Rogue toy drones – a hot-selling Christmas gift this season and last – are starting to interfere with military operations at several bases across the country. With sales of consumer drones expected to approach 700,000 this year, military officials say they are bracing for the problem to get worse and are worried about the potential for an aviation disaster.
- Last month, an Air Force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft reported a near midair collision with a small rogue drone over the Grand Bay Bombing and Gunnery Range in Georgia, Air Force officials said.
- In June, an Air Force KC-10 aerial refueling tanker flying over the Philadelphia suburbs at an altitude of 3,800 feet was forced to take evasive action and barely avoided striking a football-sized drone that
passed within 10 feet of its right wing, officials said.
There have been at least 35 cases of small drones interfering with military aircraft or operating too close to military airfields in 2015, according to reports filed with the armed forces or the Federal Aviation Administration.
Got to love the lead line – “rogue toy drones…” If you look at that line of planes and consider their military value, you quickly realize why detecting and interdicting UAVs of all sizes is going to become an ever greater concern.