WASHINGTON – Twice this summer, it appeared in the skies above the runways at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, an unwanted intruder about the size of a seagull in the airspace that’s reserved for planes full of passengers and cargo.
No, it wasn’t a UFO.
It was a UAS, or unmanned aircraft system, otherwise known as a drone.
Nobody knows who was flying it, or why.
But it didn’t belong there – and it could have caused great damage, or worse, if it had collided with a jet engine or a plane’s windshield, said Brian P. Hearing, co-founder of DroneShield, a Washington-based company that aims to protect airspace from such intrusions.
The two drone episodes at the Buffalo airport are included in a new Federal Aviation Administration database of unwanted drone sightings.
Told of the two incidents, Hearing said: “I don’t have words to describe how stupid that is.”