The UK Airprox board has confirmed a drone’s near-miss with a commercial plane containing 240 passengers.
Flying out of Robin Hood Airport in Doncaster, the plane had reached a three-mile high altitude but only missed the drone by around 100ft.
At 15,500ft in the sky, the close collision with the Airbus A321 happened 40 times higher than the legal flying height for a drone in the UK.
The incident occurred at the highest ever recorded altitude for a near-miss between a drone and an aircraft in UK airspace.
The report by the UK Airprox Board said the pilot saw a drone pass very close down the left-hand-side of the aircraft, with the pilot going on to describe how it was within 100ft and at the same level as it passed.
The board stated: “The drone was being flown beyond practical VLOS limits such that it was endangering other aircraft at that altitude and position. The Board agreed that the incident was therefore best described as the drone was flown into conflict with the A321.
Analysing the level of risk, it said: “The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not been assured.”
The reported risk of collision was however, described as low.