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Drone in near miss with Loganair plane

A LOGANAIR plane flying from Sumburgh with 25 people on board came close to colliding with a large commercial drone near Glasgow airport last November.

A report by the UK Airprox Board, which investigates such incidents, said that the metre-wide drone came within five metres of the plane, and left the pilots fearing it might actually have collided with the SAAB 2000.

The dark coloured drone, said to be flying in a straight line and at high speed, was seen by both pilots flying 5m above the captain’s window at a height of 3,000 ft, nine nautical miles out from Glasgow.

An after landing inspection found no evidence of collision, but the board said that the drone was endangering other aircraft and had been “flown into conflict with the SAAB 2000”.

The report adds: “The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.”

A high-speed collision with such a large drone could have been disastrous.

The incident is one of dozens involving drones cited in the Airprox board’s database over the past few months. Most famously Gatwick Airport, the UK’s second busiest, was paralysed for two days before Christmas by reports of drones being flown near the airport, leaving about 140,000 passengers grounded.