Passenger plane hit by drone while flying into Quebec airport

Gladys Abbott
October 17, 2017

Marc Garneau, Canada's minister of transport, called it a "first" in North America.

Garneau said at the time that the potential for a catastrophic accident involving an airplane is "the kind of nightmare scenario that keeps me up at night". "That drone should not have been there".

According to reports, that incident occurred on 21 September when an army Sikorsky UH-60 helicopter collided with a drone over Staten Island in New York City, according to reports. Mr. Garneau said he's "extremely preoccupied" by the incident.

Transport Canada recommends that drones should be flown no higher than 90 meters and at least 5.5km away from anywhere aircraft may take off and land. And while there have been reports of pilots claiming that drones crashed into their aircraft in the United States, FAA officials confirmed to The Post that such a crash has never been verified in the United States. It has been reported that the plane was flying at 1,500 feet when the drone (whose make and model are not yet known) hit the craft.

Despite all those sightings, however, an FAA spokesperson says the only actual drone-aircraft collision she knows of in the U.S. occurred last month and involved a US Army helicopter.

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The aircraft sustained only minor damage and was able to land safely, the Canadian transport minister said.

The punishment for not following the regulations includes fines of up to C$25,000 equal to $20,000 and a possible prison sentence. Garneau says Transport Canada is monitoring the situation and is in contact with the airport and airline involved in the incident.

Earlier this year, Canada announced that it was making it illegal to fly recreational drones near airports.

Authorities are keen to identify the drone pilot, to remind him or her of those rules. "My department is in contact with the Service de police de la Ville de Québec and we will cooperate with the Transportation Safety Board should they decide to investigate".

According to the minister, there have been 1,596 reported drone incidents in 2017, of which 131 were deemed concerns to aviation safety.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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