Drone airpox report involving a British Airways Airbus A319 near London-Heathrow Airport

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by British Airways Airbus A319 near London-Heathrow Airport on 28 November 2015. Separation distance reported as 3040 feet.

On 28 November 2015, the pilot of an Airbus A319 reported that at approx. 1900ft on final approach to London-Heathrow Airport both crew members spotted an object moving rapidly from west to east roughly half a mile to the south of their position. Its height was hard to judge because its size was unknown, but it was thought to be between 400-900ft below them, and was noticeable due to the sunlight glinting off its upper surface. It was overhead Richmond and heading towards Richmond Park. They assessed its flight path as no risk to their own so continued with the approach, had it been further north they felt they would have needed to go-around. Given that they saw the drone at the same time as final configuration for landing, during a high cockpit workload, they considered that it was highly distracting.

Reported separation: 400-900 ft (121-274 m) vertical / 0,5 NM (926 m) horizontal.
Flight involved: BA831 Dublin (DUB) – London-Heathrow (LHR); Airbus A319 G-EUOC

Aircraft: Airbus A319
Operator: British Airways
Flight: BA831
Aircraft altitude: 1900 ft
Separation: 3040 feet
Source: UKAB

Please note:

Please note that separation distances are solely based on pilot’s judgements and not necessarily accurate since horizontal and vertical separation distances can be hard to judge.