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24 minutes ago, Dan Warnick said:

You will note that there are not many readily available videos on these subjects.  Somebody finally realized that some bad people around the world don't need any help employing these things for all the wrong reasons.  Let them figure it out for themselves.

Better late than never, I guess.

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More fun with drones in the UK, seems to be a trend starting

A main route between England and Wales was closed after a man climbed a bridge and flew a drone from the top.

Traffic was stopped on the M48 - the older of two Severn crossings - because of "concern for welfare," police said.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-46720717

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Testing...1, 2, 3.  Maxine Waters.

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(edited)

7 hours ago, Marina Schwarz said:

An army of drones? Tell me you're joking, please, despite the "Really."

I no longer have the link,  but there is a video from some 2 years ago from MIT.

They had 100 small drones about the size of your fist,  and they all flew in perfect precision,  up and down,  sideways,  all together in unison.

They were all controlled by a single computer via remote control.

Amazing video.    100 of them.   10 high,  and 10 across.   flying as one.

Something like that could easily take down an aircraft.  

Edited by Illurion
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(edited)

In China some cities have banned fireworks to avoid air pollution and they use swarms of drones instead to replace the fireworks... Remember also the last winter olympic games ceremony in South Korea using more than 1200 drones.

The world record is 1300 coordinated drones in a single display.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbCR8mOPkuo

Edited by Guillaume Albasini
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14 minutes ago, Guillaume Albasini said:

In China some cities have banned fireworks to avoid air pollution and they use swarms of drones instead to replace the fireworks... Remember also the last winter olympic games ceremony in South Korea using more than 1200 drones.

The world record is 1300 coordinated drones in a single display.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbCR8mOPkuo

Hi Guillaume.  I had not seen that before.  Pretty cool.

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So, somebody is doing something about it. And yes, these guys from DroneShied are boasting about a deployment of their products by the British army.

https://vimeo.com/309790472

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