Drone Nearly Collides with Passenger Jet Near Las Vegas

A drone pilot appears to have flown an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into the path of a passenger jet.

Video of the incident first appeared in a Facebook group called 1% FPV, posted by a user called "James Jayo Older," according to PetaPixel. The photography website reports that the video was captioned "Found the SD card.. 1%ers only."

The short video, shot from the perspective of the drone in question, begins with a view of the landscape surrounding McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Then the camera twists and tips downward revealing a Frontier Airlines passenger plane rapidly approaching. The UAV then dives toward the plane, which swells to briefly fill the field of view before passing narrowly below. It's unclear from the video just how close the drone came to the jet.

Drone pilots and enthusiasts quickly shared and condemned the video outside the group.

Online publication for the airline industry, Air Transport World, reported on the video, writing, "By all appearances, this is clearly and explicitly an illegal and reckless flight by a drone. The unmanned aircraft is above 400 ft., it is near an airport, and it is above another, manned aircraft — all gross violations of the rules that govern unmanned aviation."

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) limits private drone operators to a height of 400 feet (122 meters).

Air Transport World noted that several drone industry groups have condemned the pilot, and that the FAA has said it's aware of the incident and investigating.

Originally published on Live Science.

Rafi Letzter
Staff Writer
Rafi joined Live Science in 2017. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of journalism. You can find his past science reporting at Inverse, Business Insider and Popular Science, and his past photojournalism on the Flash90 wire service and in the pages of The Courier Post of southern New Jersey.