A drone came within 5 meters (16 feet) of a potentially catastrophic collision with an Air France jet landing at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport in the closest encounter yet between one of the remotely operated devices and a civil airliner.
The Airbus Group SE A320, which can carry 150 people, was arriving from Barcelona on Feb. 19 at a height of 1,600 meters when the pilot saw the drone on the plane’s left-hand side. He quickly disconnected the autopilot and took avoiding action, according to the BEA, the French air-accident investigator.
France’s first full-blown probe of a drone near miss will now be initiated, it said. While drones are banned from flying near airports, such incidents are becoming common, with Britain recording 23 between April 11 and Oct. 4 last year. There were seven close shaves in the U.K. in December alone, and four of those were classified as involving a serious risk of collision. Read more