Virgin Flight into Heathrow in Drone Near-Miss

By Gary Cutlack on at

This happened back in February, so the fact that it didn't make the proper TV news and the BBC didn't interrupt Pointless to tell us about it means nothing bad happened. What did happen, though, is that a Virgin Atlantic flight reported drones breaching safety guidelines and getting within around 90 feet of an airplane as it came in over Essex.

Pilots of the B787-9 Dreamliner spotted the two drones a bit too close for comfort as they came in on flight VS301 from Delhi to London on February 14, over Brentford. The report by the UK Airprox Board suggests that the drone fliers panicked and tried to get out of the way at least, as the summary said: "The first drone was slightly low and a bit further out, whereas the second was close in at the same level and seemed to take avoiding action."

The latest Airprox reports say there was a similar near miss in Manchester on February 11 too, with the reports into both incidents saying that: "...providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed."

Providence is a posh word for luck. Passengers are routinely being lucky not to have their planes smashed up by drones. [Yahoo]