Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

FAA: Jet nearly collided with drone over Tallahassee

Federal officials say a U.S. jet airliner nearly collided in March with an airborne drone over Tallahassee.

Jim Williams of the Federal Aviation Administration's unmanned aircraft systems office acknowledged the incident Thursday at a San Francisco drone conference, citing it as an example of the risks posed by drones.

"The risk for a small UAS (unmanned aircraft system) to be ingested into a passenger airline engine is very real," Williams said at the conference.

The near collision was reported to air traffic control on March 22 by the pilot of an American Airlines Group jet as the pilot approached the Tallahassee runway en route from Charlotte, N.C.

"The airline pilot said that the UAS was so close to his jet that he was sure he had collided with it," Williams said. "Thankfully, inspection of the airliner after landing found no damage."

The pilot said the drone was at an altitude of about 2,300 feet, 5 miles northeast of the airport.

The FAA has investigated the incident, but in a statement released Friday said it has been unable to identify the jet's pilot or the drone's operator.

"Our challenge is to integrate unmanned aircraft into the busiest, most complex airspace in the world," the agency said. "Introduction of unmanned aircraft into America's airspace must take place incrementally and with the interest of safety first."

The law currently requires that private individuals flying drones notify the airport operator and the air traffic control facility when flying within 5 miles of an airport, the FAA added.

American Airlines spokesman Paul Flaningan said that the airline is aware of the incident and that it is investigating the matter.

The use of drones has increased dramatically in the past few years as the devices have become cheaper and more accessible to the average consumer.

Last week, the National Park Service issued a statement reminding visitors that federal regulations ban the use of drones within Yosemite National Park.

Drone sightings have become a nearly daily occurrence in the venerated national park, with the devices buzzing loudly near waterfalls, above meadows or over treetops as guests use them to capture otherwise impossible-to-get photographs of the breathtaking landscape.

Scott Gediman, a park ranger for nearly two decades, said drones can interfere with emergency rescue operations and disrupt the activities of sensitive or endangered wildlife.

"Most, if not all, of the people using these are simply unaware that they're illegal," Gediman told the Associated Press.

FAA: Jet nearly collided with drone over Tallahassee 05/09/14 [Last modified: Friday, May 9, 2014 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fox renewed O'Reilly contract despite knowing of allegations

    Nation

    NEW YORK (AP) — The Fox News Channel says the company knew a news analyst planned to file a sexual harassment lawsuit against Bill O'Reilly when it renewed the popular personality's contract in February.

    Fox News commentator Bill O'Reilly appears on the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," in New York. O'Reilly has lost his job at Fox News Channel in April following reports that several women had been paid millions of dollars to keep quiet about harassment allegations. [Associated Press file]
  2. Conviction overturned 30 years later in neo-Nazi murder case

    Criminal

    TAMPA — A judge on Friday overturned the murder conviction of Dean McKee now that new evidence has raised doubt about McKee's guilt in a Tampa slaying that occurred nearly three decades ago when he was 16.

    In 1987, a St. Petersburg Times reporter interviewed Dean McKee for a story about young skinheads in Tampa. [Times | 1987]
  3. Experts have some theories on who's carrying out Seminole Heights killings

    Crime

    The words serial killer tend to conjure an image of a middle-aged white man, likely a loner. He stabs or chokes or strangles, murdering up close for the thrill, straight out of central casting.

    A memorial was set up where Anthony Naiboa, 20, was found shot to death in Seminole Heights. Some experts who have reviewed information in the case say that whoever is behind the three Seminole Heights killings may live in the area. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  4. Late fumble, field goal send Florida State to another loss

    College

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher didn't have an explanation for the turning point in Saturday's 31-28 last-second loss to Louisville.

    Louisville's Lamar Jackson gets past Florida State's Matthew Thomas to score in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Tallahassee Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC102
  5. Funeral starts for soldier at center of Trump fight

    Military

    COOPER CITY, Fla. (AP) — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102