A Bombardier Global 6000 aircraft came within just 10ft of being hit by a drone in UK airspace, according to a report by UK Airprox Board.
The incident was classed as a category A, which indicates a “serious risk of collision” existed. The black coloured drone “appeared to have some sort of light source at the front,” the pilot reported.
“The size was difficult to judge but best estimate was 50cm by 50cm,” the UK Airprox Board said. “An inspection after landing did not find any evidence of a strike.”
It is believed the incident is the joint closest-ever recorded in UK airspace. In October 2018, a Virgin Atlantic aircraft experience a similar near-miss of 10ft as it was on approach to land at Heathrow Airport.
The UK Airprox Board said it was unable to determine whether the “unknown object” was a drone because of the reported altitude and its description.
“The board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed,” it added.
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It was revealed earlier this year that a drone had come within 65ft of crashing into a jumbo jet as it flew into Heathrow. Last year, 125 drone-related incidents were reported, this year has seen 87 reported up to the end of November.
Flying a drone above 400ft is banned under UK law and drone owners now have to register their device, complete an online theory test and pay a one-off £9 fee under new regulations.
People owning a drone weighing more than 250g will be legally required to register their craft, failure to do so could result in a fine of £1,000 if caught flying it.