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Footage Reveals Drone Aircraft Nearly Downed Passenger Plane in 2004

timothy posted about a year ago | from the statute-of-limitations dept.

Robotics 206

Newly released footage, writes reader Wowsers, shows that in 2004 "A German drone aircraft was within meters of bringing down a passenger aircraft with 100 people on board. The link shows stills from onboard the drone. The incident had been hushed up for nine years, and is creating waves in Germany now the footage has been leaked out."

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We need a box which scans for drone video (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903591)

transmissions, sounds an alarm when it finds such, displays it on a screen and begins immediately uploading it to a public site.

Re:We need a box which scans for drone video (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903847)

For fuck's sake, the SUBJECT BOX is for a SUBJECT, not the start of your god damned sentence.

i think (1)

trum4n (982031) | about a year ago | (#43903871)

this is more fun. drama and all.

Why do people online get so bent out of shape when (2, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43904337)

people don't agree with their opinions on what is the "correct" way to do things?

Re:Why do people online get so bent out of shape w (3, Interesting)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43904593)

Did you ever witness the top-post vs. bottom-post Usenet battles? Those were fun. I'm a bottom poster though I snip. Well, no... I haven't engaged in Usenet activity in years.

Re:Why do people online get so bent out of shape w (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904809)

Rules or conventions, etc, organize things, processes. You've surely encountered the case where someone defines the meaning of a word as something different than what you define the same word to "mean" and the conversation using that word quickly becomes confusing or even confrontational.

What if I decide to use a yellow traffic light to mean "everyone else begins stopping their vehicle, but I should accelerate", or "No left turn" as "No left turns unless you are in a hurry".

What if you employer had the opinion that the term "Raise" meant "decrease in real world purchasing power".
What if your parents had decided that "Dinner" meant "beating you with a rubber hose until the economy improves".
What if the next judge you have to deal with has defined "innocent until proven guilty" to mean "innocent unless inconvenient for myself".
What if slashdot.org defined "Reply to This" to mean "send immediately to NSA/FBI/CIA headquarters"

See how one's reaction might be intense?

I totally agree with the parent's (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904291)

comment.

Why do you think that the "Comment Subject" should (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904377)

only contain redundant information? Why not repurpose this wonderful box to set ourselves free from the tyranny of subjects!

Re:We need a box which scans for drone video (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43904569)

Guess what, jackass? Data is data. If it's cyphered you have no way to know it's video.

Castle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903599)

I think I saw this episode.

Is it Real? (0)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43903603)

Or is it just another Photoshop? Also what's the object in the middle at the top?

Re:Is it Real? (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43903699)

As best I can tell, the footage is from the forward-facing camera, whose view is slightly obscured by the nose-antenna-harpoon-thing [wikimedia.org] (technical term) visible on the front of the drone in this shot.

That would presumably also be present in competent fake footage; but it is consistent with the line of sight that you'd infer from the drone's layout, and from the shots on the manufacturer's puff page [emt-penzberg.de] .

Re:Is it Real? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43903925)

It's a chimney sweep's broom. The robot mistook the jet liner's engine for a sooty flue and was attempting to rectify it.

Re:Is it Real? (2)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43904245)

sooty flue

It's quite treatable these days.

Re:Is it Real? (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43904581)

Looks like a combination of an antenna and a pitot tube, to me.

Re:Is it Real? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903729)

Or is it just another Photoshop? Also what's the object in the middle at the top?

No it's clearly the illuminati!...

Re:Is it Real? (2)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43903755)

Also what's the object in the middle at the top?

In the second frame it's another plane which is taking off in the opposite direction by the looks of it.

I'd say if this is declassified footage, and the Germans are up in arms about it, it likely isn't a photoshop job.

And it also suggests to me that all of the claims they're perfectly safe and won't ever interfere with civilian aviation is probably optimistic. I suspect this isn't the only near miss from a drone.

Re:Is it Real? (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year ago | (#43904157)

It's the drone's genitalia, it was trying to mate with that big sexy mama.

Re:Is it Real? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904399)

You could say the attempt was so poor, it crashed and burned.

Who is in control? (2, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43903639)

So it's not like the drone is a robot that decides where and when to fly on its own, this is not hugely different from just 2 normal large passengers jets being directed at each other by ground control.

I only wonder if there is anything like ACAS / TCAS on the drone and is the drone allowed to maneuver away from collision on its own?

Re:Who is in control? (2)

sabri (584428) | about a year ago | (#43904225)

I only wonder if there is anything like ACAS / TCAS on the drone and is the drone allowed to maneuver away from collision on its own?

According to the article, anti-collision technology was deemed to expensive. Which is kind of bullshit since a mode S transponder (which will help passenger jets detect the drones using TCAS) is less than $2000.

Re:Who is in control? (5, Insightful)

bickerdyke (670000) | about a year ago | (#43904295)

Giving away your location to other objects occupying the same airspace may be reasonable from a safety viewpoint. But would pretty much defeat a "secret" recon mission.

Now guess what's valued more by the military....

Re:Who is in control? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year ago | (#43904403)

You don't have to identify as a flying death machine...

Re:Who is in control? (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43904657)

No but you have to identify as *something* and that is enough to give its presence away which is, by the way, absolutely what they do not want to do. I think a simple solution may be to have that as a feature that can be enabled or disabled as required with it set to enabled by default. Or, you know, they could make two versions - one for civil use and one for military use with the latter being set with the device configured to default to off.

"and is creating waves in Germany now the footage" (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903661)

I have searched for this in german web pages. Beside aero.de and spiegel.de there is next to NO german web pages mentionning this and a lot of english pages. In fact it isn't even on google news in german...

leaked or "Freaked" out (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903689)

jus.. saying

Yes it is real (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903693)

No it's not a Photoshop. The drone is not equiped with an automatic preventation system against collisions. The accident nearly happened in Afghanistan. The whole discussion came up by the mistakes which were made and the money which was spend on the Eurohawk project (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop_Grumman_RQ-4_Global_Hawk)

Re:Yes it is real (1)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about a year ago | (#43904171)

If drones were equipped with automatic collision prevention systems, would those same systems not be used by opposition forces to detect the presence of these drones? The whole point of most of these drones is stealthy surveillance and/or attack.

Re:Yes it is real (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904427)

That depends on how the system is implemented. An electro-optical array capable of spotting another jet half a mile out would give sufficient time to dodge.

Re:Yes it is real (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904521)

Yeah, if only they'd invent some sort of device to turn a transmitter on in civilian airspace and off in restricted airspace.
Maybe they could call it a Radio-Controlled Switch or something.
In other news... if you're worried about insurgents shooting down your precious drones, why the fuck did you clear that area for civilian aviation?

Newly released footage? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903743)

The video on YouTube is dated Dec 2006...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NOar22TX2k

Re:Newly released footage? (1)

BubbaDave (1352535) | about a year ago | (#43903787)

I recognized the footage at once, but was too lazy to dig it up.
This made the rounds through the UAS-covering media probably more than once, hard to say there's a 'coverup'.

Re:Newly released footage? (5, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43903939)

99% of the Daily Mail's web content is stuff they found on the internet at lunch time, so I assume "newly released" means "someone just emailed us this with some cat memes".

It happened also over Iran (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903757)

A drone nearly hit a civil plane in 1998 over Iran : the story [youtube.com]

Well, we're waaaaaaiting. (5, Insightful)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year ago | (#43903759)

The only way flying cars for people will work is with massive computerized control, which is being built into ground cars, too. Best get on with it.

Of course, this one being military grade could probably shut it off anyway, if it had it.

Fixed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903769)

Footage Reveals Drone Aircraft Neatly Avoids Passenger Plane in 2004, Testament To Drone Technology.

Fixed.

Re:Fixed (4, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#43904355)

Footage Reveals Drone Aircraft Neatly Avoids Passenger Plane in 2004, Testament To Drone Technology.

Fixed.

From TFA:

The 88lb German 'Luna' drone was caught in air turbulence created by the Ariana passenger plane, before losing control and crash landing near the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Uh, yea, not really "neatly avoid[ing]" when the damn thing crashes as a result.

I wonder if there is a connection... (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43903781)

I wonder if it's merely a coincidence that this...became available... at roughly the same time that Euro Hawk's ICAO-togetherness issues became insurmountable(it certainly would be a convenient one, if somebody wanted to twist that particular knife, very good footage at a very good time), or whether photogenic leaks and procurement debacles are both more or less continuous phenomena and so necessarily overlap from time to time?

Re:I wonder if there is a connection... (1)

Internal Modem (1281796) | about a year ago | (#43904567)

It became available on YouTube in 2006. People are paying attention to it now because of the Euro Hawk's issues. Nothing terribly coincidental.

"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#43903815)

It has occurred to me, thus it has occurred to government, that a drone-related 'accident' is a statistical certainty if their use continues to grow. It will be peddled through the news outlets as an unfortunate sacrifice for your national security. "Think of all the lives it's saved", "Piloted planes collide too", and maybe "Casualties in the War on Terror" may be used to church it up.

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903979)

It has occurred to me, thus it has occurred to government, that a drone-related 'accident' is a statistical certainty if their use continues to grow. It will be peddled through the news outlets as an unfortunate sacrifice for your national security. "Think of all the lives it's saved", "Piloted planes collide too", and maybe "Casualties in the War on Terror" may be used to church it up.

Of course it will. There is an unending amount of bullshit needed to feed unjustified budgets.

Fortunately for policymakers, there is an i>equally unending amount of apathy to allow it to happen, which is why it does.

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903983)

Maybe if we stopped all this war machinery and got everyone to grow up and live amongst each other we would be able to save a lot more lives... But yeah, that is just a crazy idea, right? :(

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904461)

Thousands of years of recorded human history would tend to agree. That's just crazy.

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (1)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#43904661)

Thousands of years of recorded human history would tend to agree. That's just crazy.

It is just the human sinful, selfish, warlike nature that constantly comes out of people. Nothing can come out of a person or a box that wasn't in there in the first place. Some people use guns to get their way and others use lawyers.

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904469)

Based on the whole of known human history, yes, in fact that is kind of crazy.

Re:"I'm placing you in cuffs for your own safety" (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#43904387)

I'm guessing the military industrial complex who is more concerned about this. It's the people who make the drones that want to keep the gravy train of spending tons of taxpayer dollars on expensive toys to fight the war on whatever our paranoia has fixated on. If we said "Wait, these things can KILL people!?!?! SHUT IT DOWN!" the government would immediately find some other campaign donors and some other way to stay in office, then immediately would say "Sure! No problem!"

Small drone (1, Interesting)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43903819)

JYI: This was a small drone (40kg). It would have taken a very unlucky hit to take down the airpane.

I had a colleague who operated those things in Afghanistan, they were essentially a big RC plane.

Re:Small drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903923)

a very unlucky hit? a 40kg object? what are you smoking?

Re:Small drone (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903931)

Even an RC plane can cause major damage if sucked into an engine.

Re:Small drone (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43904261)

I'd say that the aircraft ingesting the drone would be unlucky, in the sense that it's not the most likely form of collision. The plane would, one hopes, still be landable in that condition; you're meant to avoid bird strikes but most jet airliners should be designed to survive them.

It would be a heck of a lot worse than the plane eating a goose though.

Re:Small drone (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904513)

Major damage? Sure, but not fatal damage. The only way for an 80lb craft to cause likely fatal damage is to hit the cockpit and cause fatal damage to its pilots. Wings are tough. You have two engines. You have redundant control systems. The plane would be a total loss, but chances are good there would be enough left intact after the collision to land.

Re:Small drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904009)

Exactly. The likely outcome of a collision: smashed drone and a plane with a tiny dent. With some bad luck, a destroyed jet engine too. But a bird collision will sometimes do that too - so civilian planes can all fly reasonably well with one engine broken.

Anyway, this was a military drone. Lots of military equipment is much more dangerous, some of it is even designed specifically to destroy planes. Accidents/mistakes happens with such equipment too, the U.S. shot down an Iranian airliner in 1988, for example.

Avoiding drone/plane crashes should be easy enough. Simply keep civilian drones out of the flight paths in use. I.e. operate lower than normal plane traffic, and stay away from airports. As for military drones - don't fly airliners near military operations . . .

Re:Small drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904093)

A 40 Kg object? Unlucky hit? Slurp one up in the intakes...just for starters.

Yeah, they're a BIG RC plane, and big enough to do real damage like flying into a rather large bird would be.

Re:Small drone (1)

zaax (637433) | about a year ago | (#43904227)

which is packed with explosive ready to go off if the first explosion is big enough, with add jet fuel.

Re:Small drone (1)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43904299)

Payload of that drone was a camera. Germany did not have armed drones back then...

Re:Small drone (1)

zaax (637433) | about a year ago | (#43904411)

Other than the doodle bug or V1

Re:Small drone (1)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43904507)

Yep, the V1 was a rocket without any control mechanisms or a computer. They had remote controlled bombs and mini-tanks in WWII, but both don't qualify as drones neither. So no armed drones...

Re:Small drone (1)

BubbaDave (1352535) | about a year ago | (#43904733)

The V1 most certainly had control mechanisms. No remote mechanisms, and crude, but it had them.

And, wasn't a rocket.

Re:Small drone (1)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43904793)

Gyroscope for stabilization and a rotor at the top that stopped the fuel pump after x turns.

No, V1 was a drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904751)

V1 was not a rocket. It was a pulse-JET powered DRONE aircraft with a mechanical control computer.

Re:Small drone (1)

heneon (570292) | about a year ago | (#43904231)

the usair flight that had to take a plunge in the hudson river was taken dowm by birds. Ok, they got ingested in both engines making them unoperable, but i would not say single 40 kg drone would not be somethink to take lightly when colliding head on with a passenger aircraft.

88lb (5, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | about a year ago | (#43904529)

You do realize that the frontal area of an airplane consists largely of the cockpit and engines, right? And that many areas of the plane's wing and body are slightly thicker than a soda can? Those "NO STEP" warnings are there for a reason. Have you seen what a single goose, about 6-7lb, can do to a passenger airliner? This thing weighs more than ten times that, and is substantially larger. If you think 88lb of hard material traveling at several hundred miles per hour won't cause serious-to-catastrophic damage to a passenger airliner, you're an idiot.

Re:88lb (0)

mseeger (40923) | about a year ago | (#43904617)

I know, but i didn't talk about damaging. All i say: it would have taken a very unlucky hit to bring down the passenger plane.

The worst spot to hit would have been the engine. But even during takeoff, they should survive that.

Re:Small drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904635)

This was a small drone (40kg). It would have taken a very unlucky hit to take down the airpane.

40kg at 1,000km per hour is, let's see...carry the one,....uh, well, a pretty damn big impact.

That's odd... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903825)

You'd think with all their experience with unmanned drone aircraft, the Germans would have no such problems...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V-1_flying_bomb

How is this newly released footage? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903827)

The video exists on YouTube since December 2006

Newly released? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903833)

Interesting, as I recall seeing this video in the documentary "Rise of The Machines" last year:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20JCGDwBt7A (starting at 20mins)

88 lb @ 70 km/h (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903857)

Seems like Luna has an operational speed of 70 km/h.

How many seconds would it need to evade a passenger jet of that size coming towards it anyway?

Which one of the two aircraft was in the wrong air lane?

Re:88 lb @ 70 km/h (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904523)

Any commercial airliner flying that low will be taking off or landing, and as such their flight paths will be dictated by the orientation of the runway. The drone was clearly somewhere it shouldn't have been.

It is going to be a when, not an if. (4, Insightful)

cozytom (1102207) | about a year ago | (#43903867)

Current technology won't separate the aircraft well enough. The drones are not about to see and avoid like people. Think of control delays (speed of light seems pretty fast until you realize the pilot is thousands of miles away, you have to get the video image to them, and then the pilot has to react, then the reaction command has to get back to the aircraft, it isn't seconds, but certainly many milliseconds).

Then you can also see how fast the two aircraft are converging. It was easy to miss the little dot, and it was really darn big by the time the drone could make it out. Of course by then, there wasn't much either could do. And what is with that big antenna or whatever blocking the view?

One day a drone will hit a passenger carrying aircraft. Who is gonna scream then? Lets let the technology catch up, and not put these things in civilian airspace.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (5, Informative)

ledow (319597) | about a year ago | (#43903999)

If you're flying ANYTHING in a manner where a millisecond response time matters, you're flying wrong. If you're flying CLOSE ENOUGH to things that a millisecond error in your response is critical, you're flying too close or completely off the flight plan.

This is why we don't take chances with air-traffic-control. It's not unusual for planes to be MILES away from each other and still be called a "near miss". At the sorts of speeds you're talking about, you cover WAY TOO MUCH space too quickly to be able to "get out of the way" - you should just not be within miles of each other.

As such, even UAV's are subject to the same kinds of safety distances. This one obviously a) wasn't on a flightplan, b) was straying off its flightplan or c) was misdirected by (or ignorant of) the local equivalent of air-traffic-control.

One day a drone will hit a passenger-carrying aircraft. One day a passenger jet will take off with both engines hatches undone, causing an engine failure and potential fire in both engines when it snaps off and damages the engine (London Heathrow, last week). One day someone will get on a plane and bomb it (not 9/11 - think Lockerbie back in the 1980's!). These things will all happen. The way we reduce casualties is NOT to ban planes (although, obviously, that works perfectly!!), but to apply controls. In this case, the controls already exist and are in place. If people didn't follow them? Take away their UAV pilot's licence.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43904173)

Isn't the main point that such things are currently not under any sort of traffic control?

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904549)

No military aircraft operate under civilian traffic control.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#43904613)

Frequently they do outside war zones - there's even an instance of a U2 entering Australian airspace from above!
If that makes no sense consider that it's because civilian airspace has a ceiling, which is considered absurdly high, but the U2 could fly above it.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43904271)

This is why we probably won't ever have flying cars; when you give each aircraft its own "safe zone" to accomodate user error and bumpy air, there's not enough space up there for one aircraft per household.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a year ago | (#43904677)

Nonsense. There's plenty of space. You not only have a lot more space for vehicles in the x-y plane, you also have the whole altitude thing to play with meaning that you can practically ensure that it's very unlikely that vehicles are on a collision course (which happens as a matter of necessity for ground-based vehicles). As for user error? Computer control becomes a whole lot easier when you don't have to worry about pedestrians, cyclists, corners and other random obstacles.

There's other reasons we're not seeing flying cars.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

KGIII (973947) | about a year ago | (#43904805)

Well, if they fly at different altitudes it should be all good. It would take some logistics work, probably via a centralized computer system, but it could work though I expect we'll need to restrict the airspace over congested areas like cities. I am not a fan of, am actually a proponent of, flying cars though. I don't think the solution is adding more individual energy consuming devices to the planet.

Re:It is going to be a when, not an if. (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#43904445)

Tell Congress to stop taking chances with air-traffic control. They are the ones that cut funding for air-traffic control because they wanted to make a "statement". Apparently the statement was "Hi there, we're clueless about the proper function of government, be sure to vote for us next time."

illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903879)

Someone should be prosecuted for this... Is the sharing of the video is treason and not just copyright infrigment? #FreeManning #ShareingIsCareing
Slashdot staffers could be prosecuted for sharing link to copyrighted video.

*sarcasm*

Who cares?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903935)

A plane full of "mohammeds" crashes in "Bin Laden's yard" and its just another day at the office.
If it were in New York City then maybe we would give a shit... for some reason, planes crashing in that city are big deal.

Wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43903947)

The pilot of the plane didn't pay attention to the drone, but manage to miss it anyway. The drone in question is slow moving and was on radar, the pilot and tower got away with a near miss.

This isn't a secret, and never was. This is the Daily Mail (UK's drama-queen rag for females) digging up some old shit to generate advert impressions.

Where is the movie that shows our drone future? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904033)

It would be pretty easy to turn the public against drones if there was some near term sci-fi blockbuster that illustrates what a drone-filled culture looks like. You'd think that hollywood would be all over that, but they aren't. I wonder why?

Re:Where is the movie that shows our drone future? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about a year ago | (#43904565)

Well there was Eagle Eye, and now Person of Interest.

A classic Daily Wail srory (3, Informative)

tggzzz (2940743) | about a year ago | (#43904091)

It was "leaked" to youtube in 2006 and now has been viewed 217,648 times. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NOar22TX2k [youtube.com] The Daily Wail makes its money from people that don't have anything significant to worry about in their lives - The Wail gives them something to worry about. A standard modus operandi is to find something that is dangerous in excess, write a scare story, and completely ignore that it was made illegal several years previously.

Re:A classic Daily Wail srory (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#43904477)

It is things like the Daily Wail that brings out the genius of the Electric Monk (Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, Douglas Adams). An Electric Monk believes things for you. It sounds like we need it to also worry for you so you can get on with the business of life knowing that base is covered.

daily fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904129)

Can I get a /. option to block stories that are linked to the daily fail?

its ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904175)

only jews were on board.....so the joke goes .....i know not funny but its said hitler was cloned and is now in some grand video game driving his "new planes" around

This is why I love the Daily Mail (and readers) (5, Insightful)

oobayly (1056050) | about a year ago | (#43904193)

They never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Alarmist headline - check
Photo completely irrelevant to the story (32,250lb Eurohawk instead of this photo [wikipedia.org] ) - check
Incorrect description of events - check
Nonsensical sentence - "The drone passes under the left wing of the engine" - check

If you insist on reading a mindless tabloid, at least read one with T&A [page3.com]

Re:This is why I love the Daily Mail (and readers) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904709)

Then don't read the mindless tabloid, read it here instead: http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/german-defense-ministry-continued-drone-program-despite-problems-a-903504.html

I feel dirty (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904211)

Ugh, you just made me click a Daily Fail link. Damn you slashdot.

Why was this classified? (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about a year ago | (#43904219)

Governments apparently deem everything "classified" simply so people don't know what they're doing. It seems like there should be more specific justification than just an overall secrecy blanket. eh?

Re:Why was this classified? (1, Interesting)

grantspassalan (2531078) | about a year ago | (#43904475)

It took nine years to leak this information. Government efforts to keep information secret was more successful in times past, Governments want to censor everything that is detrimental to them and their increasingly dictatorial rule over the common people. That censorship is getting harder as time goes by, because of the ubiquity of smart phones and other Internet connected camera devices. In earlier times, when the government caught someone with a camera that may have taken some pictures that they did not want to get out into the open, they simply took the film out. When cameras went digital they would often confiscate or destroy such cameras. Nowadays that Is no longer useful, because the digital information has escaped into cyberspace, from which it can't be recalled. That is one of the primary reasons why governments everywhere are desperately trying to control the Internet. They give excuses such as copyright and protecting the children, but those are just that, excuses.

"bringing down" the house (0, Flamebait)

fche (36607) | about a year ago | (#43904347)

A couple-pound plastic widget is not going to bring down an airliner after a collision, unless it's exceedingly (un)lucky. Large planes can take impact from much bigger objects and keep flying.

Re:"bringing down" the house (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43904487)

I think you're confusing military drones with toy quadrocopters. This one was 40kg and about 2m long, and by modern standards it's tiny.

Re:"bringing down" the house (1)

fche (36607) | about a year ago | (#43904551)

OK, that'd be different; still not an automatic "bring down" though.

Re:"bringing down" the house (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a year ago | (#43904683)

Agreed.

Re:"bringing down" the house (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904789)

88 lbs according to the article, on its own it would have to hit just right to bring down the entire aircraft (such as the cockpit, a main wing spar, hydraulics controls, etc). But with a that doesn't mean it couldn't kill several passengers by punching through the crew cabin, injure people on the ground from falling debris or causing millions of dollars in damage by taking out an engine. I wonder how many similar bits of footage sit in our own militaries classified archives. As with most things you hear the second one of these things does something good (helps thwart terrorism, helps catch a murderer, etc) but when they do something bad you can bet that if they can, they'll shove all mention of it into the deepest, darkest parts of the bureaucracy.

No big deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904423)

A miss is as good as a mile

Did anybody notice the name of the drone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43904765)

Once the video is complete it shows the name of the drone "LUNA-TIC." LUNATIC? Really? This takes a little of the surprise away from it for me.

Actual collision w/ military aircraft - August 201 (1)

PseudoCoder (1642383) | about a year ago | (#43904811)

http://defensetech.org/2012/03/21/pics-of-the-day-the-c-130-that-collided-with-a-uav/ [defensetech.org]

This was a Shadow UAV (~425 lbs).

This is with more than 1.3 million hours of UAS operations, so consider that in the context of frequency of occurrence.

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