Saturday, July 13, 2024

Airbus A321 and drone narrowly avoid each other at 3,000 meters

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On January 3, 2024, a plane crash was averted in the United Kingdom. The Airbus 321 was flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet and was about to land at London Heathrow Airport when it came within two meters of the drone.

An Airbus A321 flying from Athens to London Heathrow encountered a drone over Kent, England last January. The face-to-face meeting could have turned into drama, but an accident was avoided.

Collision was narrowly avoided

A British Airways flight was carrying 180 passengers to London Airport Daily Mail. It hovers at approximately 9,500 feet and enters a holding pattern before its final approach to London Heathrow Airport. Suddenly, the pilots saw through the window, “an object to the right of the nose, at the same level and very close”. A report by the UK Airbrox Board, Air Investigations Office, notes that the device was “small, but had the distinctive shape of a drone. The object traveled on the right side of the aircraft and above his right wing”. And the device hovers only 5 feet (1.50 m) above the wing of an Airbus A321 and 30 feet (10 m) from the cockpit.

The UK Airbus Board, which assesses aviation incidents, classified it as a near miss Category A incident : This means there was a high risk of conflict.

24 times the legal limit

In the UK, the legal maximum altitude for flying a drone in the UK is only 400ft (about 120m). However, when its trajectory crosses the plane, the small plane flies 24 times the authorized limit.

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“We take these matters very seriously and our pilots report incidents so that the authorities can investigate and take appropriate action,” a British Airways spokesman said. The drone operator has not been arrested and the incident raises many questions. British authorities have indicated that a person who endangers a flight could be jailed for up to five years.

Agapito Llano
Agapito Llano

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