Drone Flown 20ft From Heathrow Jet

A report from an air safety body has described the moment a drone flew within 20ft of a plane landing at Heathrow airport.

The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) said the pilot of the Airbus A320 was at 700ft when he saw the small black object near the aircraft.

The drone operator has not yet been identified.

The report said the object passed about 20ft over the wing and appeared to be a small radio-controlled helicopter.

The report added: "It was a distraction during a critical phase of flight."

The UKAB said: "Despite extensive tracing action and the proactive assistance of local model flying club members, it was not possible to trace the operator of the model aircraft in question.

"The board members were satisfied that the A320 crew had seen a model helicopter and were of the unanimous opinion that the perator of the model had chosen to fly it in an entirely inappropriate location.

"That the dangers associated with flying such a model in close proximity to a commercial air transport aircraft in the final stages of landing were not self-evident and? was a cause for considerable concern."

Back in October, Birmingham University warned the use of drones would rise in the UK over the next 20 years, raising "significant safety, security and privacy concerns".

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