The pilot spotted the large, black and yellow drone immediately after the Airbus A319 took off, but it was so close there was nothing he could do to avoid it, he told a UK Airprox Board review, which found that “chance had played a major part” in avoiding a collision.
The incident at #Liverpool airport involved a passenger jet that was taking off narrowly avoiding a collision with a drone, which came within 5 metres of the aircraft’s wingtip.
Steve Landells, a safety officer at the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), told the Guardian that near misses had been happening most frequently on landing and takeoff, and pilots said they were a dangerous distraction.
The near misses were recorded by the UK Airprox Board, which said aircraft coming in to land at Heathrow had reported three drone near misses in three days, including one where the pilot could identify the brand of drone that came within 100 metres (328ft) of his aircraft “because his son had the very same model”.
Pilots have reported four near misses in a month between drones and passenger aircraft, including one flying near the Shard in London and another at Liverpool airport, prompting aviation experts to warn that increasingly popular and sophisticated models available to hobbyists are posing a serious risk.