Passenger Plane Nearly Collides With Drone At 16,000 Feet

A drone flying at 16,000 feet seems to be more than 40 times higher than the legal limit (400 feet) for unmanned aerial vehicles. Nevertheless, a passenger plane nearly collided with a drone at 16,000 feet.

Passenger Plane Nearly Collides With Drone At 16,000 Feet

According to Business Insider, which cited a report by the UK Airprox Board, an Easyjet-operated Airbus A320 was traveling from Gatwick Airport in the UK to Rhodes in Greece when a “unidentified flying object” at 16,000 feet just missed the commercial aircraft by a few feet.

The dark and cylindrical object approached within 10 feet of the plane, according to the A320 pilots, in what they characterized as a “near miss.”

According to Airprox’s assessment, the event was classified as “Category A,” suggesting that if the object, most likely a drone, had collided with the plane, it would have caused catastrophic damage.

“In the board’s opinion, the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone,” the board said.

As stated by the UK’s National Air Traffic Services, the pilots initially reported the issue to London air traffic controllers in July at roughly 16,000 feet. Here’s what they had to say:

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“Going through FL160 we very nearly just hit a drone. We’re talking less than ten feet,” the pilot said. “We don’t think we’ve hit it, there was a bit of a thud, we’ll come back to you.”

Airprox concluded that the A320 did not collide with the drone and that the noise originated from within the cabin.

A drone flying at 16,000 feet seems to be more than 40 times higher than the legal limit (400 feet) for unmanned aerial vehicles.

Easyjet verified the incident to Insider:

“We are aware of the report and will always fully support any investigation.

“Safety is always easyJet’s highest priority and our flight crew acted in accordance with our standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of the flight was not compromised.”

This is certainly not the first occasion a drone has gotten too close to a commercial plane. In 2018, a drone was operated hundreds of feet away from an A380 airliner as it took off.

Passenger Plane Nearly Collides With Drone At 16,000 Feet 2

A disturbing video from earlier this year shows a drone diving-bombing a commercial jet in the United States:

And this is what occurs when a small plane and a police drone collide in Canada.

Passenger Plane Nearly Collides With Drone At 16,000 Feet 3

It might only be a matter of time before a careless drone pilot collides with a major airliner, causing an aviation incident or disaster.

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