Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Everyone safe, except drone pilot who ignored local rules

Canada's transport minster has told drone operators to stay away from airports after a remotely piloted craft bonked a passenger plane during its final approach to Jean Lesage International Airport in Québec City.

Minister Marc Garneau hasn't revealed the model of the drone, but we do know that it hit a plane operated by Skyjet Aviation, a charter outfit that despite its name operates only turboprop aircraft. The three types it operates, the King Air 100 and 200, plus the Beechcraft 1900, seat six, 10 and 19 passengers apiece.

Whichever type was struck, it came away with what Garneau described as “minor damage” and landed safely.

There's also no news of where the drone struck. As the craft landed without incident, The Register's aviation desk will assume it wasn't chopped up by the plane's propellors with attendant spray of plastic and metal.

Canadian media suggests the plane was struck last Thursday about 3,000 metres from the runway while at an altitude of 450 metres.

All concerned are therefore reminding Canuck drone operators of their obligations to fly below 90 metres and at least 5.5km away from airports, or face C$25,000 fines.

Authorities are keen to identify the drone pilot, to remind him or her of those rules. In stern language, as a drone striking a propellor or being sucked into a jet engine has the potential to cause a very nasty incident. ®

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