Home Travel easyJet plane risked colliding with drone which flew ‘within 10 feet’ of it

easyJet plane risked colliding with drone which flew ‘within 10 feet’ of it

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easyJet plane risked colliding with drone which flew ‘within 10 feet’ of it

An easyJet plane had a near-miss with a drone when it flew within 10 feet of it earlier this year, according to a report by the UK Airprox Board.

The Airbus A320 was flying from Gatwick to Greek island Rhodes on 5 July 2022 when pilots spotted an “unidentified flying object”, the board reported.

The plane was about 16,000 ft in the air when pilots spotted a sphere-shaped object that was black in colour, and appeared to be “coming towards them”, the report detailed.

The drone appeared to go “directly underneath the aircraft” in a “very close encounter” with the easyJet plane.

The risk of collision was rated a Category A in the Airprox account, which said a “definite risk of collision had existed”.

It stated: “In the board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.”

The report did not identify the owner or operator of the drone in question.

Quotes directly from the pilot can be found in a report from National Air Traffic Services.

One pilot onboard said: “We very nearly just hit a drone. We’re talking less than 10ft. We don’t think we’ve hit it. There was a bit of a thud, we’ll come back to you.”

As the plane was about to land, the captain confirmed to air traffic control: “I can confirm we did not hit the drone. It passed very close underneath the aircraft, but the thud the first officer heard was likely from the cabin.

“I completed a walk around and confirmed no damage and no maintenance action was required.”

Drone pilots are permitted to fly 400ft above the top of the tallest building within 50 feet of them. They can never be more than 12m from the earth.

The Traffic Collision Avoidance System did not detect any risk during the incident.

easyJet said in a statement: “We are aware of the report and will always fully support any investigation.

“Safety is always easyJet’s highest priority and our flight crew acted in accordance with our standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of the flight was not compromised.”

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