Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Video: German drone misses Afghan plane with 100 passengers by just six feet

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 3rd, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A video of an out-of-control German drone aircraft narrowly missing an Afghan passenger plane carrying 100 people has spurred outrage. Filmed from onboard the unmanned German Luna drone as it flew over Afghanistan, the drone missed the plane by about six feet. The incident arrives as debate continues to rage about the Government's new order of drones.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Adding to the raging controversy is that comment made last week by German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere, who said Luna's successor would not be fitted with anti-collision technology because it is too expensive.

The dramatic footage, taken nine years ago is being cited as proof of the dangers of unmanned drones. The concerned have called for de Maiziere to reconsider, saying larger drones should be fitted with the technology as it could cause more damage if it crashed.

The footage has gained widespread attention in spite of being nine years old. The 88-pound German "Luna" drone was caught in air turbulence created by the Ariana passenger plane, before losing control and crash landing near the Afghan capital of Kabul.

The video depicts the plane in the distance before it swiftly moves into shot, as the drone passes under the left wing of the engine. The video was posted on YouTube in spite of it being strictly classified. Wreckage from the crash in 2004 was never recovered.

German magazine Der Spiegel believes that the drone flew less than six feet away from the Airbus A300, putting 100 lives at risk. Germany is still going ahead with the purchase of a possible 16 armed aircraft for military use from 2016.

The country has held talks with Israel over the Heron TO unmanned aerial vehicle and with the U.S. over the Reaper aircraft.

A defense ministry spokesman said that he did not foresee combat-ready drones being deployed over Germany, for example in anti-terrorism operations. "The intention is that we acquire 16 such devices in future and that the armed forces have them at their disposal from 2016, three years from now."

Defense Minister de Maiziere is currently fighting for his political career after abandoning a multi-million euro drone program. Mr. de Maiziere scrapped the 'Euro Hawk' surveillance drone project two weeks ago blaming spiraling costs.

But he is under mounting pressure amid accusations at home that he already knew about possible problems with the anti-collision system but continued to plough money into the project.

Article brought to you by: Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)