Drone airpox report involving a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner near London Heathrow Airport

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner near London Heathrow Airport on 20 June 2016. Separation distance reported as less than 200 feet.

The 787 pilot reported after departing from Heathrow runway 27L, whilst climbing to 6000ft they turned left in accordance with the SID and established contact with London control. A radar heading of 130° was given. Approximately 2nm from EPM VOR the captain spotted a flying object in the distance, 12 o’clock position, slightly below. There was no TCAS contact or Traffic Information. Only once the object passed beneath the aircraft was it obvious that it was an unmanned drone, metallic green in colour with two ellipsoidal pods. The drone could have been hovering, but the perspective made it look as though it was flying in the opposite direction, vertical separation was not more than 200ft.

Reported separation: <200 ft (61 m) vertical / 0 ft (0 m) horizontal.

Aircraft:  Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
Operator: Royal Brunei Airlines
Registration: V8-DLA
Flight: BI98
Aircraft altitude: 6000 ft
Separation: < 200 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.