Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Airplane nearly crashes into drone illegally flown near Memphis International Airport (KMEM)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -  A close encounter of the unmanned kind nearly caused a disaster at Memphis International Airport on August 7.

A drone flying one mile away from the airport nearly collided with an airplane during takeoff.

"They should not be flying drones next to an airport. That's ridiculous," said Memphis resident, Robert Fox. 

He's absolutely right. In fact, it's against FAA rules for anyone to fly a drone within five miles of an airport, unless the drone pilot receives authorization from the airport ahead of time.

The person flying the drone on August 7 ignored those rules. A Delta AirLines pilot reported a "near miss" with the drone.

Darwin Elkins, a frequent flyer, said with drones buzzing through the sky, he's surprised incidents like this aren't happening more often.

"There are drones flying all over the place. Too many people have them and they go where they want to go," Elkins said.

WMC Action News 5 is working to find out whether the drone pilot will face criminal charges in this incident.

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