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Gatwick Airport & Drones

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Gatwick Airport & Drones

For those of you who have watched the news today will be aware of the problems at Gatwick airport.

Quite a worry that a drone could be flown virtually anywhere and cause considerable damage or personal injury if it was in the hands of a irresponsible person or someone with the deliberate intention of causing harm.

There have also been instances of criminals flying drones with drugs into prisons.

Surprises me that there is no way a signal to a drone could be blocked.

 

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TheRoadCrew
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones


@gleneagles wrote:

Surprises me that there is no way a signal to a drone could be blocked.

Blocking the signal to the drone can cause it to fall out of the sky and damage whoever / whatever it lands on....


 

198kHz
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

It appears there are several discrete frequency bands for drones, none of which are exclusive, so blocking or direction finding would be problematic.

It was reported this morning that TPTB are reluctant to shoot them down for fear of the harm that stray bullets could do.

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

Maybe someone should make a super scanner remote control like the one on NCIS used to take over the jet pack man.:smiley:

Or put those BBC licence evader vans to use to track the drone signals origin. Even if the vans are fake just spray out BBC and paint on DRONE TRACKING on the sides and drive them around nearby streets.

Or do nothing and wait until a drone gets sucked into a jet engine while the plane is taking off.

Anonymous
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

The answer is relatively simple. Bigger drone / RC chopper, big net hanging from it with a weighted bar at the bottom.

Next time the drone flies over, the friendly one chases after it, entangles it's propellor blades in the net and takes it back to the police for inspection.

Drone operator knowing his DNA will be all over it along with serial numbers and other things the police will no doubt trace, bricks it, does a runner and eventually gets arrested and locked up.

 

Life goes on after 7up gets an award from HRH for services to passenger safety suggested on the plusnet forum.

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

I think something much more obvious and simpler is required.

Have the local clay pigeon club put on standby.

Jonpe
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

There is technology available that will stop drones and even send them back to where they came from, but the government won't allow it to be installed, quoting national security (of all things) I understand.  The man interviewed on the news said something like four units would protect the whole of LHR.

I'm not sure why the police are so quick to suggest the incident isn't terror-related; with airport security now being pretty tight, would a drone attack not be something that terrorists might try instead?

The result of a drone hitting an aircraft wing was also shown on the news and the damage was not insignificant.  There would certainly be fuel spillage, possibly causing a fire on landing, and the aircraft might well be difficult to control due to one wing being misshapen.  Should a drone be sucked into an engine, we might be talking about a crash (remember US Airways Flight 1549 and its landing on the Hudson in 2009, caused by a bird strike to both engines?)

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

And if terror was involved the drone would most likely have an explosive element which would cause catastrophic damage.

Even if terror isn't involved these events must surely be giving ideas to the wrong people.

DaveyH
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones


@7up wrote:

Life goes on after 7up gets an award from HRH for services to passenger safety suggested on the plusnet forum.


 

Except it wasn't your idea....

 

 

The Dutch police have been training Birds of Prey to catch drones too, and since airports already use them to scare birds, they could kill two stones with one bird so to speak

 

 

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

Many 'drones' particularly the hi-end ones are configured to avoid areas like airports.

I imagine it is possible to disable this feature.

The ones I have flown didn't have this feature but the transmitter range wouldn't really allow flying over an airport while the pilot remained well clear of the area.

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

Range isn't an issue when you have good 4G LTE coverage. You can literally fly RC aircraft for miles like that with only a slight lag. Plenty of examples on youtube.

There are also ways to EMP / RF interference proof the things. Heck you only need to encase the electronics in a strong reflective metal box and no jamming is going to happen.

 

As for why it's not been shot down, who really wants random bits of drone scattered all over an airfield? - That would then put the blame on the authorities when an airliner sucks in a piece and falls out of the air.

Much safer just to catch it mid-air and bring it down that way. I doubt any drone operator will want to risk losing their expensive whirlybird or have a fleet to replace it. The problem of course is that it appears to be a large drone from what the media are saying and so you'd need a hell of a large drone to safely carry the captured weight (I did previously say about using a proper RC chopper instead - far more power).

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Marksfish
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

I find it hard to believe a drone has been allowed to cause so much disruption within the UK's 2nd busiest airport. Lessons must be learned quickly to prevent a recurrence elsewhere. Of course, the conspiracy theorists believe it to have been something much more sinister. Not sure what I think to be honest.

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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones

The conspiracy theorists may well have a point @Marksfish for all we know this may well have been a ‘dry run’ with a view to carrying out similar but possibly more harmful ‘attacks’ at Gatwick or elsewhere.

Luzern
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Re: Gatwick Airport & Drones


@billnotben wrote:

And if terror was involved the drone would most likely have an explosive element which would cause catastrophic damage.

Even if terror isn't involved these events must surely be giving ideas to the wrong people.


@billnotben If they've not already had them, and as we haven't traced the source, we don't know the operators' position on terror.

Maybe the police are toning down on that with softee softee catchee monkee, but my own feeling is that terror will now well have entered people's thinking on flying.

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.