Swiss RJ1H at London on Jun 19th 2016, near collision with a drone

Last Update: December 26, 2016 / 22:15:09 GMT/Zulu time

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Jun 19, 2016



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A Swiss Avro RJ-100, registration HB-IYT performing flight LX-456 from Zurich (Switzerland) to London City,EN (UK) with 87 passengers and 4 crew, was on final approach to London City Airport's runway 27 descending through about 1500 feet MSL when a drone nearly collided with the aircraft. The crew continued for a safe landing on City's runway 27 about 2 minutes later.

Switzerland's SUST rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.

In December 2016 the SUST released their final summary report stating, that the captain was pilot flying and the first officer pilot monitoring. At 3000 feet about 6 nm before the runway threshold, already tracking the runway 27 localizer and just before intercepting the glidepath the first officer spotted a yellow drone crossing their flight path at same altitude about 20 meters away. The crew continued the approach, also did not report the drone to ATC. After landing the crew informed their duty officer at Swiss, who in turn informed authorities.

The SUST reported that there are trials planned to detect drones via radar.

The SUST concluded:

The number of reported airproxes between drones and aircraft within the vicinity of London airports in 2015 and 2016 (cf. Figure 2) indicates a significant risk of collision.

Even with the prevailing good visual meteorological conditions (VMC) in the incident in question, the proximity of the drone was detected only at a late stage. By which time, if there had been a collision course, an evasive manoeuvre would probably no longer have been possible.

On account of the fact that unmanned aircraft are difficult to detect visually due to their small size and cannot be captured by collision warning devices at an early enough point, prompt sending of a relevant radio message – similar to a pilot weather report (PIREP) – is recommended in order to immediately gain the attention of other flight crews.

Measures to ensure that unmanned aircraft can be detected on radar and on board aircraft at an early stage using collision warning devices are absolutely imperative for flight safety reasons.
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AVRO 146-RJ100
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jun 19, 2016



Flight number

Aircraft Registration

ICAO Type Designator

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