AN AEROPLANE had a near miss with a drone on its approach to Birmingham Airport – a report has revealed.
The DH8 plane was coming in to land from the north west side of the airport when the drone was spotted around the Castle Bromwich area just after 9am on September 7 last year – state the report by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) .
The pilot reported that he was on his final approach to the airport, travelling at around 500ft when he spotted the UAV-type aircraft in a stationary hover – he estimated the position of the aircraft to be overhead a primary school.
The immediate risk of the aircraft was low so the approach was continued and the Birmingham Airport control tower was informed of the incident.
West Midlands Police were contacted, but they were unable to locate the drone or its operator.
The primary school was also contacted, but confirmed it owns no drone and has never allowed anyone to operate a drone at the school.
In their discussions, members of UKAB agreed that the drone operator, by operating at that position and altitude on the approach
path to Birmingham airport, had flown the drone into conflict and had endangered the DH8 and its passengers.
Turning to the risk, although the incident did not show on radar, the Board noted that the pilot had estimated the separation to be 500m from the aircraft, at co-altitude.
Notwithstanding the difficulty of range assessment without visual cues, it was agreed that on this occasion the drone had passed sufficiently clear such that there was no risk of collision and so the risk was assessed as Category C.
The Government is currently undertaking a major consultation on drones, which may affect how they are regulated in the future – the consultation is open for comments until March 15.
* Simple guie to drone safety:
D on’t fly near airports or airfields
R emember to stay below 400ft (120m)
O bserver your drone at all times – stay 150ft away from people and porperty
N ever fly near aircraft
E njoy responsibly