Drone Roulette – Place Your Bets
It happened!! The Drone Roulette Wheel that’s been spinning has stopped on an Airbus A320 when it was hit by a flying drone during its approach to London’s Heathrow Airport on Sunday, April 17, 2016. By sheer luck, there was no catastrophic collision with the airline passenger jet, which would have cost the lives of 132 innocent passengers and any collateral damage from the plane being knocked out of the sky.
At Whitmarsh Research Group, we find these near-misses very troubling. We want to aid in the saving of lives, making the “hows” and the “whens” of creating and enabling applicable and workable Anti-Drone defenses to become a reality. The recent near-miss at Heathrow would never have occurred with the implementation of Whitmarsh Research Group’s patent-pending Anti-Drone Collision and Repellent System, part of our Drone Defense System™ that detects, tracks, traces, IDs, and repels intruding drones from 10 Miles, 5 Miles, and 1 Mile markers. Our system creates and maintains a buffer (shield) between drones and aircraft, never allowing a drone to come close enough to compromise safety.
A system like this is needed and soon. Not having such a system in force is creating an environment of “Drone Roulette,” where the probability of a catastrophic mid-air collision occurring becomes more plausible on a daily basis as more drones, regulated and unregulated, enter the skyway. The Drone Roulette problem had its start in 2013. By November of 2014, there were almost 150 near-misses. The FAA’s most recent incident report dated March 25, 2016 mentions 519 incidents involving passenger aircraft between August 21, 2015 to January 31, 2016. Since January there have been an additional 300 incidents, increasing drone to aircraft near-misses to an average of two per day. The possibility of a mid-air collision has increased exponentially. An object that cannot be detected by radar and is visible only within seconds of collision places the bet on the pilots’ superhuman reflexes to save their passengers from death at last-second avoidance to beat the odds. But those odds for last-second survival diminish as more drones populate the sky without a safety and avoidance system in place.
Who is willing to bet the lives in each aircraft and its passengers? What about the collateral damage that occurs from a crash? Those who still think that drones are toys or for hobbyists are sanctioning a deathwish. How do we define the drone culture and the cross-over manipulation of consumer drones to weaponize them to become terrorist vehicles and delivery systems? Do we heed the 9/11 Commission’s warning, that if we don’t …Imagine the catastrophic possibilities” – in this case, of drone terrorism or drone weaponization, that a catastrophic event or events will occur due to complacency and negligence. Who would be to blame? Would it be the government agencies and representatives, or hobbyist groups? Would be the tech industry or drone industry lobbyists? Or investors that are timid in positioning themselves to invest in the avoidance of the loss of lives? Who will go to funerals and say after the fact that we could have saved lost lives?
We need to end Drone Roulette by putting the odds back in favor of aircraft. So that they win every time by landing safely. We need to achieve this “win” by lowering the possibility to less than one (< than 1) catastrophic mid-air collision event. The way we make it < than 1 is by installing the anti-drone collision repellent system in every aircraft. Also by having a national and international database of drones that supersedes the existing passive database system with an interactive real-time database that points the fingers directly to the owner of the drone and it’s accountability as a criminal act of a drone invading the airspace of the aircraft in the endangerment of life and property.
We need to take the betting game out of our airspace now.
Since 2013, Whitmarsh Research Group has been discussing drone safety and documenting the need for it in the national airspace, well before incorporating to become the head of the spear in the development of real, applicable solutions for Drone Air Safety, Drone Air Security, Drone Anti-Terrorism Systems, and Drone Defense Systems with Drone Anti-Collision and Repellent Measures.
Everyone at Whitmarsh Research Group (WRG) applauds the brave and highly skilled aircraft pilots who fly planes in congested skyways that are becoming unsafe with the influx of small drones, which the FAA has been trying to legislate for drones weighing between .5 lb. up to 55 lb. Aircraft pilots should be thanked every day for keeping life and property safe and avoiding mid-air catastrophic events from the drones that they must avoid at the last second, until an aircraft anti- drone collision avoidance and deterrent system can be installed on every aircraft in U.S. airspace and beyond.