March 21, 2024 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death? Emergency action forced by drone

How far away is death? With 186 passengers aboard, Airbus A320 pilot takes emergency action when forced by drone in London

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Yet another drone incident at London’s Gatwick Airport proved a near-miss for the pilot of a passenger jet. In April of 2019, the pilot was bringing the aircraft in for a landing when he saw something that made him swerve to miss the object. The UK Airprox Board (UKAB) published a report describing the pilot having seen “a dark-colored drone ahead,” and his reaction, “avoiding action of a 5-8° bank to the right was taken.” UKAB assigned the incident its highest category of risk.

This incident occurred mere months after Gatwick was forced to cancel days of flights due to drone sightings during the busy 2018 holiday season, causing thousands of travelers to abort or change their scheduled Christmas plans.

For more, read our blog article about that incident, “Monday Accidents & Lessons Learned: What’s Up with Drones at the UK’s Gatwick?

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How Far Away Is Death?
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