British Airways A319 at London on Sep 30th 2015, near collision with drone

Last Update: February 26, 2016 / 14:13:08 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 30, 2015

Classification
Incident

Flight number
BA-361

Departure
Lyon, France

Aircraft Registration
G-EUOC

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

A British Airways Airbus A319-100, registration G-EUOC performing flight BA-361 from Lyon (France) to London Heathrow,EN (UK), was on final approach to Heathrow's runway 09L descending through 500 feet MSL about 1.7nm before touchdown when the crew noticed a drone helicopter passing about 20-30 yard (18-27 meters) to the left of the cockpit and about 20-30 feet above the aircraft. The crew reported they had no time to react, the aircraft continued the final approach for a safe landing on Heathrow's runway 09L.

The UK Airprox Board released their report stating that the drone was not visible on radar, based on the pilot testimony they assessed there was a high risk of collision with the collision being avoided by chance.

The UK Airprox Board wrote (in this analysis writing the drone was 20-30 meters above, while earlier in reporting the crew testimony reporting the drone was 20-30 feet above the aircraft):

In this incident, reported at 500ft, members opined that the drone operator may well have been flying on First Person View (FPV), for which regulation mandates that an additional person must be used as a competent observer who must maintain direct unaided visual contact with the drone in order to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft. Irrespective, the drone was within the Heathrow CTR Class D airspace above 400ft and without permission; as a result of his non-compliance with CAA regulations, the Board considered that the drone was flown into conflict with the A319. As is often the case with drone Airprox, the incident did not show on the NATS radars; the A319 pilot estimated that the drone was 20-30m above and within 30yd of the A319, about a wingspan away. Using this estimate as a guide, the Board determined that the risk was Category A, separation had been reduced to the bare minimum and, notwithstanding the fact that the A319 pilot had seen the drone, he had not been able to manoeuvre so chance had played a major part in events.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 30, 2015

Classification
Incident

Flight number
BA-361

Departure
Lyon, France

Aircraft Registration
G-EUOC

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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