A small drone caused quite a stir at an airport in Texas when it crossed paths with a passenger jet.
A landing Boeing 737 on its one mile approach to the Dallas Love Field airport came within a few hundred feet of the small quad-copter, we're told. The plane did not hit the drone, and was able to safely land without needing to conduct any evasive maneuvers.
Love Field (not to be confused with the much larger Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport) is a hub serving a few airlines flying regional trips. In this case, the 737 was ferrying passengers from Houston to Dallas on Friday.
According to The Dallas Morning News, the drone was flying so far into the airport's space that both the pilot of Southwest Flight 28 and the air traffic controller at Love Field were able to spot the gizmo.
A Love Field spokesperson confirmed the near-miss, and said cops searched the area but were unable to find the operator of the drone. US watchdog the FAA told The Register it is investigating the case.
Flying a drone within five miles of an airport is a violation of FAA regulations, as is piloting a craft above an altitude of 400ft.
Both federal officials and model airplane hobby groups warned of exactly this type of incident earlier this year when they launched the "Know Before You Fly" education initiative.
Given the popularity of drones amongst amateur videographers and the ease with which they can be operated, many owners are taking to the skies without first learning FAA rules on where they can and cannot fly. This was not thought to be so much of a worry in the past, when flying miniature aircraft was a daunting process that required hours of practice and study, including FAA regulations.
Last year, a pair of drone pilots in New York were cuffed when their dwarf copter was caught flying at 800ft over Manhattan. ®