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Killer Bee drone spotted at ZZZ airport

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posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 09:16 PM
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The NASA aircraft incident report always has a few fun (as in reading, not funny to those involved) incidents. This is ACN: 1312110. The airport is called ZZZ, which I don't believe exists.

titan-server.arc.nasa.gov...


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.

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posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 09:47 PM
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The code ZZZ is currently unassigned, and is used informally by bush pilots to indicate an "unregistered" landing area similar to the ICAO system (though as IATA labels more airstrips especially in North America, this code is used more specifically for unimproved landing areas, which are common in backcountry areas of the Plains States, Northwest and Alaska).

maybe?



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 10:01 PM
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a reply to: gariac

Hey, neat post, OP!

Northrop Grumman Bat






posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 10:08 PM
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a reply to: BlackDog10

Good to know about ZZZ, but in this case, the plane was a CRJ. And there was a tower. So I think they are trying to hide the identity of the airport rather than it being in the bush. Now I suppose somebody good with databases could see how many airports have a 31L. Google finds quite a few.

The CRJ is very typical for regional flights on the east coast.



posted on Feb, 29 2016 @ 11:08 PM
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a reply to: Bybyots

So that is a picture pretty much of the drone this pilot spotted?

That sure would scare the bejesus out of me. That thing looks like it WOULD be armed not only could.
Who on Earth besides the military would have one of those bad boys to play around with?

The quality but small four rotor ones are expensive as it is.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 01:16 AM
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a reply to: Bybyots

Well the wiki says they were going to make private sales. That increases the number of culprits. This is more interesting than I thought.



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 06:45 AM
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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?

Good find!



posted on Mar, 1 2016 @ 08:06 PM
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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?

Good find!


I don't read it as the UAV was departing from the runway, but was traveling towards the CRJ down the center line of the runway in the approach path of on-coming aircraft for 31L. He notes the UAV was flying at a bearing of 135deg, which would be the anti of 310deg give or take. Which makes sense.

edit on 3/1/2016 by DesertWatchdog because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 03:11 PM
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I wonder if the term "..difficult political climate" refers to the Asia Pacific leaders meeting in Palm Springs CA recently, since they do have a runway 31L...
edit on 2-3-2016 by EBJet because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 04:00 PM
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a reply to: gariac

A quick search for "major Class B airport" list only 37 in the USA. So that narrows it down a ton.

Both Dulles and Ronald Reagan APs are class B, and I don't think I need to list here why something like this could be floating around there, but JFK and LaGuardia also fit UAV.


Wonder who owns it? The US Government or NYPD?



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 04:25 PM
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A trained observer here...
it had to be an overflight.......on purpose.....and not a departure from that location.....

and to be that close opposing....not cool for commercial or general flying ....it came from the centerline....when the CRJ was commited with low thrust for the important part.....the return to Earth
edit on 2-3-2016 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 04:37 PM
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a reply to: Guyfriday

Out of that list, only JKF has a 31L, but launching a drone there would be insane. NYC has some of the worst air traffic I've ever seen. Plus unless things have changed, a plane in NYC isn't in the queue unless the passengers are on board. That means a lot of bored folk looking out the window. Too many eyes at JFK.

Now Dulles had a 31.



posted on Mar, 2 2016 @ 05:17 PM
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The NYPD has publicly stated that they are interested in using drone technology since 2012 yet nothing has been announced recently. They do have half of the old runway at the abandoned Floyd Bennett Field for their aviation unit, but i think they use it for a heliport. That and the NYPD doesnt have jurisdiction at JFK, the PAPD do.

That beng said, they have been very shady with their aviation unit in the past. Registering aircraft with shell companies based at mailboxes etc, Requesting 'Undercover' status from the FAA so they can fly without identifying, etc, so it wouldnt surprise me if it was NYPD
edit on 2-3-2016 by fouroneone because: .



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 10:31 AM
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Gotta be Palm Springs..No doubt there were plenty of surveillance drones watching that airport during the summit.



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 11:48 AM
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a reply to: fouroneone Good point, and the drone wasn't spotted leaving the ZZZ AP, but rather was seen "patrolling" it. (I say "patrolling" since I have to ask why else would it be there)


Figuring out what AP ZZZ is I believe key to figuring out who maybe to operators of the drone, and that could give us insight as to why fly a low radar reflective UAV at a public AP.



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 01:21 PM
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This explains the "difficult political climate" part of the report...No doubt about it, Palm Springs it is...

www.pbs.org...



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 02:47 PM
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but, it did come out of the centerline looking like balloons at first.....apparent out of centerline....ha ha

almost sinister from that captain's point of view, I gota tell ya....He would tell ya he doesn't do well in dodgeball over the inner marker

with an un piloted plane.....that's the first rule taught....see and be seen is the only thing that keeps us from landing on top of one another.....see and be seen....

edit on 3-3-2016 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one

edit on 3-3-2016 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 03:08 PM
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originally posted by: EBJet
This explains the "difficult political climate" part of the report...No doubt about it, Palm Springs it is...

www.pbs.org...


The "event" was in 2015, but Palm Springs works in many ways. You have the 31L and many CRJ vendors.

I noticed Palm Springs has many regional airports. More possibilities to launch a drone, but in theory you need to have airspace designated for drone flight or you have a chase plane to be the eyes of the drone.

Doing a radius search on the FAA NOTAM site, there are several UAS designations. I will need to check if they are close to PSP.



posted on Mar, 3 2016 @ 06:56 PM
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a reply to: gariac

Ah, I didn't see the date. Perhaps one of Obama's visits to CA? AF-1 has flown into KPSP many times...



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