CAA Publish CAP 1627: Drone safety risk assessment
CAA Publish CAP 1627: Drone safety risk assessment and its something that every drone flyer in the UK needs to read.
The executive summery reads:
- The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) supports the safe development of drones in the UK. Drones can bring economic and workplace safety benefits, but to achieve those we need everyone flying a drone to do so safely.
- The use of small unmanned aircraft, more commonly known as drones, is rising in the UK, for both leisure and commercial purposes. With that increase in usage comes more questions about the unintentional risks of drones colliding with, or disrupting, manned aircraft.
- At the time of writing there have been seven confirmed cases of direct in flight contact between drones and civil or military manned aircraft worldwide1. There have been no known collisions between small drones and manned aircraft in the UK. However, the number of occasions where pilots have reported suspected drones in proximity to their aircraft in the UK is increasing; there were 59 such occasions between April 2016 and March 2017. Two of these involved large passenger aircraft near Heathrow, leading to concerns being voiced in Parliament, in the media and by a range of aviation bodies about the possible impact of a collision between a passenger aircraft and a drone. A further incident in July 2017, where an object believed to be a drone was seen near Gatwick, led to the runway being closed briefly and flights being diverted.
- The drones most likely to end up in proximity to manned aircraft are smaller drones, typically of 2kg or less, flown by operators who either do not know the aviation safety regulations or have chosen to ignore them.
- It is considered unlikely that a small drone would cause significant damage to a modern turbo-fan jet engine; even if it did, a multi-engine aircraft would still be likely to be able to land safely.
- The likelihood of a small drone being in proximity of a passenger aircraft when it is travelling fast enough to potentially damage a windscreen is currently observed to be about 2 per million flights, where proximity means within visual line of sight of the aircraft.
- The likelihood of a small drone actually hitting a passenger aircraft windscreen at sufficient speed to rupture it is very much smaller than the probability of it being in the proximity of an aircraft.
- The windscreens of small helicopters and light aircraft are more susceptible to rupture if struck by a small drone, even when flying below normal cruising speed.
- Helicopters face more particular risks because of the additional susceptibility of helicopter rotors to damage from a collision with a drone, and their operating patterns which typically involve lower-level flying and take-off and landing from a range of sites.
Read the full document CAP1627 from the CAA HERE.