Shard, London
The Shard skyscraper is seen behind the London Eye in central London.Reuters

A major aviation disaster was narrowly avoided over central London in July when a drone came within 60 feet of an A320 aircraft approaching Heathrow Airport. The pilot of the aircraft with about 165 passengers had spotted the drone about 650 feet from the Shard. A report has been filed over the incident which took place on July 18.

According to the Daily Mail, the report states that, "The Board noted that the pilot had estimated the separation to be 20m from the aircraft, at co-altitude, and that there had not been time to take any avoiding action. This incident appeared to be a very near-miss and the drone operator should not have been flying in that location at that altitude."

"The Board considered that the pilot's estimate of separation, allied to his overall account of the incident, portrayed a situation where a collision had only been narrowly avoided and chance had played a major part," it added.

The National Air Traffic Service of Britain says that there are more than two million drones in use in Britain. There have been reportedly 23 near-misses between aircrafts and drones over a six month period. Around 12 of these were said to major incidents. A good quality drone can be bought for about £500.

Types of drones:

According to auav.co.au, there are several types of drones:

  • Fixed-Wing Hybrid VTOL
  • Single-Rotor Helicopter
  • Fixed-Wing
  • Multi-Rotor
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