In yet another close call between a drone and a passenger plane, an incident in London, England may take the cake. This time, the aircraft and the drone came with 10 feet from hitting each other, a record-setting event for the country. Here, we can truly see the danger irresponsible drone flying can lead to. The Virgin Atlantic plane on route from Delhi was on its descent at Heathrow Airport. The airport unfortunately is very familiar with these events. Even with all precautions laid out, it still was not enough.
London Extremely Near Miss
The incident occurred over 3000 feet in the air, and the drone was clearly the one at fault. Drones are restricted by regulations to not go beyond 400 feet in the air. This means that the drone and its operator intentionally made their way up there. Who knows? Maybe the owner wanted some clear shots of the British skies. On the other hand, maybe they were expecting to capture planes in action at that altitude. Whatever the reason, the drone endangered hundreds of lives aboard the passenger plane. The B787-9 Dreamliner in the incident was reportedly close to packed, housing about 264 passengers plus the crew.
This incident was so close that upon discovery, the plane did not have enough time or space to maneuver out of the way. It was merely by sheer luck that the drone avoided the right wing and engine of the loaded plane. Ten feet was all the difference between hundreds of people landing safely, and a plane crashing to the ground below.
All this from a drone who had no logical reason of being at 3000 feet altitude – and an irresponsible owner that put it there. Like most of these incidents and near-collisions in airports, the drone and its owner was never found. Police later arrived at the scene to investigate, however the guilty parties have long been gone.