By Imran Khan • 04 May 2023 • 19:56
EasyJet flight forced into emergency U-turn Image:
According to a recently revealed official report in the UK, an easyJet plane flying over the countryside in Sussex had a close call after it nearly missed a suspected drone.
The report which has been made by the UK Airprox Board, cited by Mail Online on Thursday, May 4, states that “the pilots initially thought the object was a bird before concluding it was a drone being flown illegally”.
UK Airprox Board, which is the official body for investigating cases related to near misses, stated that the incident happened at a height of 5,000 feet, as the easyJet Airbus A320 had taken off from Gatwick airport and was just three minutes into the flight, scheduled for Basel, Switzerland.
Immediately after the suspected drone was spotted, the pilot informed the air traffic control, to warn other planes flying from Gatwick.
Officials speculate that the drone might have been flown by a ‘rogue operator’, who was trying to get footage of the plane, as it flew past it.
But they said that the object could not be confirmed as a drone, due to lack of evidence, aside from the statement by the two pilots.
As the incident happened was reported, UK Airprox Board recorded it as Category A, which is the highest level, due to a “serious risk of collision”.
The report stated that “The A320 pilot reports climbing through 5,000ft when the First Officer (PF) exclaimed that there was a bird ahead.”
“They looked and caught sight of a dark-coloured object that passed very quickly down the left side, within 5-10 m of the left wing.”
“They both concluded that it was possibly a drone as it seemed to move up and then manoeuvred to the left out of the way. They reported it immediately.”
Meanwhile a statement by an easyJet spokesperson after the incident said, “‘We are aware of the report and will always fully support any investigation.”
“Safety is always easyJet’s highest priority and our flight crew acted in accordance with our standard operating procedures to ensure the safety of the flight was not compromised at any time.”
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A journalist, content professional, and former TEDx Speaker based in Tarragona (Spain), with a Master's in International Journalism (Cardiff, UK). Imran is an online reporter for The Euro Weekly News and covers international as well as Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org
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