Last week, a small sports plane over Aalst, The Netherlands collided with an unknown object at an altitude of 1800 feet. It is suspected that it was a drone. The plane could safely land at Eindhoven Airport without any problems. There, damage to the nose and propeller was found. According to the police, it is out of the question that it was a collision with a bird.
A small airplane possibly collided with a drone in the Netherlands
The drone incident took place around 2:45 PM on Friday afternoon. There were two passengers on board the Cessna 182 Skylane. In the vicinity of the ‘De Neswaarden’ recreation area, the occupants heard a loud bang. They also felt that the plane was hit by something.
After consultation with Eindhoven Airport air traffic control, it was decided to inspect the landing gear first, before the aircraft was landed. To this end, the help of a nearby flying Apache helicopter of the Dutch Air Force was called in.
“Certainly not a bird”
Once on the ground, there appeared to be a dent in the nose of the aircraft. The propeller was also damaged. The police rule out that the damage was caused by a bird. It is presumed that it was a drone. The police are calling on witnesses to report.
In the Netherlands, the maximum flight altitude for drones is 120 meters (almost 400 feet). Drones from the market leader DJI are software-limited so that they cannot get higher than 500 meters. However, there have been cases of drones flying much higher than that limit.
As we have seen many cases of suspected drone incidents, but only very few confirmed ones, we will wait until we learn from the Dutch authorities if this indeed was a collision between a drone and a small airplane.
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(source: Police National Unit – cover photo for illustration)