Virgin plane comes within ‘seconds’ of crashing into drones

A Virgin plane came within seconds of crashing into two drones as it was coming into land.

Airline chiefs have taken renewed calls to crack down on drones after two missed a Virgin Atlantic plane by about 27.5 metres, at London’s Heathrow Airport.

A Virgin Atlantic flight narrowly avoided two drones when it landed at London's Heathrow Airport. Source: Getty

The drones would have had the capacity to disable the engine and smash the windscreen, which could have injured the pilots.

The B787-9 Dreamliner was transporting 264 passengers as it flew over Brentford in Essex, UK, shortly before 5pm on February 14.

The incident report stated: “The first drone was slightly low and a bit further out, whereas the second was close in at the same level and seemed to take avoiding action.”

The current law states drones should be flying lower than 122 metres.

Drone operators who endanger the safety of an aircraft can be jailed for five years or receive life imprisonment.

The incident was rated as Category A, which is the most serious category.

The drones could have caused disaster if they had hit the plane. Source: Getty

“Virgin Atlantic can confirm that pilots operating flight VS301 from Delhi to London on 14 February 2019 reported seeing two drones as they flew over Essex,” a Virgin Atlantic spokesman said.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and the pilots immediately reported the incident to Air Traffic Control. It’s vital action is taken to further regulate the use of drones, and we urge the Government to consider additional proposals.”

Last December two unauthorised drones were sighted near Gatwick Airport, which forced authorities to cancel flights for 36 hours sparking chaos for 140,000 passengers.

Since the incident, the RAF have spent $AU9 million to prevent future attacks.

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