Drone Suspected of Downing Helicopter in UK

While police are denying claims that a squad drone was airborne at the time of a fatal crash that claimed the life of Leicester City football club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others on Saturday, Oct. 27th, a number of individuals have voiced speculations that this may have been the case.

The copter, an Agusta Westland AW169, went down at approximately 19:30 local time shortly after take-off, hurtling into the parking lot of Leicester’s King Power Stadium as passerby looked on in disbelief. The cause of the crash remains unclear as police inspectors are still attempting to gather information from an onboard recorder badly scorched as a result of a fire that scorched the helicopter following the incident.

Was a drone responsible?

Leicester police have made a statement that no known drone was in the area at the time of the incident and that an investigation is ongoing and has yet to yield answers to what took place.  They did confirm that a squad drone monitors the stadium during certain matches.

Substantial risk

Tests have shown that even a relatively small drone is capable of downing not only helicopters—but commercial planes. As of December 2015, the number of near incidents involving drones and manned aircraft in the US alone was registered at 300. An advanced anti drone system can prevent those situations from occurring in the future.

Developing threats to air traffic

Evolving technology has greatly increased the danger of drone/helicopter collisions over the last decade. Increased drone availability and simple user instructions have also played a significant role in the increased number of serious drone incidents. With limited regulations, drone operators with little regard for public safety issues have created a hazard for private aircraft—especially helicopters on lifesaving missions. According to the FAA, the number of recreational drones in the US will likely triple by 2021, further increasing the risk of accidents like the one that took place last week in the UK.

The SAFE SKIES Concept

The SAFE SKIES Drone Detection System provides helicopter pilots advanced warning of incoming drones, thus preventing potential collisions. It has already been tested and meets the highest international safety standards.

How does it work?

The SAFE SKIES system functions according to a precise order developed by leading experts in the aerodynamics industry.  In the first step, the SDR receiver on the copter’s underbelly gathers RF signals from the system’s antennas, determining if any of these are being transmitted by approaching drones. If a drone is identified, a command is forwarded to a monitor in the pilot’s pit identifying the direction of the incoming threat. The entire process takes seconds, providing the pilot more than enough time to avoid a collision. 

Substantial benefits

This revolutionary technological breakthrough will provide helicopter pilots a simple, reliable, and most importantly, completely inclusive solution for preventing drone/helicopter crashes, saving lives and avoiding multi-million property damage in the process. The system is projected to become a commonly-used commodity for negating collisions in the coming 5-10 years.

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