|Occurred : 5/26/2018 12:30 (Entered as : 05/26/2018 12:30)
Reported: 2/24/2020 8:09:06 AM 08:09
Location: Huntington, NY
|A Piper PA-32R Saratoga pilot reported an object to ARTC and was asked to call FAA upon landing.
Over Long Island. A Piper PA-32R Saratoga (N161MA) was flying over Huntington, Long Island during a trip between Minute Man Airfield in Massachusetts and Old Bridge Airport in New Jersey when the pilot encountered a strange object directly in front of his aircraft. He called air traffic controllers stating "I have an object in front of me, I don't know what it is." The controller replies "You mean like a drone or something?" The pilot responds: "I don't know if it's a drone... It's bigger than a drone." The controller responds "Ummmm, I don't show anything on radar." The controller then asks if the object is at his same altitude, the pilot responds in the affirmative. Then the controller asks if the pilot needs to make a turn to avoid the object and the pilot requests a slight change in direction. The controller then queries the pilot to report what he thinks the mysterious craft is as soon as he can. The pilot respond! s that he has no idea what it is and it has since gone behind a cloud. "Definitely something was there" the pilot states. The controller seems oddly adamant that they should assume it was a drone, stating "Ok, I mean, we'll have to assume that it was a drone, that's the only, I mean I don't know if that's the shape assumption or not but I guess that's what we will go by." The pilot responded, "Actually, it looked, uh, like it had lights on it." The controller responds "That's uh, really interesting, uh again, I show nothing on radar so I don't know what to say." The pilot then states "Ok and I know I'm not delusional." The next transmission we hear is from the controller asking the pilot to call in and make a report with specifics about the incident once he lands. He notes that the request is from his manager. The pilot quips "this is the first time I'm getting a phone number that I'm not in trouble!." The controll! er laughs and affirms to him he is not in trouble. He then pas! ses him the number and says they will be awaiting his call. The Piper stayed at about 6,000 feet during the cruise portion of its flight. Weather that day included clear to partly cloudy skies with the temperature in the 80s and benign winds. (The WarZone, June 19, 2018) http://www.nicap.org/match/audios/May-26-2018-1630Z%202.mp3