Mid-air with an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for a Polish F-16.
According to the reports published by several Polish media outlets, on Sept. 15 a Polish Air Force F-16 fighter stationed at Krzesiny Airbase, near Poznan, collided with a small drone.
The mid-air impact, whose evidence was discovered by ground crews during the post-flight checks, exposed damages to the airframe protective coating and to the fuel tank.
The official version of the incident, given by major Dariusz Rojewski of the Krzesiny AB, is that the jet collided with an unknown aerial vehicle; damage assessment highlighted that the overlay of the Viper‘s fuselage and fuel tank (probably the CFT) were damaged. The Air Force refused to provide any further information.
With free, unregulated access to the UAV systems, incidents like this can happen. The Polish legislation assumes that the drone operator is always responsible for the flights conducted by the UAV.
Uncontrolled, unauthorized flights in no-fly zones around airfields are punished.
According to the Polish Aviation Law Act and the Polish Civil Aviation Authority, a person charged with causing an aviation incident may be sanctioned with 12 years of imprisonment, while sole flight inside the controlled airspace of an airfield, may face 5 years of imprisonment.
Polish media outlet Głos Wielkopolski notes that the only areas where drone are allowed to fly around Poznan include the Morasko, Suchy Las, Lubon and Komorniki regions, all of those are located far away from the Ławica (EPPO) and Krzesiny (EPKS) airfields.
As a consequence, any drone-related activity in Poznan is banned, even in the areas that are relatively safe, as Mikołaj Karpinski of the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency (PANSA) told in an interview for Głos Wielkopolski.
Any legal drone operation would require an authorization from PANSA , and this authorization must be obtained at least five days ahead of the planned flight.