Mystery Flying Object Spotted Near JFK Airport

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    NEWSLETTERS

    FAA investigating a pilot's report that he saw an unmanned aircraft while on final approach at JFK Airport (Published Friday, Jan 17, 2014)

    (NECN/WNBC: Gus Rosendale) - The FAA is investigating a report from a pilot that he saw a small unmanned aircraft while on a final approach at JFK.

    Pilot: "Kennedy tower... Just for your information, we just saw a little drone below us."

    Tower: "I'm sorry, what did you say?"

    Pilot: "we saw a drone, a drone aircraft."

    Tower: "use caution, there was a report of a drone on about a five mile funnel at 1500 feet."

    Was it a drone, like this, that a pilot saw when getting ready to land at JFK?

    The type of craft matches the description.

    And it raises concerns about an unknown object flying so close to planes landing and taking off at one of the world's busiest airports.

    "The thought of a small unidentified flying object near the airport you get very nervous, very nervous, very nervous, a lot of cause for concern."

    Just as a passenger when you hear the reports, what do you think?

    "It's very scary"

    The FAA says the pilot of an international flight making its final approach saw what's being described as a "small, unmanned remote-controlled aircraft ..." near the airport.

    The sighting was at 1500 around one in the afternoon, four or five miles southeast of the airport, putting it roughly near Atlantic Beach.

    The pilot did not take evasive action and landed safely.

    But a drone, despite its small size, could pose a dire threat:

    "But even the smallest drone is of substantial weight and could easily do damage such as ripping off part of a wing, or impacting a cockpit area where the flight crew is at so it's a significant risk," says Dan Rose, an aviation expert.

    Drones are growing in popularity with government agencies and the public.

    The FAA is preparing a plan to regulate their widespread commercial use by 2015.

    "All the indications so far is that we're seeing a lot more close call and misses and not a whole lot on the technology of how we're going to avoid these so called near misses."