Well, this is kinda terrifying. A recent report from the UK Airprox Board has revealed there was almost a potentially fatal collision between a drone and a plane carrying 130 passengers back in July.
The reports details the drone “was thrown into conflict” with the aircraft; an Airbus 319 flying into Gatwick on July 9. It also suggests “a larger aircraft might not have missed it”, while adding “in the captain’s opinion, it had put 130 lives at risk.”
The incident occurred at around 20:35 BST, when the first officer aboard the plane noticed a small, black object from the cockpit. Initially, they thought said object may have been a bird, but the dark conditions outside meant the drone couldn’t be properly identified.
The report goes on to say that at its closest point, the drone “passed between the wing-tip and the fuselage, above the right wing.” Considering the damage even a bird strike can have on a plane’s propellers, it’s a huge relief there was no collision.
The drone in question was around 1m in diameter according to the report, and had four blades.
As an already horrendously nervous flyer, I can now add “drone collisions” to my increasingly fretful list of pre-flight worries to lose my shit over.