EasyJet plane almost hit by a drone over Kent

By Linsey McNeill
Home » EasyJet plane almost hit by a drone over Kent

An easyJet flight from London Gatwick came within a few feet of a drone as it flew 180 holidaymakers to Rhodes.

The pilots of the Airbus A320 spotted the drone as they were flying over the Kent coast at 7.55am on 5 July.

They told authorities that it passed directly underneath the plane.

The captain told air traffic controllers: “We very nearly just hit a drone. We’re talking less than 10 feet.

“We don’t think we’ve hit it, there was a bit of a thud, we’ll come back to you.”

The easyJet pilot inspected the A320 on landing and found no damage. He wrote:  “I can confirm we did not hit the drone. We discussed that the thud the First Officer heard was likely from the cabin.”

The drone had been flying at 16,000 feet, even though the maximum permitted height for such objects is just 400ft.

The UK Airprox Board, set up to investigate near-misses, rate the incident as category A, meaning there was a ‘definite risk of collision’.

There were a total of 12 near-misses included in the Airprox September report, three of which were category A incidents.

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