Toy drones pose a “significant threat to manned rotorcraft in all phases of flight,” according to a new study released by aerospace and defense firm Aero Kinetics. The study, titled, “The Real Consequences of Flying Toy Drones in the National Airspace System,” examined what could happen in the event of a collision between a toy drone and manned aircraft, including the potential for damage and death.
It further compared a toy drone strike with historical data on bird strikes, which are proven to cause significant damage to manned aircraft and loss of human life. According to current estimates, bird strikes cost $951 million per year in the U.S. alone. “Therefore, the impact of a toy drone—made of plastic, metal and engineered materials—with a manned aircraft would be even more catastrophic,” the report notes.
“Make no mistake; lives are at stake,” said Aero Kinetics CEO W. Hulsey Smith. “This study is meant to bring the risk into perspective, and inform consumers of the dangers that exist. Safety matters, and is the driving force that can bring together the FAA, the aerospace industry, and the toy drone industry so that we can find the best ways to put meaningful regulations in place for toy drones.”