Latest Stories
Pilot Encounters Drone Where It Should Not Be

Pilot Encounters Drone Where It Should Not Be

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System just shared this disturbing drone story.

A private pilot sighted what was thought to be a large bird in controlled airspace. The pilot’s confusion changed to surprise when the species was identified.

The pilot reported, “I departed Grand Prairie Municipal Airport at 2,500 feet with a southerly heading until I was clear of Cedar Hill (all the big towers). Once clear, I started to turn left to overfly Mid-Way Regional Airport [JWY] and climb to 3,000 feet. [Beyond the] Class B [airspace], I started my climb to 7,500 feet toward the Little Rock area. I was using Terrell Municipal Airport as a fix and a check for weather and altimeter [setting] when I noticed something that looked like a bird.

I see a lot of birds of different types, and I thought I was seeing a bird at first. I thought, “Good, I’m higher and the bird should not be a factor.” Then I tried to refocus my eyes as the movement wasn’t quite like a bird; it was close, but not the same. Worse, my brain was not making sense of what kind of bird this might be as I was trying to “see” a black vulture.

My eyes kept telling me that this black vulture had four evenly spaced red dots (as a square) on its back.

Then I got mad – that’s a drone. And since I don’t know a lot about them, I have no way to process how close the drone was. My best guess is within 500 feet.

My position was…southwest of Terrell Municipal Airport at 7,500 feet.”

About Steve Rhode

Steve is an experienced and certificated UAS pilot and aircraft instrument rated pilot. He is also the Chief Pilot with the Wake Forest Fire Department and North Carolina Public Safety Drone Academy.
%d bloggers like this: