Investigation shows that the object that hit British Airways flight coming in to land at Heathrow wasn’t a drone.
A recent incident that generated widespread fears about the safety of commercial planes flying into Britain was the one involving presumed drone.
Later reports have it that the suspected drone, which crashed into a British Airway, could actually have been a plastic bag.
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Transport minister, Robert Goodwill, admitted that what hit the packed BA727 flight from Geneva was never confirmed to be a remote-controlled device.
What Exactly Happened?
At about 12: 50 p.m. on April 17, the plane was struck in the front at about 1,700 ft by an unknown object, which fortunately did not leave any damage on the aircraft.
The 132 passengers and five crew members onboard the flight were not aware of the happening after the pilot landed safely.
Elliot Langran has since provided the footage taken prior to the moment the plane was hit by the presumed “drone.”
This was thought to be the first time a drone has hit a commercial flight during landing.
The British Airways afterward reported that the aircraft has been scrutinized by engineers and was found to in order for its next flight.
Meanwhile, the police and the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are investigating.
Following the incident, Mr. Goodwill, in front of a House of Lords committee, cautioned against overreacting to the incident due to safety fears and calls for the Government to tighten legislation against the use of drones.
In his presentation, he said, “The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone. It was the local police force that tweeted that they had a report of a drone striking an aircraft.
“And indeed the early reports of a dent in the front of the plane were not confirmed. There was no actual damage to the plane and there’s indeed some speculation that it may have even been a plastic bag or something.
“I’ve not actually landed a 747 at Heathrow, but I’ve landed the simulator and the pilot has a lot of other things to concentrate on so we’re not quite sure what they saw so I think we should maybe not overreact too much,” said the Transport Minister, warning people not to overreact after the reported collision.
When asked about what the government could do to tighten the laws around drone usage, he said, “There are already existing laws in place that require the user of drones to maintain direct unaided visual contact with their vehicle and not to recklessly or negligently permit an aircraft to endanger any person or property.”
“So this instance that we’ve read about and is alleged were already breaking existing legislation and the Department [of Transport] and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) are working with a wide range of industry partners across the sector, including manufacturers, airports, and airlines to ensure our understanding of potential hazards to aircraft remains up-to-date.”
The Heathrow chief executive, John Holland-Kaye, in his response, said that while there had been no confirmation that the plane was hit by a drone, it was important that the Government take notice of the issue.
“It is the right thing for the Government to take action. People need to be more careful when flying heavy objects above people’s heads,” said Holland-Kaye.