Was that a drone flying over metro New York Monday?
That’s what a pilot for Italian carrier Alitalia reported seeing from the cockpit of a flight landing at New York’s JFK Airport. The pilot informed the air traffic control tower, and now his spotting has drawn the attention of both Federal Aviation Administration and counter-terrorism officials.
“The FAA is investigating a report… he saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right,” FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown says in a statement quoted by CNN. “The sighting was approximately four to five miles (from) the airport at an altitude of approximately 1,500 feet.”
That altitude is a problem. FAA guidelines dictate that you can only fly these devices to 400 feet high and must alert air traffic control if within three miles of an airport. Due to safety, they wouldn’t want you there anyway. In this episode of Virtual Skeptics we discussed drones and why it is illegal to use them for many purposes. But permits can be granted in some situations. Could it have been for traffic surveillance?
The pilot seems sure but NO ONE can be sure what they observe, not even pilots who can also be fooled. The UFO community is having a run at this report as well. But regardless of that, unless it was a bird or an optical illusion, it is concerning that something was observed to be there. Other pilots were warned but did not see anything.
More from CS Monitor: The drone was described as “black in color and no more than three feet wide with four propellers,” according to an FBI statement.