The UK Airprox Board did not discover the drone that was reported to have flown at a passenger aircraft in May, so we’re stuck using a stock approxmiation. Doodybutch
On Sunday, a British regulatory agency revealed that the country faced its first near-collision between a passenger aircraft and a drone in May. The UK Airprox Board’s report, uncovered by the Daily Mail, determined that a quadcopter flew “within 80 feet” of an 74-seat ATR 72 aircraft and did so “deliberately.”
The incident happened over the county of Essex as the plane prepared to land at London Southend Airport. According to the report, the quadcopter came close to hitting the larger plane’s right-side wing at an altitude of roughly 1,500 feet. The report included a conversation between the ATR 72’s pilot and an air control tower, in which the tower confirmed the offending red-and-black craft was probably a quadcopter, as “we’ve had a couple of those around here” recently.
The Airprox Board noted that the drone’s flight path and altitude seemed intent to collide with passenger airplanes taking off or landing. This event follows an American report of a drone nearly colliding with a passenger plane near Tallahassee’s airport in March of this year; that near-collision happened at an altitude of over 2,000 feet. In both incidents, regulators did not discover the offending drone or its pilot.
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