Drone passed 'within one wingspan' of passenger plane on approach to Edinburgh Airport

The drone came between 50 metres and 100 metres of the aircraft.

Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:22 pm
Updated Friday, 13th December 2019, 2:28 pm

A pilot said a drone passed within "one wingspan" of a commercial aircraft as he made his approach to Edinburgh Airport - 11 days after a similar close call.

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Passenger jet in close call with drone on approach to Edinburgh Airport

A report to the UK Airprox Board said the black drone with four rotors came within a distance of between 50 metres and 100 metres of the Airbus A319 on August 23rd.

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A report to the UK Airprox Boardsaid the black drone with four rotors came within a distance of between 50 metres and 100 metres of the Airbus A319. Pictures: JPI Media/ Jose Luis Carrascosa-Shutterstock

The report said the drone passed by "rapidly" and that "no action was possible," presenting a "very high risk" of collision.

At 5pm the pilot reported he had seen a drone on his right at 3,400ft - even though drones are not allowed to fly above 400ft (120 metres).

When the controller asked how close it was the pilot responded to say: "one wingspan."

No further details were passed and the drone was not seen by any other pilots.

The board considered that the pilot's overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where "providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed."

It comes after a previous report to the UK Airprox Board said a drone came within 100ft (30 metres) of an Airbus A320 plane which was flying at 7,000ft above the Scottish Borders on August 12th. In this incident the pilot reported seeing a black drone - possibly with blue markings - flying directly ahead and above the aircraft.