3rd December 202015th
A recent report by the UK’s Airprox board found that in September 2020 an EasyJet flight from Manchester to Athens with a rogue drone flying at an altitude of 8,000 feet had a near miss.
The windshield of the Airbus A320 EasyJet aircraft was almost hit by the drone, which was officially classified as a “high” collision risk.
UK Airprox Board Report results
The UK Airprox Board posted the following information on its website: ‘The A320 pilot reports that the first time PM and PF depart on the SONEX 1R SID and turn right at 115 °, a large drone passes very close to the aircraft’s windshield saw the first officer’s side.
The drone was blue, about four feet long and level. The sighting was approximately 7NM northeast of Manchester Airport (around Ashton) and appeared to be a large drone, probably weighing at least 10 kg. It just missed the aircraft’s nose / windshield. ‘
In their summary of the risk, they wrote, “The Board believed that the pilot’s overall report on the incident presented a situation where Providence had played an important role in the incident and / or there was a specific risk of collision.”
However, the EasyJet incident is not an anomaly. In 2019, the BBC reported similar incidents when a private jet was almost hit and a flight to Gatwick had to change its flight path to avoid a drone.
EasyJet will support ongoing investigations into the incident.
For more information on the incident and other official reports from the UK Airprox board, please visit: https://www.airproxboard.org.uk/home/