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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — A flight crew on an incoming JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport spotted a drone as it approached the airport on Monday morning.
Here’s a transcript of the pilot’s reaction:
PILOT: “Miami. Jetblue 2007. Just advise you, we have a drone crossed over us about 1,000 feet.
TOWER: “Say again.”
PILOT: “Just had a drone in our location cross over top of us about 1,000 feet.”
The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot did not have to take any evasive measures because the plane and the drone were not that close.
But the encounter prompted this warning to go out to other planes in the area:
TOWER: “Attention all aircraft. Unauthorized drone reported about 15 miles west of Lauderdale International at 5,000 feet. Reported by an Airbus 320.”
The Federal Aviation Administration says it is investigating the incident.
Trevor Duke is co-owner of Icarus Aerials in Fort Lauderdale, which shoots drone video for construction and surveying work as well as for boat shows. He says drone operators need to be especially careful at airports like Fort Lauderdale’s which are located near city centers.
“If I were flying any plane from a 747 to a little Cessna, I would be careful of any drones in the sky,” Duke said. “If you were to fly around an airport and not be aware of the planes and be anywhere near that flight path, you’re looking for trouble and the authorities are going to look into that.”
Meantime, some flight enthusiasts are speculating about the incident and possible safety hazards.
“Somebody might be flying around for fun that could actually get in the line of flight and damage the aircraft,” said Patrick Sipple who watches planes land and take off at the airport.
He, like many are concerned when they hear about drones getting close to planes.
“People need to be respectful of the FAA and the flight rules and not fly their radio controlled aircraft and drones around flight lines where people can be injured,” said Sipple.
Drones getting close to planes is becoming a big problem. Between January and August, there have been 650 reported cases of drone/plane incidents. By the end of the year, it will be quadruple of what was reported last year.
Not long ago there were three incidents in three days at JFK Airport in New York.
It’s becoming such an issue that New York Senator is proposing that drones have software that would limit where drone can fly and how high.
Capt. Sully Sullenberger, known for successfully landing a plane on the Hudson River in New York, recently spoke about drones on CBS’s Face the Nation.
“It allows people to do stupid reckless dangerous things with abandoned. I’m heartened that the aviation and the legal authorities have raised the penalties for doing these things, however what’s missing is the certainty of prosecution because it’s been difficult to catch them in the act,” said Capt. Sullenberger.