A commercial airliner narrowly missed colliding midair with a drone at 2,700 feet as it neared New York’s LaGuardia Airport Friday morning, just hours after a string of incidents involving lasers pointed at planes, according to federal officials.
The pilot reportedly had to swerve upward over Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in order to avoid the drone as the plane neared the airport. The incident followed several earlier instances of pilots reporting they had lasers pointed at them near New York airports.
“The crew … reported that the unmanned aircraft was operating in the vicinity of Prospect Park in Brooklyn at an altitude of about 2,700 feet.”
“The flight crew of Shuttle America Flight 2708 reported climbing 200 feet to avoid an unmanned aircraft while on final approach to LaGuardia Airport at about 11 a.m. today,” the Federal Aviation Administration said. “The crew … reported that the unmanned aircraft was operating in the vicinity of Prospect Park in Brooklyn at an altitude of about 2,700 feet.”
The plane later landed safely, and the Joint Terrorism Task Force is investigating the case.
“People use the drones for photography, and they can truly do amazing things,” Derner said. “They typically don’t realize that, in New York for instance, nearly the entire city is Class Bravo restricted airspace,” meaning drones can’t be flown above a few hundred feet.
Like bird strikes, the danger presented by drones is that they will get near a plane and be sucked into an engine, he said.
“Drones are stronger than birds and people are flying them in restricted airspace more and more,” Derner said. “It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when, one of these hits an aircraft.”
It was not the first time in recent weeks that drones have been spotted dangerously close to planes in the vicinity of LaGuardia. On May 5, a drone was spotted near two planes as they landed at the airport. One was seen outside a window by a passenger aboard an Air Canada flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. Less than 10 minutes later, the pilot of a United Airlines flight reported seeing the same drone in restricted airspace as he made his final approach. In both cases, the drone was flying at about 1,000 feet, according to the FAA.
Source: FOX News