Drone hit British Airways plane approaching Heathrow Airport
The British Airways flight from Geneva was hit as it approached the London airport at about 12:50 BST with 132 passengers and five crew on board.
After landing, the pilot reported an object – believed to be a drone – had struck the front of the Airbus A320
Aviation police based at Heathrow have launched an investigation.
Police said no arrests have been made.
Drones pose ‘real threat’ to civil aviation
A British Airways spokesman said: “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.”
The airline will give the police “every assistance with their investigation”, the spokesman added.
The incident follows a warning earlier this year by the head of the International Air Transport Association that drones flown by the general public are “a real and growing threat” to civilian aircraft.
Tony Tyler called for drone regulations to be put in place before any serious accidents occur.
In January, the UK Air Proximity Board – which investigates near-miss incidents in UK airspace – said there had been four serious near-misses at UK airports in August and September.
The category A incidents were reported at Stansted, Heathrow, London City and Manchester airports.
- 27 August 2015 – A DO328 aircraft flew within 50ft of a drone while approaching Manchester Aiport at 2,800ft
- 13 September 2015 – A drone flew over the top of a B737 aircraft while at 4,000ft, missing it by about 5m, shortly after it left Stansted
- 13 September 2015 – A silver drone with a “balloon-like” centre missed an E170 aircraft by about 20m, while the plane was approaching London City Airport over the Thames
- 22 September 2015 – A “quadcopter-type drone” missed the right-hand side of a B777 plane by about 25m while at 2,000ft after it left Heathrow Airport