Even though the spectre of the FAA and every manned pilot is on the horizon looking for drones, the outcome is really what need to be considered. In 2014, there have been no mid-air collisions between drones and manned aircraft, one minor injury, no serious injuries, and no fatalities. Here is the extent of the damages;
PRELIM INFO FROM FAA OPS: DAYTONA BEACH, FL/UAS INCIDENT/10-11 1600E/AN UNAUTHORIZED UAS APPROXIMATELY 1.5 FEET SQUARE WAS OPERATING A LOW ALTITUDE OVER THE DAYTONA BEACH MUNICIPAL STADIUM AND STRIKING A CITIZEN CAUSING MINOR ABRASION. THE INCIDENT WAS REPORTED BY DAYTONA BEACH POLICE TO SOUTHERN REGIONAL OPERATION CENTER.
Consider that by now there are probably well over a million small unmanned drones in the hands of hobbyists, commercial operators, local and federal law enforcement agencies. Out of all the operations that are happening every day, the result is we have 191 reports with 42 near misses, and no real significant issues. This is all without a legal or operational framework for small drones to safely operate. Naturally these numbers will go up, however we’re not at epidemic levels.
That’s all the data I’ve collected. All the graphs are powered by Google Docs and this spreadsheet here. Feel free to browse the data set. If you see something that doesn’t look right, I’ve allowed comments on the sheet. Just put some notes in there and I can make corrections, and all the graphs will get updated.
Right now, the most important thing a hobbyist can do is share this data and graphs. There is a flood of doomsday news out there, so people need to see some facts to balance out the fiction.