back to article Cop drone crashes into flight instructor's airplane

A police drone hit and significantly damaged a Cessna coming in for landing in Canada earlier this month. According to an incident report compiled by the nation's transport officials, Ontario's York Police crashed a drone into the light aircraft during the latter's final approach to runway 15 at Toronto's Buttonville airport …

  1. Anonymous Coward

    it would be fantastic ...

    "it would be fantastic if the plod could set a good example."

    Fantastic, it would be, but, in real life, it's a fantasy.

    Like police perps everywhere, I assume the most they have to fear is a stern talking to.

    1. Mark 85

      Re: it would be fantastic ...

      Yes it would be nice if they paid but in the end, they would just get the fine back.

      A "stern talking to"? Probably over beers and laughter in the pub if the cops there are like the cops here.

      1. Geez Money

        Re: it would be fantastic ...

        York Region Police are known locally for being the most corrupt and needlessly violent force you'll ever meet. The horror stories are almost daily and they blue wall literally everything. Pilot probably got a bonus for doing this because he "put them dirty civvies in their place".

        To give you an idea, there was a guy on the force recently who was stealing weapons from evidence to rob known drug warehouses and sell the drugs and guns to street gangs. He only got caught because the RCMP happened upon him, he would have been just fine otherwise.

        Something like 15% of the gun crimes in the area are committed with guns "lost" from police evidence or weapons lockers.

        1. Ivan001

          Re: it would be fantastic ...

          "York Region Police are known locally for being the most corrupt and needlessly violent force you'll ever meet."

          Never been to Brazil, huh?

        2. xyz123 Silver badge

          Re: it would be fantastic ...

          80 tons yes TONS of heroin "lost" from various police evidence lockups.

          Hundreds of police with cars/houses they couldn't possibly afford on their salary......

          Refusal of internal investigators to audit a SINGLE police officer for this......

          Because the bad cops know where the skeletons are buried. Literally and metaphorically.

          1. Geez Money

            Re: it would be fantastic ...

            I've heard one of them comment that failing to take steroids means you're not doing your job, which probably helps explain the general level of mental stability they have.

            I also love that their response to people asking why hundreds of pieces of evidence a year go missing was to stop publishing the statistic.

        3. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: it would be fantastic ...

          21st century version of the Greater Manchester Serious Crime squad?

  2. a_yank_lurker


    If this happened in Feraldom the plods would arrest the pilot and passenger for interfering with an investigation even though the plods broke all the rules. The goons 'flying' the drone probably will get promotion instead jail time for attempted manslaughter.

  3. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Police version

    The Cessna voluntarily attacked the cop drone, the pilot is probably a terrorist. It's confirmed by AI.

    1. Diogenes

      Re: Police version

      In NSW the Cessna pilot will be charged for flying without due care and attention, damaging police property, failing to stop after an accident and if the drone was being used in active case, obstructing police in their duties and accessory to whatever was being investigated.

  4. The Axe

    In the incidents of planes or copters being hit by drones, the majority are ones where the police are controlling the drone. Yet another area where the police think they are above laws, including laws of phsyics.

  5. Gene Cash Silver badge


    A prop strike means the engine needs to be removed, dismantled to the crankshaft, and carefully inspected. It's usually a toss-up to if it's cheaper to buy a new engine, and insurance usually instantly totals it.

    I wonder if the owner (or insurance company) has any recourse for the costs?

    1. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Expensive

      Since the police confirmed it, they should be made to pay for it.

      Also, can someone tell me if this incident occurred in controlled airspace? getting ADS-B on police drones would be a wonderful thing.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Expensive

        "Also, can someone tell me if this incident occurred in controlled airspace? "

        It was on final approach and local ATC stated they were not informed of the Police drone activity which implies they expected and should have been notified so I'd say yes, the Police drone was operating not only in controlled airspace, but directly in a flightpath.

        One of the very few (only?) confirmed drone strikes and it's law enforcement controlling the drone illegally.

        1. FILE_ID.DIZ

          Re: Expensive

          Well, looking at some internet provided nav charts (so not for navigation), YKZ does not have a tower as its icongraphy is denoted in purple as opposed to blue.

          1. Alistair

            Re: Expensive

            I'm kinda wiped at the moment, but IIRC Buttonville is still VFR. They DO have ATC, just not a literal tower. Why I know is a rather long, weird, twisted story that involved getting very old cell phone tech to work (reliably) in a small plane while switching towers every 2 minutes or so.

            1. VE3ID

              Re: Expensive

              Not sure what you mean by 'still VFR'. You can still do an IFR approach when there is no control tower. The ATC that would be controlling it would be out of Pearson they would clear it to the airport but landing is at the pilot's discretion.

        2. VE3ID

          Re: Expensive

          Buttonville (CYKZ) is not controlled airspace since the tower closed two years ago:

  6. Azamino


    ..... the authorities finally have a proven, documented example of a drone damaging a civilian aircraft and all you can do is moan!

    Seriously, now the police can spend shed loads of cash on new toys, err, tools to enforce the laws that will inevitably be brought in to tackle this menace.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A large cop drone causes a dent in a Cessna. Phew, thank heaven we have compulsory registration for drones over 250 grammes ... because ... smaller dents.

    But seriously, WTF did they think they were doing flying a drone through the approach path without warning local ATC? They don't even appear to be claiming they were pursuing a suspect.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dent

      Not to mention, if the Cessna was on final approach, they were in airspace where many (most?) civilian drones refuse to fly.

      I don't own a drone, but I have friends that do. One of them tried to fly his drone at a friend's rural property. He was befuddled as to why the drone refused to fly, until he discovered that a nearby lake was classified as a seaplane base.

  8. fidodogbreath


    Drones and airports go together like a duck to an acid bath

    Oh, El Reg, how I love thee.

  9. Mark in CA

    If you're moving forwards and something hits you head-on, it's going to cause your body to shift forwards, not back on your seat.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Maybe they were reversing at the time, forgot to check their mirrors, hence reversing into a Police vehicle. After all, they were in the process of executing a parking manoeuvre! Clearly it was their fault.

  10. Mobster

    In Texas, the pilot and passenger would be shot, then drugs would be planted and the cops would get credit for downing a drug running Cessna.

  11. Neoc

    <facepalm> and people wonder why I'm against letting the concept of flying cars...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    An operating Cop drone?

    No mention of the large bag of McDonalds being transported?

    1. Geez Money

      Re: An operating Cop drone?

      I can tolerate a lot, but that is beyond offensive and disgusting. This took place in Canada, the police would never be transporting large bags of McDonalds... a Tim Hortons is almost certainly closer.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Two rules

    Hmm I remember that ordinary peeps are not allowed to fly drones anywhere near airports.

    So how did these people get off so lightly? Oh wait...

  14. The DJ

    Typical government mentality

    Rules for thee, none for me...

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