Breaking news on BBC.

Could be a first proper strike. Or not.

A plane approaching Heathrow Airport is believed to have hit a drone before it landed safely, the Metropolitan Police have said.

The British Airways flight from Geneva was hit as it approached the London airport at about 12:50 BST with 132 passengers and five crew on board.

After landing, the pilot reported an object - believed to be a drone - had struck the front of the Airbus A320.


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  • Moderator


  • Just read today in the news that it was not a drone but a plastic supermarket bag drifting in the wind


  • @Ted Morgan - Nothing impressive about it, both the FO and I saw and read the balloon as it passed a few feet over the top of the windscreen... it is a feat well within the capabilities of most people.  The point is, it is not necessarily difficult to identify small objects as they pass by an aircraft.  Unfortunately with every sighting/close-call news story, we inevitably get a self-anointed expert claiming that it's impossible for pilots to see what they claim to have... as if there is some sort of grand conspiracy.

  • +1 Graham

    At least someone understands my pain! If Elon Musk had anything to do with drones, theyd have added how commercial jet aircraft kill the environment and club dolphins....becàuse they are not electric! (But coal charged!)  ;-)



    0.2 seconds is actuaĺly a fairly long period. Im just surprised theres so many birthdays with balloons...

  • @Yakrobat very impressive vision. If i am doing my math correctly and assuming you could read the lettering from about 100ft, that balloon was in your visible range for .2 seconds. 

  • Moderator

    A London-based drone enthusiast is to sue Heathrow airport for flying a passenger jet right through his toy.

    Simon Williams, 35, said the drone was his pride and joy, and the best eight-hundred pounds he’d ever spent, until a British Airways Airbus A320 flew directly through it, reducing it to worthless garbage.

    He told us, “I was just flying my drone like I always do, not filming anything I shouldn’t or looking in bedroom windows or anything, just normal drone stuff, you know.

    “Then all of a sudden this airliner arrives out of nowhere and flies right into me.  No indication, it didn’t try to avoid me and I’m pretty sure it was going way too fast.

    “It didn’t even stop afterwards to swap insurance details. It’s pilots like that the give the rest of us sky users a bad reputation.”

    Williams explained he’s sought compensation from British Airways, but they refused to accept the blame or name the pilot.

    He went on, “They said that as a large organisation, their planes are used by lots of pilots, so they can’t be 100% sure who was flying at the time.

    “They don’t seem to care that I’m going to lose my no claims discount. The bastards.”

    However aviation consultant Jacob Matthews told us, “The only people who fly drones in public areas are voyeuristic nutjobs.

    “Remember that weird kid at school who built his own remote control car and made the noises himself whilst he drove it? This is just him, but with better technology.”

  • @Fnoop - I've been able to easily and clearly read the words "Happy Birthday" off of a helium filled latex children's balloon at a TAS (closing speed) of around 320KTS (370 mph) while in cruise flight in the mid-30,000 ft altitude band.

  • Sure, drones must not fly where they are not allowed. And every drone pilot must strictly follow laws and regulations. And we should vehemently encourage/educate/enforce people to not fly like that. But even then stories like this will increasingly make the headlines.

    And only then it is good to know, that the fear of crashing airliners by drones is largely exaggerated. To temper the fear of the average, uneducated Joe Public it helps to stress, that the 99% of the drones can't down an airliner...

  • Stupid people will continue to do stupid things. People should stop flying around drones!! ;-) Don't pilots know that drones are "dangerous"? ;-)

    But seriously I fear the day that APM code is used as a guidance system for intentional targeting. Say goodbye to drone freedoms then...whatever taters are left of them. :-(

  • Developer

    Discussing how much damage a quad would cause is pointless. It has no business ever coming close to an airplane in the first place. So the real problem here are people flying quads in the restricted airspace and even worse the actual take-off and landing air corridor for commercial airplanes.

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