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Unmanned aircraft during balloon event, Hardenberg

Status : Closed

During the launch of hot-air balloons at a balloon event at Hardenberg, multiple unmanned aircraft (drones) were seen in the vicinity of and above the launch field, in airspace class G. These unmanned aircraft were not known to the event organisation. The pilot of a balloon reported that at a height of approximately 800 feet an unmanned aircraft was flying in close proximity of his balloon and flew under the basket at a distance estimated at two metres. The unmanned aircraft and their pilots have not been identified. The event organisation requested the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) pilots via the public address system to clear the airspace around the launch field. This did not have any effect. The balloon event was attended by a large number of participants and spectators on the ground.

The event organisation can make a request for temporary airspace restrictions. It is of importance to explicitly communicate such restrictions, rules of conduct or arrangements prior to and during the event, so that this information reaches the UAS-pilots. The event organiser of the balloon event indicated that clear communication regarding unmanned aircraft at another balloon event in July 2021 had a positive effect.

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