Air Force One, the Boeing C-32A aircraft that the president Trump was flying on, came into close contact with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) while making its final approach into Andrews Air Force base on Sunday evening.
The Drive reported the incident after reporters on the plane took to twitter to describe the encounter. AFP's Sebastian Smith had a window seat and saw the drone as the presidential plane was descending.
The incident was noted by “multiple people” aboard Air Force One, according to Jennifer Jacobs, a senior White House reporter for Bloomberg News.
The Drive reached out to the 89th Airlift Wing for additional information. Below is the official statement from the 89th Airlift Wing that was developed in cooperating with the White House Military Office, it gives no details of the event and doesn’t say much.
JOINT BASE ANDREWS. Md., Aug. 17, 2020 –
The 89th Airlift Wing is aware of the report. The matter is under review. The 89th Airlift Wing’s C-32A aircraft landed safely without incident. Please direct all queries to the 89th Airlift Wing Public Affairs Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Having a drone come so close to the world’s highest-profile and well-equipped commercial aircraft is certainly cause for concern. The danger posed by hobby and other small UAS to aircraft isn't new. In recent years, we have witnessed incidents of drones interfering with firefighting aircraft, grounding passenger planes, and colliding with U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopter and news helicopter.
These drone incidents serve as a reminder of the potential dangers drones pose to manned aircraft. Even a small hobby drone could cause severe damage to life and property. Drone pilots should always steer clear of manned aircraft and follow FAA regulations. Check out the FAA UAS website for guidelines and resources on where to fly your drone.