Image: John Wiseman

What’s New: John Wiseman on X/Twitter relaying comments from Russian pilots of small aircraft and citizens worried about flying and drones in and around Moscow.

Why It’s Important: 

  • It seems to show Ukrainian drone attacks are having a psychological impact deep in Russia near the capital
  • Light aircraft are much less safe – they must fly at very low altitude to avoid GPS interference.
    • This is more dangerous “walking through the trees” increasing the chances of getting lost, running out of fuel, or hitting something.
    • Low-flying aircraft can look more like incoming drones. Greater chance of spooking the public and/or getting shot down.

What Else to Know: 

  • Interesting reference to light aircraft figuring out how to navigate using cell towers.
  • Russia started jamming and spoofing in Moscow in 2015 or before to protect VIPs from drones. The idea is that most drones are programmed at the factory with airport locations and to fly away from them. So if fake GPS around the Kremlin, for example, make it look like an airport, drones will fly away.
  • Recent drone attacks in and around Moscow and elsewhere may not be using GPS. They could be “hand flown” by someone near by, or just pointed and released.
  • Non-GPS/GNSS methods of electronic navigation for drones in the region are also possible.

Thanks to John Wiseman for his many posts on this issue!