Simon Pollock, flying in to Los Angeles from San Francisco, saw a DJI camera drone flying right next to his plane just a few meters away. He was shocked, to say the least, and managed to snap a picture of the device.
In a Facebook post he wrote shortly after the incident, he writes that drones are “all fun and games until you’re looking out your window on approach to LAX and you spot a Phantom out your window.” Knowing what could have happened if the drone flew any closer to the plane, he continues to ponder on what could have happened.
Pollock was flying on an Embraer 175, and he spotted the drone on the last stretch of the journey to Los Angeles. Seeing the flashing lights, Pollock initially thought that they were plane lights.
It did not take long for him to realize that the hovering lights could not belong to a plane; upon closer inspection, he quickly saw that the lights were coming from a Phantom drone.
The drone was worryingly close to the plane, and could have easily struck the plane had it been any closer. Pollock says that a small Phantom drone might not have damaged the plane very much, but the thought of a pilot flying a drone so close to a jet engine is disturbing—the drone pilot clearly did not care about the safety of the passengers.