UK officials say likely drone nearly hit plane

AP News
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Posted: Dec 12, 2014 10:45 AM

LONDON (AP) — British aviation officials say a device believed to be a drone came within 20 feet (about 6 meters) of a passenger plane landing at Heathrow in July — an incident certain to underscore concerns about the increasing use of drones for commercial purposes.

The report released Friday says the pilot of the Airbus 320 saw a small helicopter-like device near its wing as it approached the runway.

Investigators say the device did not hit the plane but offered a "distraction during a critical phase of flight."

They did not name the carrier, and have not found the owner of the device.

Britain's airline pilots' association, Balpa, has demanded better safeguards against drones and has argued they should meet the same safety standards as piloted planes.