Two pilots reported seeing a drone flying precariously close to their aircraft as they came in for a landing at John F. Kennedy Airport on Friday. The drone was apparently in the vicinity of Floyd Bennett Field for hours. The pilot of a a 2:24 p.m. arrival from Port-au-Prince, Haiti called in the drone, as did a 4:55 p.m. Delta flight from Orlando, Florida, according to a report by NBC4.
"About a mile back there was a drone flying," the Delta pilot told air traffic controllers. "About 100 feet below us, just off our right wing."
The Delta plane was at about 1,700 feet when the pilot spotted the remote-controlled craft, ABC7 reported. Flying a drone above 400 feet or within five miles of an airport is against federal law. But that didn't stop the operator of a drone flying at 1,500 feet around Atlantic Beach in Nassau County, on the landing approach to JFK, back in 2013. Nor did it deter the genius whose flight of fancy in Prospect Park in May forced the pilot of a jet headed for LaGuardia to swerve up 200 feet to avoid a collision.
The Federal Aviation Administration said there are 25 drone sightings near planes every month.
As sagely opinion-holder Carmela Urso of Wantagh, New York told NBC:
"It's bad enough you have to worry about nature, like with the birds going into the planes, but [drone use is] something you can help, so..."
The FBI, the FAA, and Port Authority police are investigating.