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Heathrow jet in near-miss incident with pair of drones

By Neil Lancefield

The UK's first near-miss between an aircraft and multiple drones has been reported by a passenger jet approaching Heathrow Airport.

An Airbus A320 was flying at 5,500ft over east London when its flight crew spotted two white, orb-shaped drones.

The pilots "remained in constant visual contact" with the gadgets to ensure they did not hit the airliner as it passed alongside them, according to a report by the UK Airprox Board.

The investigation found that the distraction had "compromised the safety of the aircraft".

A report was made to the Metropolitan Police but the drone operators could not be traced. It was estimated that the drones came within 500 metres of the aircraft, which was not identified in the report.

The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) said the incident on November 20 last year was the first aircraft near-miss involving more than one drone.

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