Boeing 737 holiday jet in near-miss with ‘five purple balloons’

Boeing 737 holiday jet in near-miss with ‘five purple balloons’

A report just released has revealed how a Boeing 737 jet airliner with around 189 passengers on board was involved in a ‘near-miss’ incident earlier this year, on August 28. The plane was reportedly travelling at 200mph at the time, making its descent at around 7,000ft, just north of Chester-le-Street, County Durham.

It is believed to have been a Jet2 flight from Ibiza coming in to land at Newcastle airport. According to the report made by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB), five purple balloons tied together, “passed just under the right wing” of the jet. The board categorised the incident as Category A, which means there was a risk of serious collision.

The pilot allegedly radioed the incident through to air traffic control, saying, “Just a report of a near-miss with about 5 or 6 balloons, they just nearly hit us (chuckling)”. In the report, it said the incident “was acknowledged, and as no other aircraft were in the vicinity, no further action was taken”.

Another UKAB report mentions how a child’s large helium balloon almost caused an incident as an easyJet plane was coming into land at Manchester airport. The A319 jet was travelling at around 200mph, with up to 156 passengers on board when the pilots saw the object flying in front of their view.

The pilots reportedly thought it was a drone before realising what it was. With seconds to touch down they had to consider if an aborted landing could potentially cause damage to the engines.

“We are aware of the issue, and reported the event to the relevant authorities, and supported the investigation in line with our safety procedures. At no point was the safety of those onboard compromised. The safety and wellbeing of passengers and crew is always easyJet’s highest priority”, said an easyJet spokesperson.


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at