‘Spectacular’ near-miss between drone and plane

A drone may have captured “spectacular” footage during a near-miss with a passenger jet, according to a pilot.

He described the incident near Manchester Airport as a “close encounter”, a UK Airprox Board (UKAB) report revealed.

The rectangular drone was flown “almost head-on” with an Airbus A319 aircraft approaching the airport at 3,000 feet on February 11.

Measuring up to one metre long and half a metre wide, the drone was being propelled by four rotors.

Separation between the gadget and the plane – which was not identified in the report – was estimated to be just 10 metres vertically and horizontally.

The UKAB said: “He (the pilot) opined that if they were being filmed it would have looked spectacular, but whilst the drone’s position was stable, it was a close encounter.”

The board put the incident in the most serious category as a “definite risk of collision had existed”.

It was one of seven near-misses between aircraft and drones featured in the UKAB’s latest monthly report.

There were 125 such incidents reported in 2018, up 34% on the total of 93 during the previous year.

Aviation minister Liz Sugg said: “Drone users who fly their drone over 400 feet without permission are breaking the law.

“The safety of people both in the air and on the ground is paramount, and anyone putting others at risk faces serious penalties up to a life sentence.”