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'Reckless drone operator' in 'near miss' with Flybe flight

PUBLISHED: 11:42 19 August 2016 | UPDATED: 11:42 19 August 2016

Pilot News

Pilot News

Archant

A "reckless drone operator" is being sought by police after reports of a "near miss" between a drone and plane.

The Flybe passenger aircraft was flying at about 900ft (275m) and was approximately 2 miles from Cornwall Airport when the near miss occurred.

Devon and Cornwall Police were called to the scene by Air Traffic Control (ATC) where they conducted a search of the area. They were unfortunately unable to find any trace of the drone or its operator.

“The close proximity of the drone to the passenger aircraft shows a complete disregard by the operator for public safety and we are appealing to the public for information to help us track down this reckless drone operator,” Insp Meredith said.

A spokeswoman for Cornwall Airport Newquay confirmed that a drone had flown within the air traffic zone adjacent to the final approach to the airport as the plane – carrying 62 passengers – flew in from London Stansted.

A spokesperson for the CAA said: “Airspace proximity incidents, whether involving two aircraft, or a drone and an aircraft, need to be fully investigated to establish the level of risk involved.”

Flybe said it would “work closely” with all relevant authorities to help identify the perpetrators of any activity which could jeopardise passenger safety.

We remind all operators of any small unmanned surveillance aircraft that they must not fly them within 50m of any vessel, vehicle or structure which is not under the user’s control.

This “near miss” is sadly just one of many drone related incidents that have occurred in 2016. Figures show that there have been an alarming number of reported near misses so far this year.

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