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Airliner nearly collides with drone as it lands at Southend Airport
Quadcopter drone ‘deliberately flown at passenger airliner’ over Essex
Quadcopter drone flew ‘deliberately close’ to UK passenger plane in Essex, Southend Airport
Drone in hair-raising airliner near miss over Southend Airport
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Quadcopter Drone ‘Deliberately Flown At Passenger Airliner’
A passenger plane was just 75-feet from colliding with an unmanned drone “buzzing” over the Essex skies.
The turbo-prop plane, which can hold up to 74 people, was coming into land at 1500 feet into Southend Airport when the pilot spotted the remote-controlled quadcopter “very close” to the right wing-tip.
The pilot told the control tower at Southend Airport he saw a “remote-control helicopter with a very small engine” that was “too close” to the ATR72 twin-engine airliner.
At the time air traffic control told the pilot that they had seen “a couple” of quadcopters being used in the area. These devices, which cost as little as a few hundred pounds, are exempt from many flying regulations if they weigh less than 20kg.
However the Civil Aviation Authority requires that pilots keep their drones in eyeline at all times and prohibits them from flying closer than 150 metres to built-up areas, buildings and vehicles.
Last week the former head of the UK Government Communications Headquarters warned that small drones could be used to launch “chemical and biological attacks” during public events such as football games and rallies. In the United States NASA is currently working on building an air traffic control system for small drones.