A passenger jet has had a near miss with a drone as it approached Heathrow Airport, UK aviation groups have confirmed.
According to the reports, an Airbus A320 was coming into land at the busy London airport when it came within close proximity of the drone which was flying at around 10,000 feet.
The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) reports that the passenger-carrying plane came within 30 metres (98ft) of colliding with the drone.
That’s less than the wingspan of the jet, and close enough to be classed as a ‘Category A’ incident, the most severe of a five step grading system.
The board’s body of experts have suggest that “safety was not assured” for the plane or those on board, with the pilots reporting that there had been the “distinct possibility of damage”.
According to those investigating the incident, “providence had played a major part in the aircraft not colliding” as the plane’s pilots had “no time to react”.
The pilots reported seeing a drone with multiple arms and at least rotors pass close to the ride side of the plane.
The incident, which happened on November 11 of last year is one of just four near misses between aircrafts and drones in the latest monthly UKAB report. During the past 12 months alone there have been 59 such incidents despite extensive safety regulations being in place.
As part of UK law, drones are not allowed to fly about 400ft (121m) well below the 10,000ft altitude at which this latest near-miss occurred.
Those flying drones near airports and airfields are also at risk of jail time under recently tightened regulations.
In other drone news, GoPro this week confirmed its delay hit camera-carrying Karma drone is now available in the UK.
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