Air Canada Jazz flight seems to be lucky enough as it narrowly missed hitting an apparent unidentified flying object moving at high altitude path. There’s no doubt that the encounter was extremely dangerous to the flight heading out of Halifax this week.
The pilot said that the flying object was not similar to any drone he knows. Drone is a common flying object considered as a high risk in Canadian airspace. However, he admitted that he cannot rule out the possibility that it was something terrestrial given the advancement of modern technology.
In the past two years, experimentations of secret drones have increased significantly, but there has been no clear regulation on such experiments. Just a couple of months ago, Nova Scotia air traffic controllers were late to announce that the U.S. military drone was moving above the province.
The object seen on Sunday was less than 300 metres over the Jazz turbofan plane. The pilot depicted it as white and red vertical tube with rotor. The Jazz flight was heading to St. John’s, N.L. The testimony of the pilot was recently published on Transport Canada.
Inna Sharf, an expert in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at McGill University – Montreal, said that the plane was at near 6,000 metres in altitude, which is the height much higher than what most drones are capable of.
Sharf clarified that there is no such phrase as “most UAVs” since it is still a new market.
However, based on the pilot’s description, she guesses that the UFO could be possibly part of a science experiment to measure atmospheric activities, rather than a drone.
Sharf explained that drones come in different sizes depending on their purposes. She said that drones are commonly used for weather forecasting and military reconnaissance. Though, they both fly at high altitude to accomplish their missions, they also generally recognisable to many, especially by pilots and those with knowledge on aviation.
Sharf said that UAV should have been looked like a small plane at this kind of altitude. On the description made by the pilot, he encountered a tube with a rotor with colours red and white. This doesn’t sound like the conventional type of drone-UAV for Sharf.
Canadian police are likely the common operators of Canadian drones for search-and-rescue and surveillance purposes, according to Sharf.
Air Canada Jazz spokeswoman Manon Stuart said that they are also stumped by the encounter and until now, they still can’t tell the identity of the object as it certainly not something to happen every day.