Game of Drones

Well, the Drone Wars seems to have come to an uneasy end. All of which leaves a series of question marks. The reaction to these drone flights seems to have been muddled and uncoordinated. Given that the technology exists to disrupt drones, why was it not in place beforehand? Why did it take so long to react? The suggestion that the drones be shot down was rejected on the ground of stray bullets. This is an airport that has wide open spaces. If a sniper was to miss, the bullet would lose its kinetic energy eventually and fall to the ground. Any risk was minimal.

It took eighteen hours to bring in the army with their anti-drone technology. So the authorities were left with egg on their collective faces over this episode. They were unprepared and unable to respond effectively to what appears to be a glorified prank. If it was one of the anti-flying lobby groups, I’d have expected them to be crowing about it by now – so Occam’s Razor is leaning towards a prankster having a laugh. And they got away with it, by the looks of it.

Meanwhile, there is much clamouring in the house of baboons for more laws. This person was already breaking the law and that didn’t stop them. Given that those authorised to uphold the law have proved to be so ineffective, what good would more laws do? Other than inconvenience the general public as they usually do.

Grayling told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it was “a new kind of attack” and the perpetrator would face a substantial jail sentence. He said it was unlikely to be the action of a foreign state, but was not ruling anything out.

New, maybe, but hardly unforeseeable.

“It’s unprecedented in the world … We will have to learn very quickly from what happened … I intend to convene discussions with airports around the UK.”

I’m not holding my breath.


  1. He said it was unlikely to be the action of a foreign state, but was not ruling anything out

    Firstly, given that (virtually) all drones are made in China, and that only today our Government is pointing the finger at that country as being behind many deliberate attacks to gain sensitive information, it could very well be a “State Sponsored” ploy to see how we respond. Let’s face it, if this was repeated as a co-ordinated attack at every airport in the country, utter chaos would ensue! Why bother trying to hack” so called “Smart Meters” to crash the grid – this could bring the country to its knees for a fraction of the effort.

    Secondly, I suggest that a determined operator would already have disabled any radio control in the drone, and used the onboard GPS, and custom code, to send it up on a pre-programmed route (with a different landing site to the take-off point). This would make authorities attempts at remotely taking control useless.

    • This would make authorities attempts at remotely taking control useless.

      Not really. There are any number of ways of targeting the drone, either ballistically using a sniper, electronically using a targeted electro-magnetic pulse (basically a microwave emitter with a focusing lens) or thermally using a laser.

      All of this technology is available to our military and simply requires deployment and relevant rules of engagement.

  2. Had the old bill nipped down the shooting club and asked for help, within an hour a good number of stout chaps clad in wax jackets wellies and flat caps would have cleared the skies of errant drones.
    Danger of stray bullets from falling shot virtually nil.

  3. A drone is a threat to an aircraft how… any more than a bird?

    Mobile phones used to be then suddenly were not.

    Seems like the Precautionary Virus at work.

  4. Gatwick/LGW drone(s)

    Army allegedly deploys “Drone Dome”

    Army/MOD bought the budget version from Israel to track, monitor, try to hack and equipped for, but not with Laser drone-killer


    Maybe MOD believed Gov’t & msm hype that a £1 pen laser pointer can down an aircraft

    I still think Gov’t/Plod deliberately being ineffective and causing misery to 100,000s & >£1 Billion cost to further there own agenda: more laws, more tax, less freedom “if it saves one child”

    Not researched yet: Southend Airport drone trial

    Maybe BA should do as they did with Iceland volcano ash – inbound from JFK, we will land.

    Gatwick could strike a deal to cover any damage costs – drone hit = drone dead – cost less than “Closed”. Aircraft & geese (big birds) already share airspace at 30,000′

    Commercial: Large relative to hobby drones – probably max 1M (3’3″) diameter – not a Predator UAV. Shoot drone down with Apache & Hellfire/Gatling

    Most land around Gatwick is fields. Anyway, it’s a war – one person might be hurt, a greenhouse window broken – no big deal

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