Drones pose risk for pilots - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Drones pose risk for pilots

There is growing concern from pilots about drones (Source: KPHO/KTVK) There is growing concern from pilots about drones (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

There is no mistaking that drones have become a part of the fabric of people's lives.  

Recreational and commercial use of drones is through the roof.  Companies like Amazon are experimenting with using drones for home delivery.  So, what does that mean for pilots?  

Recently, a British Airways pilot claimed to have struck a drone while on approach to Heathrow International.  

[READ MORE: British Airways flight believed to hit drone on approach]

Retired airline pilot Jim Tilmon worked for American Airlines for 29 years.  He says takeoffs and landings are the most critical part of a flight. 

"There is a very grave danger of a pilot being distracted when a pilot can't afford to be distracted," Tilmon said.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported 519 incidents between passenger planes and drones from August 2015 through January 2016.  

"It can cause a conflict of interest when we're trying to do our mission covering the news," Aron Whitesell said.

He is a pilot with Penguin Air and Plumbing flying a helicopter.  He always looks out for birds which are essentially the same size as a drone.  

[READ MORE: Paradise Valley passes drone ordinance]

He says drone users need to be responsible operators.

"I think we can share the skies, if we all play by the rules, if we work together then we won't have any problems," Whitesell said.

[READ MORE: Phoenix planning restrictions on drone use]

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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