Mid-air scare for passengers as a drone strikes British Airways plane
A British Airways flight approaching the Heathrow Airport is believed to have been struck by a suspected drone before it landed safely.
The British Airways flight BA727 travelling from Geneva, Switzerland was hit as it approached the Heathrow Terminal 5 at about 12:50pm with 132 passengers and five crew members on board, the Metropolitan Police has said.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: “A pilot on an inbound flight into Heathrow Airport from Geneva reported to police that he believed a drone had struck the aircraft.
“It transpired that an object, believed to be a drone, had struck the front of the aircraft.”
No arrests have been made and inquiries continue.
It is thought to be the first time in the world a drone has crashed into a commercial jet during landing.
A British Airways spokesperson said the Airbus A320 was examined by engineers who said no major damage was done.
He said: “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.
“Safety and security are always our first priority and we will give the police every assistance with their investigation.”
The airline will give the police “every assistance with their investigation”, the spokesman added.
A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said: “It is totally unacceptable to fly drones close to airports and anyone flouting the rules can face severe penalties including imprisonment.”
Steve Landells, from the British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), said it had been “only a matter of time before we had a drone strike”. He called for greater implementation of existing rules.