Southwest Airlines pilot spots drone flying near Oakland International Airport

Aviation

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) –A Southwest Airlines pilot landing at Oakland International Airport Saturday evening spotted a drone flying near the airport.

The crew of the Southwest flight into Oakland spotted the drone just before they landed. “Fairly good sized drone between 2,000 and 3,000 feet and it did have a red beacon on top. We were passing 4,500 to 4,600 feet on a right turn it was off our right side,” Southwest Airlines pilot said.

FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor released a statement saying: “It a was pretty big drone. The pilot of a 737 reported seeing an unmanned aircraft about five feet long at 2000 feet altitude.”

“It may not have been too close to the aircraft, but it was certainly too close to the airport. i think that’s the bigger issue. the new rules now say you can’t fly a drone within five mile radius of an airport,” Mike McCarron said.

That flight landed safely within minutes of the call and there’s no indication that the passengers even knew what was happening.

Most amateur drones are pretty small, but they can still cause a lot of damage if a plane hits them in flight. “Could break out a window. If it gets ingested in the engine, the engine could fail and that could be catastrophic,” McCarran said.

These sightings by airline pilots are happening more and more often, an average of twice a day across the country.

The FAA and Drone Operator Associations recently launched a website with important drone flight information such as including maintaining a five mile radius from any airport, not flying above 400 feet and staying away from other aircraft.

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According to the FAA, the Oakland control tower staff called local police. We know Alameda officers were called to a nearby beach, but no drone was ever found.

 

by Sergio Quintana- The post Southwest Airlines pilot spots drone flying near Oakland International Airport appeared first on ABC7News..

 

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