VIDEO: Virgin Blue aircraft has near-miss with remote-controlled toy plane

A remote-controlled toy aircraft got a little too close for comfort with the real thing last Friday, as it flew close to a Virgin Blue aircraft near Perth airport.



The toy airplane, which if ingested would have presumably caused engine damage, had a video camera attached to the nose, meaning the whole remarkable incident was filmed and placed on YouTube, with Top Gun accompaniment.

For reference, look at 36 seconds in for the incident to occur:



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13 Responses to VIDEO: Virgin Blue aircraft has near-miss with remote-controlled toy plane

  1. XPNDR 21 April, 2009 at 4:43 pm #

    I guess now the Aust Government will require model a/c fliers to get licenses etc. I wonder if the ‘guy’ actually knew what he was doing.

  2. jazza 22 April, 2009 at 5:49 am #

    You will find that every rc modeller who belongs to an model aero club does have MAAA license. This also covers them with insurance.

    Part of the license specifically states that models can not be flown near airports.

    Its the cowboys who belong to clubs that do this kind of things. I agree – they should all have license (as I do already)

  3. Yggrasil 23 April, 2009 at 10:01 pm #

    I hope you guys realise that was CGI.

  4. Thad Beier 26 April, 2009 at 1:30 am #

    I had this happen to me in a lightplane, we had somebody fly an RC plane very close to us. It was absolutely terrifying for those two seconds it took to realize it was a model…then we were just mad as hell.

  5. JOhn 27 April, 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    I am president of a model flying club and we honor the 400′ altitude rule. AMA requires that we notify the airport, since we are within 3 miles, and we have not had an incident in over 35 years of operations. The guy the did this should not be in this hobby. We will lose the priviledge of flying these models if we don’t police ourselves.

  6. Ron 27 April, 2009 at 3:40 pm #

    Fun and games? Not really. Away from an airport and abiding by the 400 ft rule. I’m a pilot and have some very large RC aircraft within three miles of our airport flying well into the traffic pattern. Is it dangerous? Yes. Am I going to stand around waiting for an accident to happen? NO. I’m taken action against this group of large RC places since they are flying their planes as high as the downwind to base leg traffic pattern. They may all lose their fun if they don’t police themselves

  7. Zingali 27 April, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    This is NOT a “near miss”. If it was, then it means that they nearly missed which means that a collision took place. It is really a near-it.

  8. mwnorris 27 April, 2009 at 5:24 pm #

    FAKE!
    At 0:38 seconds there is a frame in the video where you can see the airliner fading into the sun and the ground is plainly visible — trees! No runway!
    Also, the appearance of the wreckage of the RC model in the last scene clearly shows no indication of an impact with the ground. The canopy and wings were simply removed and placed in that position to appear as if the model crashed.
    I’ve seen more destructive crashes than that with a Goldberg Gentle Lady!

  9. A. G. Gonzalez 27 April, 2009 at 5:25 pm #

    This in pure, unadultarated BS. First of all the voices overheard have a rather distinct California accent, not the standard heavy Aussie drawl. then, the B-737 crosses too fast for confort, why?. Very simple, whoever concocted this video tried to hid what it really is: a computer generated video, this near-miss never happened. Just like that other “infamous” video showing a fly-off between a Euro FIghter and an Aston Martin race car. Got it, mate?.

  10. Tom 27 April, 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    I don’t agree with Yggrasil that this was CGI. I am a “real plane” pilot and know Wake Turbulence when I see it. The model clearly got caught up in the plane’s wing tip vortex hence the upset condition and subsequent crash.

  11. Joe Blivitz 28 April, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

    I don’t know a lot about computer generated imaging but the flying portion of the video seems real enough. One can see the model at first banking hard left as it attempts to intercept the approaching airliner and then it banks hard right to try and keep it in view. The scenery below matches pretty well with the track of the airliner and the model’s prop can be seen in the later frames along with the jet. There is no way to know whether the gyrations were wake turbulence or if the model’s pilot simply wrapped the model up in a spin to replicate his heroes’ crash in Top Gun. Given that wake turbulence falls down and away from generating aircraft and the model was at nearly the same altitude, it may not have actually hit the vortex. In any case, if the video is real, the modeler was a jackass.

  12. Alan McGuit 28 April, 2009 at 10:36 pm #

    “Uh, I saw it on YouTube so it must be true!”

    I worry about future of society when I see how easily the proles fall for this stuff.

  13. Les Brown 29 April, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    This is BS.
    I am an airline pilot who also flies model aircraft (not toys!). it is nearly impossible to get close to another model on purpose let alone an airline flying at least 160 MPH (much faster than this electric prop model can do, may 50 MPH). That spin looks like it is intentional. the rotation is clockwise and it most likely would have entered the right wingtip vortex which would have been turning counter clockwise and IF he was at the same altitude, he would have been above the wake.

    This is a fake. And the guy who says he has an RC club withing 3 miles of his airport. at a 3 degree glide path we would be about 1000 feet in the air. Sorry, but even a 10 foot span model would be hard to see let alone control at 1000 feet. If it is an AMA registered club, I am sure they do not fly that high or far away.

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