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‘Irresponsible idiots’ endanger Loganair flight

The pilot of a Loganair aircraft had to take evasive action after someone flew a drone dangerously close during its approach to Edinburgh Airport.

LOGANAIR has hit out at “irresponsible idiots” responsible for flying a drone into the path of one of its aircraft as it was approaching Edinburgh Airport en route from Shetland on Friday afternoon.

The aircraft’s pilot was forced to take evasive action as a result of the incident, which occurred at around 1.10pm. The unmanned drone was flying just 20-30 metres away from the flight at a height of around 4,000 feet.

No one was injured and the plane was able to land safely.

Loganair managing director Jonathan Hinkles said: “Flying drones into the path of aircraft is incredibly dangerous. New laws are being proposed to deal with this growing threat and our view is that they can’t come soon enough to deal with irresponsible idiots like this.

“Aircraft are designed to withstand bird strikes, but the hard material of a drone is a different matter.”

Police believe the drone may have been piloted from either Bathgate or Armadale.

Police Scotland is urging drone users to operate them within Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) guidelines.

Chief inspector Barry Blair said: “The pilot was forced to take evasive action to avoid a collision whilst preparing to land the plane. Had these aircraft collided the consequences could have been far more serious. 

“We are working alongside the aviation authorities to identify the pilot of the drone and determine the full circumstances surrounding this incident.”

An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: “People should be in no doubt of the seriousness of this issue. We would ask that all users understand the legislation and guidelines surrounding drone usage and behave responsibly.”