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Aircraft in near-miss with drone

Created on 26/10/2016 @ 08:37
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A four-seater aircraft was nearly hit by a drone flying close to Welshpool Airport it has been revealed.

The incident was one of hundreds of near-misses in the skies caused by drones, according to new reports released by investigators.

The pilot of a Jabiru, flying near Welshpool on June 23 at 11.35am, spotted a white drone flying near to the aircraft’s path.

It was one of only three accidents involving drones that happened outside the London and the South East, known as the world’s busiest skies.

All the incidents were discussed at a monthly meeting of the UK Airprox Board when a report released by the board said the pilot spotted the white drone about 50m below him in the 11 o’clock position, before it rose sharply and moved into the two o’clock position, about 100ft above him.

The report says: “He lost sight of it against the white cloud and behind his wing.

“He commented that he was well inside the Welshpool Aerodrome Traffic Zone and that the presence of the drone was a needless distraction.

“He noted that he was surprised at the speed at which the drone moved and the difficulty in judging distance with a small fast-moving object.”

It is believed that there are about 100,000 drones flying in the UK and that the number is increasing.

Official figures last month revealed that the number of near-misses involving drones had grown from 29 last year to 46 so far this year.

Currently there are no laws or specific regulations limiting the maximum height for the operation of drones that weigh 7kg or less and there are no restrictions limiting the operation of drones in controlled airspace if they weigh 7kg or less.

It is, however, illegal to “recklessly or negligently cause or permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.”

The Government is planning to introduce new legislation on drones in the current parliament.

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the British Airlines Pilots Association, said: “We believe it is only a matter of time before a major accident is caused by a drone collision or a pilot being incapacitated by a laser strike unless something is done to prevent it.”

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