A UAV being flown near Luton Airport was cause for alarm when it came within meters of a commercial jet.
The near-miss incident, which took place on May 6, saw a drone being flown above the practical VLOS endanger its fellow air user by passing overhead of its flight path.
The commercial A320 pilot reports departing London Luton when the captain saw a drone in the 2 o’clock position that passed about 10-20ft above and down the right-hand side of the aircraft. The captain commented that there was insufficient time to manoeuvre out of the way but he also assessed that it would not hit the aircraft.
A report from Airprox Board, the UK’s air safety body, rated the near-miss with a risk assessment ‘A’, the highest rating possible.
The report from Airprox stated: “The drone was being flown in the vicinity of an airfield SID and above the VLOS limit such that it was endangering other aircraft at that location and altitude. The Board agreed that the incident was therefore best described as the drone was flown into conflict with the A320.
Serious near-misses involving drones have risen within the year 12 months in the UK. Earlier this year Commercial Drone Professional reported that there were 92 recorded near-miss incidents in 2017, a 217% increase in the amount of incidents recorded in 2017 compared to 2015. The Airprox Board logged 29 near misses in 2015.