WINNIPEG – Drone operators need to know their limits so they don’t endanger people on planes.
That’s the message from the University of Manitoba Transport Institute’s David Duval.
On Saturday afternoon, a pilot landing his plane at Winnipeg’s airport spotted a drone flying about 25 metres from the plane while they were still 900 metres up in the air.
The plane landed safely. Winnipeg Police are looking for the drone’s operator.
Duval says he has seen many videos online of drone operators flying their UAV’s high above cities.
“I have to say, my legs go numb when I see that because I’m pretty convinced that these are individuals who very well likely may not know what the aerial restrictions are in that particular part of where they’re living, so it makes me nervous, to be honest. Backyard hobby drones, you’re perfectly allowed to fly those under 300 feet. But some of them can reach pretty extraordinary heights,” he said.
He says people need to understand the damage even small drones can do to aircraft.
“Any device that’s the size of a lot of the drones we can buy in a shop or online certainly carry with them the potential to cause a significant amount of damage to an aircraft that is at a critical phase of flight, like takeoff or landing,” he said.
They can get sucked into the engines of some aircraft, like birds sometimes do.
Police say they are working with Transport Canada to look at enforcing personal or commercial drone use within in the city.