They may appear to be nothing more than toys for adults, but drones pose a significant risk to aircraft operations according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The agency claims to receive 100 reports each month of drones being flown close enough to aircraft to cause a helicopter accident or even a fatal aviation accident.
The hazard is not minimized when small drones, some of them weighing no more than a half a pound, take to the air. According to the FAA, small drones have the potential cause an aviation accident by smashing through a windshield, going into an engine or coming into contact with the rotors of a helicopter.
The FAA has proposed regulations requiring owners of drones to register them. Registration would result in the owner being issued a number to be affixed to each drone the person owns. The purpose of registration is to make it possible for investigators to hold owners accountable when their drones fly too close to planes or helicopters and violate current regulations. It would also make it possible to identify and hold accountable the owner if a drone causes a plane crash or helicopter crash.
A task force working with the FAA to come up with the registration regulations is recommending that even the smallest drones be subject to them. It is estimated that drone sales in this country will approach 700,000 by the end of the year, so the risks posed by drones are sure to increase.
Personal injury attorneys in Mesquite, Texas, understand that drones add to the hazards pilots and passengers already face from dangerous weather conditions, unpredictable terrain and the undetected maintenance issue. Anyone who has been injured in a plane crash should get advice and guidance from a knowledgeable aviation accident attorney.
Source: PBS, “Aviation task force recommends registration of even small drones,” Joan Lowy, Nov. 21, 2015