Man’s Photo Shows DJI Drone Near His Plane While Landing in LA

Melbourne-based photographer Simon Pollock was landing at Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday when he looked out his window and spotted a DJI camera drone flying just a small distance away.

“Drones. All fun and games until you’re looking out your window on approach to LAX and you spot a Phantom just out your window (yeah a few hundred feet, but imagine if it… well…),” writes Pollock in a Facebook post. “Some people are utterly stupid.”

“[Q]uick flight from SFO to LAX on an Embraer 175,” Pollock tells PetaPixel. “[W]e were on final approach and, being the typical ‘looker out the window’, I saw flashing lights of what I first thought was a plane. They were ahead of us and just off to the left hand side, headed our way – but not fast.

“It took a few seconds to realize the thing wasn’t a plane and that it was just hovering. Then the little flashing lights dawned on me — it was a DJI Phantom of some sort.

“It was most certainly a drone and it wasn’t far at all off the flight line. I’m not sure what a Phantom would do to a smaller jet engine, probably nothing, but it’s still a bit scary to think there’s some moron with zero thought for others flying around.”

It’s illegal to fly drones anywhere within 5 miles of airports unless given explicit permission from authorities [See update below]. There have been reported incidents of drones hitting airplanes in recent days, including in landing in England and Canada .

We recently also shared an air traffic visualization showing the chaos that ensues when a drone is spotted near an airport.

Correction on 12/18/17: If you’d like to fly your drone within 5 miles of an airport, you need to notify both airport management and the air traffic control tower.