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Mon, May 21, 2012

Mystery Object Spotted By Pilot Prompts Investigation

FAA Looking Into Monday Incident Over Denver

An unidentified object over Denver has led to an FAA investigation. The object appeared Monday when the pilot of a Cessna Citation CJ1 flying at 8,000ft MSL called ATC to report “A remote-controlled aircraft, or what? Something just went by the other way, about 20 to 30 seconds ago. It was like a large remote-controlled aircraft.”

USA Today reports that speculation so far has been that the object was a military or law enforcement drone, a radio-controlled aircraft, or a large bird. Drone aircraft are going through the process of being approved by the FAA to operate in airspace with manned aircraft. So far this approval has not yet been granted. The technology for maintaining separation between manned aircraft and UAVs has not been perfected yet.

A message from the FAA to the paper said "The FAA is investigating the incident and will try to positively identify the object the Citation pilot reported, where it came from and who was operating it." The agency will investigate anything operating in controlled airspace that represents a hazard to aircraft. Agency spokesman Mike Fergus said "We'll do as much as we can here to try to track down what time it was, probably talk with some remote-control clubs, that kind of thing."

FMI: www.faa.gov

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