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Narrative: 1 While on short final for runway 31L at 1500 feet, a drone/UAV was headed straight for our aircraft at a bearing of 135 at a high rate of closure and barely missed us. My first officer was the first to spot what he first thought was a collection [of] balloons emerging from the runway 31L center line. As the object got closer we saw that the object was some sort of diamond-shaped drone with a single pusher prop behind it. The drone passed less than 50 feet directly over the nose of our aircraft where we got a good look at it. We reported the encounter to ZZZ Tower. They tried, but could [not] successfully track the vehicle on radar. This drone incident was a great concern to me compared to the other encounters reported by aircraft this year for a variety of reasons. First, was the deliberate nature of the drone's operator in heading right for our aircraft down the center line of a major US airport runway in a difficult political climate. All on a day which 3 Airliners were diverted. Next, was the type of drone used. This drone was not your typical four-rotor toy as in previous encounters at ZZZ. The four to five foot fixed-wing, diamond-shape, stealthy police/military style fuselage, with short, blended, delta wings and down sloping winglets, had a belly mounted camera globe. This was closely related to an upgraded "Killer Bee (or Bat)" drone I once spotted during my time as an aviator in the US Army. Finally, I was concerned that ATC had no ability to track this larger UAV and find those responsible. We need more visual binocular scanning from ZZZ tower, rather than relying on Airport Radar which doesn't seem to pick up drones of the size and type I encountered. The FBI contacted me after the event. He recommended to me that a pilot should hit the ident button on the transponder when you see a drone coming in close proximity to your aircraft. He said it helps ATC better pinpoint the location of these small vehicles. Synopsis A CRJ-900 on short final to a major Class B airport had a near miss with a UAS similar in appearance to the Raytheon Killer Bee.
originally posted by: gfad
I'm confused by this. I assume that ZZZ is being used to hide the identity of the airport, but it must be of at least reasonably significant size: minimum 2 runways, regional jet services, tower.
The other thing is that surely if this drone was taking off from the runway the ATC should be aware of who was responsible already! How can some "amateur" access the runway at a tower controlled comercial airport without anyone knowing who they are or where they came from?
originally posted by: EBJet
This explains the "difficult political climate" part of the report...No doubt about it, Palm Springs it is...