Private jet comes within 10ft of colliding with 'drone'

A private jet came with 10ft of colliding with a possible drone, according to a new report.

The Bombardier Global 6,000 was on the approach to Luton Airport on 26 August when the near-miss occurred.

The pilot reported seeing what appeared to be a black drone with some sort of light source at the front, measuring approximately 50cm by 50cm.

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According to a report from the UK Airprox Board, which documents near-misses between aircraft, the pilot reported to Air Traffic Control that they had “almost hit” the drone.

The report concluded that it was down to luck that a collision didn’t occur: “The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.”

An inspection of the aircraft after it had landed did not find any evidence of a strike.

The report also listed the incident as involving an “unknown object”, as there was not enough evidence to determine whether it was actually a drone.

Designated a category “A” risk level, the incident is believed to have carried a “serious risk of collision”.

It’s not known who was onboard the £45m private jet at the time of the incident.

It follows a large increase in the number of potential drone collisions over the last five years, which leapt from 0 in 2013 to 125 in 2018.

An easyJet flight came within 20m of hitting a drone in July 2019.

Crew believed that, if the aircraft’s autopilot had still been engaged, “there was a very high probability that they would have struck the drone” during the flight.

The Airbus A320 was on the approach to Gatwick airport when the captain exclaimed “drone”.

According to the report, the drone was being flown above the maximum permitted height of 400ft and was “endangering aircraft”.

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