The growth of unmanned aircraft operations within the National Airspace System (NAS) reveal an uptick of alarming safety indicators that suggest unmanned aircraft system (UAS) regulatory policy may require adjustment. Recent reports of aircraft collisions with UAS, an increase in pilot-reported near-misses, and research findings that indicate UAS platforms are capable of causing structural damage to aircraft suggest safe and effective UAS integration may not be proceeding as planned. The authors examine several safety indicators within the context of Heinrich’s Triangle to reveal the UAS industry’s susceptibility to evolving safety-related problems.



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