It would be hard to spot a drone when you are at 150kts 6 miles from touchdown and on an ILS ........
Under normal VFR conditions (ie not in cloud) it is pretty easy to spot a 2ft drone at 500-800ft. 150 kts is 250ft/ sec so if you were looking ahead . . . and and drone WAS directly ahead on a collision course then there is lots of time to identify the UFO (2-3 sec) and almost no time to react . . . hence the concern for 250 passengers over Heathrow. If you know anything about drones nowadays, as a pilot, I suspect the realization and identification of the drone's shape, model and manufacturer . . coming right at you . . . would be permanently recorded in the brain in about 250 milliseconds.
It is unlikely that the first MIDAIR COLLISION with a 1-2kg drone will actually bring down a passenger liner . . there will be a few hits pretty soon no doubt . . . on the other hand it could happen with the first hit . . . so why do these drone idiots think the risk is acceptable. If they knew for sure they would kill a 200 people by flying this way would they still fly there for fun?
I agree . . too much hype in the news about this and other near miss / evasive maneuvers here in Canada too. Thanks for the feedback. Pilots are entitled to be worried about drones . .but we need more investigation and analysis before the news grabs in there teeth and runs.I was being a bit sarcastic there, as a pilot of human carrying aircraft, I am well aware that you can see these things..........I have come across all sorts of things at altitude, including a supermarket carrier bag at 3000'.......
I agree . . too much hype in the news about this and other near miss / evasive maneuvers here in Canada too. Thanks for the feedback. Pilots are entitled to be worried about drones . .but we need more investigation and analysis before the news grabs in there teeth and runs.
I'm putting money on #3. Everyone knows drones fly at FL19. Duh!
What an idiot. Everyone knows you have to strap a couple hobby rockets to the Phantom to get above FL11. Amateur.Never say never!!!
Drone Breaks Record (and Law) By Flying to 11,000 Feet
Not FL19 in this case, but...?
The thing about looking out the cockpit at 200kts is there is usually nothing there directly in front of you but sky . . so when even the smallest object appears there . . it grabs your attention instantly . . you have no trouble seeing it there. If the shape, color or size is even vaguely familiar it takes your brain less than 200-300msec to process it as a threat or not and will almost as quickly try to match it to a known object . . . bird, plastic bag, balloon, or quadcopter. Even more impressive is, you will retrieve the name of that object (if you have ever seen one or something resembling it) in another 100-200msec. . . . and you blurt out "BIRD!" . . . as your sympathetic nervous system's unconscious response is already trying to make your muscles do things to avoid hitting it . . well before you are even aware you are doing it . . .and before you can make a sound. If the object is not directly head-on, there is more than ample time to acquire and assess it.