First let’s talk a little reality … Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), or drones as most of us refer to them are coming … and they’re coming soon. That’s not necessarily all bad though. Drones can operate in places that are not safe to send a manned aircraft, as well as on missions where the duration would surely exhaust a human. They also come in a range of sizes from just a few pounds to the mammoth Global Hawk weighing in at about 32,000 lbs. or slightly larger than the Hawker 800 biz jet I used to fly.
The FAA’s come under fire from drone manufacturers and potential users for not acting quickly enough to draft regulations allowing these pilot-less aircraft to blend into civilian airspace with the rest of the civilian aircraft. But there’s a safety problem with moving too fast that no one seems to have addressed.
Give this show a listen though and tell us what you think. BTW, for the most up-to-date coverage on drones here in the U.S., give a listen to the UAV Digest produced by my Airplane Geeks comrades Max Flight and David Vanderhoof.
Rob Mark, Publisher – If you’re receiving this Jetwhine post by e-mail, click here to listen … even from a smartphone. You can also subscribe to The Aviation Minute at iTunes.