Airline pilots need to cool their jets about banning drones in their airspace, a former National Transportation Safety Board member said Saturday.
“We’ve been flying into birds for how long?” former NTSB member John Goglia asked at a conference of drone enthusiasts gathered in Queens.
Goglia told them it took more than one goose to force US Airways Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger to bring Flight 1549 to an emergency landing in the Hudson River in 2009.
“It took a flock of them to bring down Sully’s plane. So a drone is going to bring an airplane down? That’s a little bit of baloney,” Goglia said.
Goglia delivered his pro-drone speech to a room full of students at Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology in East Elmhurst as part of International Drone Day.
“A drone hitting an airplane in flight and getting digested by an engine might be expensive for the airline, but it’s not going to bring an airplane down,” he argued.
Federal Aviation Administration officials seem to disagree. The agency warned in March that “operating drones around airplanes, helicopters and airports is dangerous and illegal” and cautioned that scofflaws could be subject to “stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time.”