Reply to post: How many drones does it take ...?

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found


How many drones does it take ...?

One the one hand a DCS says that because the police have only eye-witness accounts (nothing photographic) it is conceivable there were no drones at all. Whereas I hear DoT claim there is at least one bit of video footage. A dead drone is found near the airport, but dead drones lost in out-of-the-way spots are common now anyway. We were told these were "large commercial-type" drones early on, later to hear that actually no one really had a clue what kind they might be. It's all very uncertain, isn't it? In fact, it began to smell like a dodgy kipper at least four days ago.

It occurs to me that one drone seen by 40 different people can easily become many drones. That near a very busy airport with big jets (even A380s fly from LGW) the "multiple sightings near a runway" (very hard to judge range, so "near" could mean "hovering over the threshold" or "500 yards beyond") causes justifiable concern, followed by the old abundance-of-caution reaction. That the possibility of a twinjet at MTOW losing an engine to FOD on climbout turns "abundance" into "excessive" for perfectly understandable reasons. That pretty soon, in crappy winter weather and short days, everything from a seagull to a floater in your eyeball becomes a drone. That confirmation bias kicks in, plus folks excitedly telling each other that they just saw another one ... a single sighting turns into a fleet of X-Wings en route to the Death Star.

Pretty soon an early Xmas present unwisely but innocently used once by a clueless teenager becomes a national disaster.

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