NTSB confirmed there have only been three confirmed drone crashes or collisions since 2017. Your chances of hitting a drone while flying are 1 in ~9.16 million. (Pretty Low)
In a recent presentation, Bill English confirmed that there are only 3 confirmed drone crashes since 2017. Yet there are also 3 suspected drone collisions in addition to the confirmed crashes. There have been numerous reports of drones hitting other aircraft midair. Yet it seems that bird strikes can look almost identical to a drone strike in size and weight.
Many general aviation pilots and airline pilots have expressed extreme concern of the sheer number of drones in the skies. Some have even said if drones had ADS-B out, they would black out the map. An overwhelming number of drones would overwhelm the manned aircraft represented.
According to DJI, "who chose to share experience data conducted 9,632,454 flights in the United States in 2019." A flight was defined as one takeoff and one landing. Also known as a sortie. With 9,632,454 flights conducted in the USA and 3 confirmed collisions, your chances of a safe flight are high. Tradition aviators face a midair collision in 1 of 3,210,818 flights.
Hold the phone, DJI stated that only 35% of drone users share their data. "Because only 35% of DJI GO app family users in the United States share user experience data with DJI, we extrapolate the total number of flights in 2019 across the DJI GO family to be approximately 27.5 million."
1 in 9,166,666.67
Drones have often been the scapegoats of aviation industry. Drone have been blamed for crashes, pilot error and even shutting down airports. Some same drone pilots stole the scapegoat role from general aviation. The next time you see a news report that a drone caused a crash, remember the data. Statistically speaking, the pilot probably hit a bird.
NTSB Investigator Bill English stated that while the chances are low of hitting a drone, there could be more collisions that we know. Remember when Blue Hawaiian Helicopters reported that they had hit a drone? The NTSB presentation noted 3 suspected drone crashes with other aircraft. Blue Hawaiian was one plausible drone strike.
NTSB presentation photo showcases plausible drone strike the Blue Hawaiian Helicopter.
Survey says... yes.
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