British Airways flights from Stockholm are reported to have arrived within 50 feet of a 8,000-foot drone crash over London when landing at Heathrow Airport.
- The drone that flew illegally flew just 50 feet below the nose of the plane at landing.
- UK Airprox’s board said it was “high risk” to crash on a 144-seater plane
- Pilots described the drone as a “large quadcopter” with a “Balbow” camera.
- The Airbus A320 from Stockholm was flying above 280mph at the time.
- A crash at this speed could have caused serious damage to the plane
British Airways flights are reported to have arrived within 50 feet of a large drone in northern London when landing at Heathrow Airport.
The 144-seater Airbus A320 flying from Stockholm was flying above 280mph when it almost collided with an illegally flying drone in northern London.
It is currently unknown who was flying the drone at the time of the incident.
A British Airways A320 pilot from Stockholm to London saw a large black drone with a “valve” camera flying just 50 feet below the nose of the plane when landing at Heathrow Airport. rice field. The near miss on March 15th, when the plane was flying at 280mph, was rated as the highest risk. Category A.Photo: File photo of a drone where a BA plane landed at Heathrow in the background
The pilot has just left the holding stack (a row of planes that spirals down when they can’t land immediately) when the drone “passes 50 feet below the nose of the aircraft.”
The device was described as “a large black’quadcopter’drone with a large bulbous round camera,” according to a report from the British Airprox Board, which investigated near misses.
Investigators said at 8:52 am on March 15, this year, there was a significant risk of a collision and rated the incident as the highest possible risk (Category A near miss).
The pilot was just off the holding stack when he saw the drone about to hit an airplane over 8,000 feet in northern London.Photo: Flight route of a plane from Stockholm to London that landed as a show at Flightradar24
What are the rules for flying a drone safely in the UK?
- Civil Aviation Authority enforces rules regarding flying drones
- You must pass the CAA theory test before you can fly a drone that is stronger than a toy
- You need to be able to see the drone all the time, even without binoculars, telephoto lenses, phones, VR and other electronic viewing devices
- If you want to fly the first person with VR goggles, you need an observer
- Maximum altitude is 400 feet (120m)
- Watch out for aircraft flying under this, such as ambulances and police helicopters
- Keep away from people, buildings and vehicles more than 50m
- 150m away from residential, recreational, commercial and industrial areas
- Stay away from airports, airfields, spaceports and aircraft
- Endangering an aircraft can face five years’ imprisonment
Source: Civil Aviation Authority
According to flight tracker records, the airline was a BA flight from Stockholm, Sweden to Heathrow.
The report added: ‘In the opinion of the board, the description of the object was enough to show that it was a drone.
“The Board believed that the overall description of the pilot’s case portrayed a situation in which providence played a major role in the case and / or there was a clear risk of conflict.”
Drones are usually restricted from flying over 400 feet or out of the operator’s view, and flying near an aircraft is a crime.
An operator who flies near an airplane and violates the rules may be convicted of endangering an aircraft that can be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
MailOnline is asking British Airways for comment.
This incident follows a series of other near misses reported between drones and airliners in British airspace.
In most cases, it is believed that a rogue operator is involved in flying the device to an illegal height and trying to get a dramatic video of the aircraft flying.
Pilots have repeatedly warned that small drones can break cockpit windows and damage jet engines, especially during critical times when an aircraft has just landed or taken off.
Studies show that high-speed collisions between drones and planes can cause catastrophic damage.
In 2018, the University of Dayton simulated a collision by firing a drone from a cannon onto the wing of an airplane. I tore the wings with a rotating propeller.