Small civilian mini-drones such as the DJI Phantom or professional surveying drones are becoming increasingly widespread, raising concerns about the potential collision/airprox with manned aircraft (especially GA where flight altitude is typically relatively low).

Have there been actual cases of collision and/or dangerous airprox reported so far? What were the consequences?

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    I reported a drone to ATC flying near the airport at KPAO (Palo Alto) once. Was quite shocking to see it at around 400’ AGL right near the airport. – Peter Apr 28 '14 at 5:26
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    what is airprox? – rbp Aug 17 '15 at 21:35
  • @rbp: airprox is short for air proximity, i.e. two aircraft getting closer from each other more than they should. – abey Aug 18 '15 at 7:01
  •… – J. Hougaard Mar 19 '17 at 9:20

CASA (Australia's aviation authorities) has a report on an airprox between a crop duster and a surveying mini-drone:

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    They call it a "serious incident"? Nothing collided, and it's tiny... – Danny Beckett Apr 28 '14 at 23:23
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    I tend to agree with you, but it should be noted that CASA has been extremely pro-active and efficient at providing a practical framework for commercial operations with small drones. So I wouldn't mind them being a bit over zealous at following up on real world situations... – abey Apr 29 '14 at 6:33
  • There was also an incident in Australia (Newcastle, NSW) between a Bell 412 and an as yet unidentified UAV on March 22nd 2014 (investigation pending, details here:…). – Kyle May 9 '14 at 2:11
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    Another recent incident - Drone flies 20ft from a jet on approach to Heathrow – Jon Story Dec 15 '14 at 13:28
  • @DannyBeckett any near mid-air collision is a serious incident. That nobody was hurt is irrelevant – jwenting Jul 31 at 11:56

There are two instances I remember hearing about.

This one happened to a plane landing at JFK, and the FBI was seeking information about it. They reported seeing a small black "drone aircraft" with four propellers. I don't think they every found anything more.

And just recently, two planes landing at YVR saw an RC helicopter, one plane coming very close to it. The RCMP was investigating, but again it's not certain whether they will come up with anything about it.

There is also an investigation into a video taken from a quadrotor showing a plane landing at YVR.

And if you thought that was close, check out this video from Australia.

It september 2017, a DJI Phantom collided with an US Black Hawk helicopter causing a real damage to main rotor.

Obviously a military helicopter cannot be destroied by a small uav (why develop expensive Sparrow or Maverick rockets when a simple Phantom could land a military object ;-) ) but... surely it would be a true danger...

This one in Tallahassee with a regional jet got a lot of attention when it happened but there are many more. The FAA keeps a database, and I expect we'll see about an actual collision with a Part 121 aircraft soon enough as the number of airborne UAVs is increasing rapidly.

February 2018 - What is thought to be the first drone collision in the US occurred in February 2018. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a helicopter crash landing in South Carolina that may have been caused by a civilian drone, according to a report from Bloomberg.

Within US airspace, no such thing has occurred. The FAA has regulations for UAV flight that keep them away from any potential collision in controlled airspace.

Way back in 2011, there was a collision between a military UAV and a C130 in Afghanistan.

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    just because there's a reg to provide separation doesn't mean there are no violations of that reg... – jwenting Apr 29 '14 at 7:11

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