I have a feeling at least one of the now numerous reported near misses (yes I know near hits) must be for real. I cannot imagine for one moment gentle sUAS News reader that you would fly so irresponsibly.

This one, in particular, does sound like a flying wing.

AIRPROX REPORT No 2016095

THE A319 PILOT reports descending at 4nm to land on RW27L when a drone was sighted in the 11 o’clock position, extremely close to the aircraft and too late to take any evasive action. The drone appeared to be approximately 1 metre in length and green with possible purple markings

The crew of the A319 reported seeing the drone at about 1200ft, whilst descending at 4nm DME to land on RW27L at Heathrow Airport. The Board first noted that, as for other aviators, drone operators are fundamentally required to avoid collisions with all other aircraft. More specifically, drone flight above 400ft is prohibited in Class A airspace without the permission of the appropriate air traffic control unit and therefore the drone operator was not entitled to operate in this location. Members agreed that the drone operator was probably flying on first-person-view (FPV) and should not have conducted his flight within the Heathrow CTR without the permission of Heathrow ATC, who confirmed that no such permission had been given. If flying under FPV regulations, an additional person must be used as a competent observer who must maintain direct unaided visual contact with the drone in order to monitor its flight path in relation to other aircraft; notwithstanding, even if an observer was being used, the Board thought that they would not have been able to see the drone clearly at that level. Furthermore, under FPV operations, for drones of less than 3.5kg, the drone is not permitted to operate above 1000ft agl without CAA approval being gained and a NOTAM being issued.

Six out of the twenty Airprox reports issued in the July involve drones.

https://www.airproxboard.org.uk/Reports-and-analysis/Monthly-summaries/2016/Monthly-meeting-July-2016/

Have a look around at the rest of the year’s reports and you will see a pattern of RPA flights around active airfields.

By Gary Mortimer

Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.