Over the summer, a plane flying in Newcastle’s airspace had a near miss with a drone. An investigation by the UK Airprox Board has emerged with the details about the occurrence. 

On July 30th, pilots of a Boeing-737 commercial airplane reported that they saw “something quite large” (Newcastle Airport) flash on the left side of the plane. A general aviation pilot was a passenger at the time. He approached an in-flight crew member after landing and asked if they had also seen the large drone that almost contacted the Boeing-737. 

This investigation comes to light as the airspace begins to be filled with drones received as Christmas presents. Inexperienced pilots have been causing incidents all across the country. Rules and regulations around domestic drone ownership are an important topic. Drone pilots should be aware that it is a criminal offense to endanger, on purpose or by accident, an aircraft in flight. All drone owners are required to complete the online safety course before they fly their drone in any airspace. 

Other rules/regulations that drone operators should know are: 

  • If your device weight exceeds 250 grams, it must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority 
  • Users may not fly in an airport’s flight restriction zone
  • Drones must remain under 400 ft at all times to reduce contact risk with aircraft