FAA Report: Pilot spotted possible drone near Charleston airport

FAA Report: Pilot spotted possible drone near Charleston airport

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A pilot reported a possible drone flying southwest of  the Charleston International Airport in July, according to a newly-released list of drone-related incidents compiled by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA says pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, and released a lengthy report on possible incidents across the country over the last nine months.

That list shows one incident in Charleston, one in Greenville, six in Charlotte and more in Atlanta.

The incident near Charleston International was reported by the pilot of a twin jet Eclipse EA50 on July 19. According to FAA documents, the pilot reported the object off the right wing, but the pilot was not forced to take evasive action.

The pilot reported  the object was not a balloon and was more vertical than horizontal. According to the FAA report, the pilot thought it might have been a quad copter, saying the object was red and orange, and was flying at about 4,000 feet, roughly 16 miles southwest of the Charleston Airport.

The incident in Greenville was earlier that same month, on July 6, and involved an 18-inch orange drone moving in the opposite direction of a Cessna. The Cessna pilot reported the drone passed about 200 feet below the aircraft. The plane was in the vicinity of Furman University, according to the FAA report.

The agency is warning that flying drones around airplanes and helicopters is not only dangerous, but also illegal.

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