Boeing jet nearly hits drone over Potters Bar

PUBLISHED: 15:29 21 May 2019

It is not clear what drone nearly collided with the aircraft. Picture: Pixabay

It is not clear what drone nearly collided with the aircraft. Picture: Pixabay

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A Boeing jet airliner nearly hit a drone over Potters Bar, a new report has revealed.

A British Airways Boeing 777 on stand in Heathrow Airport. Picture: Stuart Bailey / British AirwaysA British Airways Boeing 777 on stand in Heathrow Airport. Picture: Stuart Bailey / British Airways

The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) released a report over the weekend which described how a Boeing 777 almost came into contact with the drone at 6,000ft over Potters Bar.

"The drone was being flown above the maximum permitted height of 400ft and within controlled airspace such that it was endangering other aircraft at that location," the UKAB report said.

The report also revealed that the drone and jet were only separated by 20ft, meaning that there was a "high" risk of collision and a risk to the overall safety of passengers on board the flight.

The information comes from the B777 pilot's account of the incident in February to UKAB, which points to a "definite risk of collision".

A BA Boeing 777-300 taxiing past a terminal. Picture: Nick Morrish/British AirwaysA BA Boeing 777-300 taxiing past a terminal. Picture: Nick Morrish/British Airways

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As the drone was going very fast towards the aeroplane there was insufficient time for either of the two pilots to take action.

Both pilots did spot "a white, square-shaped object," which was the drone, half a second before it rushed under the plane's wing.

Shortly after the incident, the pilots reported it to air traffic control and they warned the next aircraft flying over Potters Bar that there was a drone flying illegally in the area.

This was the highest rated risk of collision between a drone and an aeroplane during the months of February and March, with six other reported incidents being classified as a low or medium risk of collision by UKAB.

The Boeing, which nearly came into the contact with the drone at 1.55pm on February 26, is believed to have been a British Airways flight on its way to Abu Dhabi from Heathrow.

The Daily Mail has reported it was a BA flight and timings and type of plane are the same to one that flew during that day but British Airways, UKAB and Heathrow Airport would not confirm this to the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

However a BA spokesperson did released the following statement in response: "We take such matters extremely seriously and our pilots report incidents so that the authorities can investigate and take appropriate action."

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