TSB probes plane's near-collision with drone: two people hurt

Canada's Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating an incident in which a plane nearly collided with what is believed to be a drone, something that forced the pilots to take evasive maneuvers that ultimately resulted in two flight attendants being injured. The incident happened Monday morning and involved a Porter airlines plane destined for Toronto. There were 54 passengers on the plane when this happened, but fortunately none of them were hurt. The plane was at a height of nearly 9,000ft when it encountered the drone.

Drone regulations specifically focus on airports and the issue of commercial aircraft. A plane colliding with a drone could result in a serious situation, and so regulations prohibit drones from operating at such heights, and also require them to avoid regions near airports. That hasn't stopped some drone users from operating the UAVs at heights higher than regulations allow and over or near airports. Pilots have increasingly report close calls with drones.

Most recently, pilots for Porter airlines spotted what they initially thought was a balloon, only to realize it was some other object — possibly a drone — being operated at a very high altitude and within their flight path. The pilots were forced to travel around the possible drone as a result; they successfully avoided a collision with it.

The flight attendants, unfortunately, were still in the process of checking the cabin before landing and sustained minor injuries during this time. Both have been released from the hospital. As expected, the Canadian government is now investigating the matter. What kind of penalties the drone operator — assuming there is one — could face if caught is unclear at this time.