A UAV being flown near Heathrow was cause for alarm when it came within six meters of a commercial jet taking off.
The near-miss incident, which took place on January 7, saw a drone being flown above the practical VLOS endanger its fellow air user by passing overhead of its flight path.
The A319 pilot reports that on climb-out from Heathrow, passing 4800ft, a medium-sized, white drone flew directly overhead, with an estimated separation of 20ft. There was no time for the flight path to be altered. It was reported to ATC and to the police and written up in the tech log for a precautionary inspection.
In a report detailing the incident, the Airprox Board rated the near-miss with a risk assessment ‘A’, the highest rating possible. It is the first time in 2018 that a drone has been involved in an event with the top risk rating.
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.