Thursday, August 20, 2015

BREAKING/LEAKED: Yuma Drone Came Within 100ft of a Navy T-45 Goshawk Last Month, FAA Report Shows; 3 Close Calls In Phoenix This Month

In late July, a rogue drone came within 100 feet of a Navy T-45 Goshawk jet flying near Yuma. In the past three weeks, there have been three close calls between drones and aircraft in the Phoenix area.

FAA reports of these four incidents are among several hundred that were leaked by a government
official to the Washington Post, and reported on this afternoon.  The article begins with a swarm of close calls - 12 - around the country on Sunday, but the Arizona naval close call is highlighted further down in the article.                                                            

The Navy T-45 Goshawk (built by McDonnell-Douglas) was apparently flying out of the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma on approximately July 24 when a "drone buzzed 100 feet underneath the trainer aircraft," according to the reporting pilot.

One of the three August close calls in the Phoenix area involved an American Airlines passenger jet.  According to the Post:

AA605 arrives into Phoenix from Columbus (OH), and then departs to Calgary (Alberta).

The other two near misses involved small planes (and, smaller drones).

Drones are largely unregulated, but are becoming the focus of increasing concern because the number of near-misses is growing rapidly.

The Post article indicates that the the FAA reports were leaked to them because the "government official... objected to the FAA’s secrecy. Laura Brown, an FAA spokeswoman, declined to comment on the reports obtained by The Post."

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