It was 2004 when a small Luna reconnaissance drone almost collided with an Ariana Airbus A300 over Kabul, but the video was posted online this week by Der Spiegel and is adding fuel to a debate over the use of unmanned aircraft in Europe's airspace. About 100 passengers were on board the A300. According to Der Spiegel, the video from the drone was classified as "secret" in an accident investigation report, but the clip has been posted online for several years. The 88-pound drone hit the wake turbulence from the Airbus, crashed, and was never recovered, according to Der Spiegel.
Watch Near Collision Video
Spokesmen for EMT, the company that manufactures the Luna drone, told Der Spiegel the Airbus had flown into restricted airspace where the drone was operating. Officials in Germany have been coping with controversy in recent weeks over the planned purchase of a Euro Hawk drone from Northrop Grumman. Officials reportedly invested hundreds of millions of Euros in the technology, which doesn't meet the collision-avoidance standards required to operate in European Union airspace.The video filmed from on board the unmanned Luna drone as it flew over Afghanistan, shows how close it came to crashing into the Ariana passenger plane. The plane's left engine can be seen coming within metres of the drone's camera.
The 88lb German drone was caught in air turbulence created by the Ariana passenger plane, before losing control and crash landing near the Afghan capital, Kabul. It has caused outrage in Germany as debate rages about the Government's new order of drones. The German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere is fighting for his political career today over fury at the 'drone debacle' after he scrapped the 'Euro Hawk', programme.
Source: AVweb, Mary Grady
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