British Airways A321 at London on Jul 18th 2016, near collision with a drone

Last Update: November 17, 2016 / 15:48:56 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 18, 2016

Classification
Incident

Flight number
BA-777

Aircraft Registration
G-MEDU

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

A British Airways Airbus A321-200, registration G-MEDU performing flight BA-777 from Stockholm (Sweden) to London Heathrow,EN (UK), was on a right base leg for the ILS approach to Heathrow's runway 27L descending through 4900 feet near "The Shard", approximate position N51.52 W0.08, in visual meteorologic conditions when the crew spotted a black drone, diameter about 0.5 meters/1.5 feet, about 2 meters/6 feet above and 20 meters/60 feet off the right cockpit windows, the crew estimated the drone passed just over their right hand stabilizer. The aircraft continued for a safe landing on Heathrow's runway 27L about 5 minutes later.

The UK Airprox Board wrote (providing the aircraft type as A320 instead of A321 and position N51°31 E000°05 instead of N51°31 W000°05): "Members agreed that this incident appeared to be a very near-miss and that the drone operator should not have been flying in that location at that altitude. Consequently, it was determined that the drone was flown into conflict with the A320. Turning to the risk, although the incident did not show on the NATS radars, the Board noted that the pilot had estimated the separation to be 20m from the aircraft, at co-altitude, and that there had not been time to take any avoiding action. Acknowledging the difficulties in judging separation visually without external references, the Board considered that the pilot’s estimate of separation, allied to his overall account of the incident, portrayed a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part; they therefore determined the risk to be Category A."
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 18, 2016

Classification
Incident

Flight number
BA-777

Aircraft Registration
G-MEDU

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

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