Tag Archives: UK

Drone airpox report involving a BA CityFlyer Embraer ERJ-170 near London

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by BA CityFlyer Embraer ERJ-170 near London on 13 September 2015. Separation distance reported as 65 feet.

THE E170 PILOT reports that as they were flying over the Thames during an approach to London City, they were advised of helicopter traffic below that then became a TCAS TA. On sighting this traffic visually, the crew then looked forward and saw a balloon-like object about 1/2 nm away. This passed down the left-hand side of the aircraft. It was initially reported to ATC as a balloon, but as it passed it became apparent that it was a silver drone with a ‘balloon-like’ centre and 4 small rotors on each corner. The pilot reported a high cockpit workload at the time due to the TCAS TA.
He assessed the risk of collision as ‘High’.

Operating as he was in airspace within which he was not permitted meant that the Board considered that the cause of the Airprox was that the drone operator had flown into conflict with the E170. The E170 pilot estimated that the drone came within 20m of his aircraft. Based on this assessment, it was determined therefore that the risk was Category A, separation had been reduced to the minimum and chance had played a major part in events.

Aircraft involved: G-LCYD.

Aircraft: Embraer ERJ-170
Operator: BA CityFlyer
Flight: 2284
Aircraft altitude: 2000 ft
Separation: 65 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.

DHC-8 in near miss incident with a drone near London City Airport

According to UKAB airprox report, a passenger plane was involved in a near miss with a drone on April 19, 2015 at 14:15 hours local time.

The DHC-8 was being vectored for an ILS approach to runway 09 at London City Airport, U.K. When the aircraft was approximately 3 miles south of London City Airport, and downwind right-hand for runway 09, the pilot reported seeing a drone at approximately 200m range and at the same height of 2000ft. The pilot reported the incident to ATC at the time. After landing the pilot and co-pilot, who had also seen the object, agreed that the miss distance was likely to be 50-150m and that the object was at least 1 metre in size, was black and white in colour and had some letters on it (the second of which may have been an X). A query to London City Tower after landing confirmed that they had had a similar report but not on that day. A passenger on the aircraft also reported seeing a black and white object. A review of the radar did not show any contact in the vicinity.

The U.K. Airprox Board assessed that safety margins had been much reduced below the norm.

 

Drone airpox report involving a Dornier 328 near Manchester

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Dornier 328 near Manchester on 27 August 2015. Separation distance reported as 600 feet.

THE Do328 PILOT reports just after capturing the glide path for RW23R he saw a drone just in front of the aircraft. It came from the nose and went over the starboard wing. It was bright royal blue and he thought it had 3 rotors. Size was approximately 50cm diameter. The estimated miss distance was about 50ft. It was reported to ATC on director freq 121.35. After landing, he was asked to call the ATC supervisor. He confirmed the details with the Supervisor and he said he would be filing a report. The aircraft was at approximately 2800ft at the time which is about 1500′ AGL. The aircraft was inspected on arrival with no signs of any contact.
He assessed the risk of collision as ‘High’.

The drone was operating in airspace within which he was not permitted; due to this the Board considered that the cause of the Airprox was that the drone operator had flown into conflict with the Do328. The drone did not appear on the NATS radars and therefore the exact separation between the two air-systems was not known; however, the Do328 pilot estimated the exact separation to be 50ft vertically and 0.1nm horizontally and the Board based their assessment of risk on this estimate; it was further noted that the Do328 pilot was concerned enough to carry out a visual check of the aircraft for damage as soon as practical after landing. It was determined therefore that separation had been reduced to the minimum and that luck had played a major part in events.

Aircraft: Dornier 328
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 2800 ft
Separation: 600 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.

Drone airpox report involving a RAF Boeing Chinook near Odiham

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by RAF Boeing Chinook near Odiham on 11 August 2015. Separation distance reported as 75 feet.

THE CHINOOK PILOT reports recovering to Odiham. At a range of 5 to 6nm, during a simulated engine malfunction, the No2 crewman spotted what looked like a white and red quadcopter type UAV, with attached camera, pass down the right hand side, outside the rotor disc. A call was made to Odiham approach informing them of the incident.
He assessed the risk of collision as ‘Medium’.

The Board determined that both aircraft were operating legally and they considered that the Airprox was a conflict in Class G. The drone did not appear on either NATS or Odiham’s radars and therefore the exact separation between the two air-systems was not known; however, the Chinook crewman estimated the separation to be zero feet vertically and 75ft horizontally and therefore the Board based their assessment of risk on this estimate. It was determined therefore that separation had been reduced to the minimum and that luck had played a major part in events.

Aircraft: Boeing Chinook
Operator: RAF
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 1000 ft
Separation: 75 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.

Drone airpox report involving a DHC-8 near Southampton CTR

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by DHC-8 near Southampton CTR on 26 July 2015. Separation distance reported as 1150 feet.

THE DHC8 PILOT reports that, on contacting Solent Approach, they were informed that a previous aircraft had reported seeing a drone in the vicinity of the aerodrome. On final approach, the crew saw a drone in their right 3 o’clock at a range of about 350m.
The pilot did not make an assessment of the risk of collision.

In this incident, reported at 700ft, members opined that the drone operator was probably flying on First Person View (FPV), for which regulation mandates that an additional person must be used as a competent observer who must maintain direct unaided visual contact with the drone in order to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft. The drone was within the Southampton CTR Class D airspace above 400ft and without permission; as a result of his non-compliance with CAA regulations, the Board considered that the drone was flown into conflict with the DHC8. Nevertheless, the Board noted that the DHC8 pilot reported a separation of 350m, and so they considered that there was no risk of collision.

Aircraft: DHC-8
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 750 ft
Separation: 1150 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.

Drone airpox report involving a Beech King Air 200 near Southampton Airport

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Beech King Air 200 near Southampton Airport on 26 July 2015. Separation distance reported as 26 feet.

THE BE200 PILOT reports that he was established on the ILS to RW20 at Southampton, about 3nm from the airport, when he flew past a drone. The drone had 4 blades with silver or white arms and a black body, was approximately 1m in length. It was dead level with his aircraft and was about 2 wing lengths to his right. He had already completed checks, so cockpit workload was medium; even so there was insufficient time to take avoiding action.
He assessed the risk of collision as ‘High’.

Aircraft: Beech King Air 200
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 1100 ft
Separation: 26 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.

Drone airpox report involving a Boeing 737 near Leed-Bradford CTR

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Boeing 737 near Leed-Bradford CTR on 9 July 2015. Separation distance reported as 1000 feet.

THE B737 PILOT reports fully established on final approach to RW32, passing 1800ft on the ILS. Both crew saw a black and white, 4-rotor helicopter type drone to the left of them. The drone was seen too late to take avoiding action and passed abeam them.
He assessed the risk of collision as ‘Medium’.

Members noted the requirements of Article 166 of the ANO and the additional CAA material regarding drone operations and quickly agreed that, even had they been operating using first-person view (FPV), the drone operator should neither have allowed the drone to fly above 1000ft nor operate over a built-up area. Therefore, because the drone was being flown inappropriately, they determined the cause of the Airprox to be that the drone had been flown into conflict with the B737. Members then discussed the risk and, although there was no measurable data available, after some debate, they decided that for the drone to have been identified specifically as a black and white 4-rotor drone this indicated that it was probably closer than the pilots’ estimate of 300m. As a result, they considered that, in this case, it was therefore likely that safety margins had been much reduced below the normal and that this was a Category B incident.

Aircraft: Boeing 737
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 1800 ft
Separation: 1000 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.

Drone airpox report involving an Avro RJ100 near Detling

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Avro RJ100 near Detling on 9 July 2015. Separation distance reported as 60 feet.

THE RJ1 PILOT reports turning on to heading 315° after DET when the First Officer saw a ‘helicopter type’ remotely controlled drone in the 10 o’clock position pass 60ft below the left wing. ATC were informed.

THE RJ1 PILOT reports turning on to heading 315° after DET when the First Officer saw a ‘helicopter type’ remotely controlled drone in the 10 o’clock position pass 60ft below the left wing. ATC were informed.

Aircraft: Avro RJ100
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 4000 ft
Separation: 60 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.

Drone airpox report involving a Cavalon near Detling

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Cavalon near Detling on 17 June 2015. Separation distance reported as 65 feet.

THE CAVALON AUTOGYRO PILOT reports that he was on a training flight, the visibility was good and the cloud base was above their cruising height. As they transited over Detling village they encountered a drone at 1500ft. It passed down the left side of the aircraft at a range of 20m. The instructor took control of the aircraft, slowed it down and, having ensured there was no danger to the aircraft, was able to take some photographs. They then continued with the sortie. By looking at the photographs later they were able to identify the drone as a ‘Phantom FPV’, which has a wing span of 1550mm and a weight of 900g. [UKAB Note: the Phantom FPV is a flying-wing drone rather than a quadcopter]. A member of ground staff at their home base mentioned that there was a model flying club at Thurnham and wondered whether the drone was being flown from there.

Because the drone was operating either at the top, if not above, the regulatory allowed height for FPV operations, this led the Board to identify the cause of the Airprox as the drone being flown into conflict with the Autogyro. Although there was no radar recording to measure the separation, the Autogyro pilot’s report indicated that the drone was only 20m away when they passed, which indicated that separation had been reduced to a minimum, and that chance had played a major part in preventing the collision. They therefore assessed the risk as Category A.

Aircraft: Cavalon
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 1600 ft
Separation: 65 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.

Drone airpox report involving an Evektor EV-97 near Welshpool

The UK Airprox Board investigated a drone near-miss reported by Evektor EV-97 near Welshpool on 11 June 2015. Separation distance reported as 50 feet.

THE EV97 PILOT reports flying a solo circuit at Welshpool, on turning downwind at 1500ft he checked the fuel pressure gauge and then noticed a Quadcopter, approximately 50ft from the aircraft, appear from behind the edge of the instrument panel. He applied full power and initiated a tight climbing right turn to gain separation. Once straight-and-level at 1800ft, he reported the incident before repositioning back into the circuit.

The Board commended the look-out of the EV97 pilot, who managed to spot the drone and take avoiding action at a busy point in his flight profile, and one where he would not have expected to encounter a drone. This again highlighted the need for good lookout, even within the supposed protection of an ATZ, given that intruders (including aircraft) could unknowingly penetrate the airspace. Turning to the cause of the Airprox, the Board agreed that, because the drone should not have been in the ATZ, the drone had effectively been flown into conflict with the EV97. They assessed the risk as Category B; safety margins had been much reduced, but the EV97 pilot’s avoiding action had been effective in preventing a collision.

Aircraft: Evektor EV-97
Operator:
Flight:
Aircraft altitude: 1500 ft
Separation: 50 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.