Drone in near miss with jet
A PLANE landing at Birmingham Airport came within 25ft of hitting a drone in what was deemed a ‘ category A’ incident.
The plane – carrying up to 220 holidaymakers back to the Midlands – had descended to an altitude of 900ft before narrowly avoiding the collision.
The incident involving the Thomas Cook flight could have proved “potentially catastrophic”. The report by the UK Airprox Board has revealed the Airbus A321’ s pilot thought the object was “a balloon or drone”.
The flight departed from Palma, in Mallorca, and was heading to Birmingham.
It was flying at more than 150mph when the incident unfolded. The pilot estimated the object was just 25ft away. It happened at around 11am on July 14, 2018.
The report rated the near miss as a Category A incident.
The UK Airprox Board investigates near misses and adds the object passed “directly beneath” the passenger flight.
The aircraft was around three miles north west of the airport when the incident happened.
Drone laws state a drone can legally be flown at a maximum height of 400ft.
A Thomas Cook Airlines spokesperson said: “We can confirm that on approach to Birmingham, pilots operating MT1249 on July 14, 2018 reported seeing a drone or balloon. Safety is always our first priority and while these sightings are rare, we encourage all of our pilots to report anything of this nature.”
A Thomas Cook flight coming in to land at Birmingham Airport was almost hit by a ‘ drone or balloon’