Drone in near miss with jet

Solihull News - - FRONT PAGE -

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’

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