Drones and Planes starting to feel impact of sharing the skies

Drones and Planes starting to feel impact of sharing the skies

Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones, are growing increasingly popular.

The remote- controlled aircraft are also increasingly dangerous.

As the number of drones increases, so does the risk they'll hit something already using that airspace.

That could be anything from a kite, to a bird, to a plane.

Drone popularity is on the rise, with that comes safety concerns when flying.

Air space for drones and some commercial planes are getting crowded and it's crucial drone users understand the impacts of where they fly.

Dallas Grimm of Redline Aviation was just finishing up spraying a field when he saw a white object in his rear view.

Grimm said, "Before there was any real time to react, that white object cleared the windshield and went under my wing tip. And that's when I realize it wasn't a bird like I usually see, it was a small quad copter, UAV."

Grimm said he was about nine miles away from the airport which according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations, the UAV was flying legally.

What the problem is these drones are suppose to land whenever aircraft approach them.

"The airplane is very non-maneuverable compared to a drone. A drone is very quick to move so the drone is required by law to avoid all other aircraft," said Rich Crow, who teaches a drone class at Morningside College.

While up in the air these planes are flying close to 160 mph so large bugs and birds can cause significant damage. Now you add in the chance for a UAV's and it's a whole new story.

"Just think what these UAV's are. They are below 55 pounds, they have a lithium ion battery in them, they have several hard objects that can do structural damage," said Ryan Lihs, Owner, Redline Aviation.

Low altitude aviation is becoming a much more difficult situation to maneuver in for both these drones and commercial planes.

Jessica Freeman, Executive Director of the Colorado Agriculture Aviation Association said, "It's an obstacle rich environment, things happen fast, you don't have a lot of time to do something. Say you have an emergency at 5000 feet that's a whole different scenario than at 50 feet or 10 feet off the ground."

With those obstacles Crow worries that it will take a tragedy until these regulations start to get taken more seriously.

"My fear is it's going to take a major aircraft to collision with a drone that causes loss of life before the word gets out," said Crow.

Flying drones is illegal within a five mile radius of any airport or place where aircraft take off, including hospitals.

To know if you are in this airspace, the FAA has developed an app called B4UFly to see if your area is within the guidelines.

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