Passenger jet nearly hits drone at 15,500ft
A DRONE flying three miles high came within 100ft of a catastrophic collision with an airliner carrying up to 240 passengers, a report has revealed.
The incident happened at the highest ever altitude recorded for a near-miss between a drone and an aircraft in UK airspace.
The Airbus A321 had just taken off and was climbing at 380mph when the gadget suddenly came into view at 15,500ft – nearly 40 times the legal maximum.
A report by the UK Airprox Board, which investigates near-misses, said the pilot suddenly saw a drone pass ‘very close’ down the left-hand side of the plane, endangering it and other aircraft.
The report concluded that the device, spotted on June 3 near Doncaster Sheffield Airport in South Yorkshire, was so high it would have been impossible for its operator to see.
Drone operators are only permitted to fly below 400ft and those who put the safety of an aircraft in jeopardy can be jailed for five years.
Near misses involving drones have tripled over the last two years with 92 reported last year and just 29 in 2015.
A spokesman for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: ‘It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports or aircraft.’