Drone ’put 130 lives at risk’ after near miss with landing plane at Gatwick

Drone ’put 130 lives at risk’ after near miss with landing plane at Gatwick

A drone "put 130 lives at risk" after it nearly hit an aircraft approaching London Gatwick, a pilot said.

The flying gadget passed directly over the right wing of the Airbus A319 which was preparing to land at the West Sussex airport, according to the UK Airprox Board (UKAB).

It was described as "very large, certainly not a toy", with four blades and a diameter of about one metre.

The plane’s first officer told investigators that the "startle factor of the drone’s proximity" nearly caused him to disconnect the cockpit’s autopilot system and take "avoiding action".

A safe landing was completed despite the presence of the drone but the UKAB warned: "A larger aircraft might not have missed it, and in the captain’s opinion it had put 130 lives at risk."

The incident on July 9 was classed as having the highest degree of risk as "providence had played a major part" in a collision being avoided.

The airline involved and the origin of the plane was not identified by the UKAB.

Former RAF and British Airways pilot Steve Landells described the incident as "another worrying near-miss that could have ended in tragedy".

It was one of 18 near-misses involving drones, balloons or other objects investigated at the latest UKAB meeting.

In July the Department for Transport unveiled plans to launch a drone registration system after research found the devices could smash plane windscreens.

Drone ’put 130 lives at risk’ after near miss with landing plane at Gatwick

Mr Landells, flight safety specialist at pilots’ association Balpa, told the Press Association: "We can’t allow the programme of action to slip. Balpa is keen to see details of what this potential new legislation will look like and set a timescale for its implementation.

"We continue to work with the Department for Transport to make sure drones can be safely integrated in to the sky."

More on this topic

Wexford County Council used drones without privacy assessmentWexford County Council used drones without privacy assessment

Video: Food deliveries using drones to begin in Dublin next monthVideo: Food deliveries using drones to begin in Dublin next month

Dublin City Council denies it used drones to monitor back gardensDublin City Council denies it used drones to monitor back gardens

Bid to halt jail drug drops by dronesBid to halt jail drug drops by drones


More in this Section

Tropical Storm Fay makes landfall in New JerseyTropical Storm Fay makes landfall in New Jersey

Actress Naya Rivera may have been incapacitated before she drowned, police sayActress Naya Rivera may have been incapacitated before she drowned, police say

Amazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistakeAmazon says email to employees banning TikTok was a mistake

Ghislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse caseGhislaine Maxwell seeks jail release in Epstein abuse case


Lifestyle

Naomi Campbell model tells Michael Odell why she’s inspired by Black Lives Matter and the young people taking action against racial injusticeModel behaviour - Naomi Campbell at 50

Eve Kelliher explores temples of Zoom to get verdict on relocation from boardroom to spare roomWhat we've learned from world's biggest remote working experiment

As those of us who love to have friends round are tentatively sending out invitations, we’re also trying to find a workable balance with necessary social distancing rules, writes Carol O’CallaghanTable manners: How to entertain at home post-lockdown

Helen O’Callaghan says asthma sufferers need to watch pollen levelsBreathe easy: Pollen tracker protects asthma sufferers

More From The Irish Examiner