Drone hits passenger plane in Canada

Drone hits passenger plane in Canada
Drone hits passenger plane in Canada

A small passenger plane has been struck by a drone in Canada for the first time.

A plane operated by charter airline Skyjet was approaching Jean Lesage International Airport in Quebec City on Thursday when the drone hit one of its wings.

See also: Drone in near miss with passenger plane over London

See also: Drone put 130 lives at risk in Gatwick plane near miss

There were six passengers and two crew members on board the plane at the time.

According to CNN, Canadian Transport Minister Marc Garneau said on Sunday: "I am extremely relieved that the aircraft only sustained minor damage and was able to land safely."

The site explains that Canada earlier this year announced safety measures making it illegal to fly recreational drones within 5.5 kilometres (3.5 miles) of an airport, and restricting the height of a drone's flight to 90 metres (about 300 feet).

Flouting the laws can include a fine of as much as 25,000 Canadian dollars (£15,000) and a prison sentence.

The updated rules will also include a minimum age for drone operators, a mandatory written test, as well as users having a pre-requisite to register their names and addresses on the drone itself.

Mr Garneau estimated that, at the time of impact, the drone in this case was flying at a height of about 450 metres or 1,500 feet.

According to CBC, he added: "This should not have happened. That drone should not have been there. It could have been much more serious."

He said that planes are particularly vulnerable on the final approach to the airport as pilots are focused on landing properly. He said that if the drone had hit the engine or cockpit the outcome could have been "catastrophic".