UK Airprox Board UK Airprox Board
  • Assessment Summary Sheet for UKAB Meeting on Wednesday 15th September 2021

    Contributory factor assessment for each Airprox can be downloaded here


    Total A B C D E
    16 5 6 3 1 1

     

    Airprox     Aircraft 1 (Type) Aircraft 2 (Type) Airspace (Class)

    ICAO

    Risk

    2021054 Paraglider (Civ Para) Mosquito Glider (Civ Gld) London FIR (G) A
    2021056 PA28 (Civ FW) Jet Provost (Civ FW) Nottingham ATZ (G) D
    2021057 DJI Mavic 2 (Civ UAS) Texan II (HQ Air Trg) Scottish FIR (G) B
    Recommendation: The Drone and Model Aircraft Code, Point 3 currently states ‘Always look and listen out for other aircraft that may be flying below 120m (400ft), such as air ambulances and police helicopters.’ The CAA should consider adding ‘military low-flying aircraft’ to this paragraph.
    2021058 PA28 (Civ FW) T67 Firefly (Civ FW) London FIR (G) C
    2021059 C150 (Civ FW) PA28 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) A
    2021060 DG808 (Civ Gld) DA62 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) B
    2021061 Piper L21 Cub (Civ FW) Slingsby T67 (Civ FW) Chichester/Goodwood ATZ (G) A
    2021062 C208 Caravan (Civ FW) Skyranger (Civ FW) London FIR (G) A
    2021063 Vans RV7 (Civ FW) C208 (Civ Para) Dunkeswell ATZ (G) B
    2021064 ASW 19 (Civ Gld) SR22 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) B
    2021065 DA42 (Civ Comm) Sky Arrow 650T (Civ FW) Retford/Gamston ATZ (G) B
    2021067 C152 (Civ FW) Europa (Civ FW) Perth ATZ (G) A
    2021068 G115 (Civ FW) SR22 (Civ FW) Nottingham ATZ (G) C
    2021069 C152 (Civ FW) Unknown Halton ATZ (G) B
    2021070 PA28 (Civ FW) Unknown Halton ATZ (G) C
    2021072 Open Cirrus Glider (Civ Gld) Stearman (Civ FW) London FIR (G) E

  • Consolidated Drone/Balloon/Model/Unknown Object Summary Sheet for UKAB Meeting on 15th September 2021

    Contributory factor assessment for each Airprox can be downloaded here

     

    Total Risk A Risk B Risk C Risk D Risk E
    11 2 2 7 0 0

     

    Airprox

    Number 

    Date

    Time (UTC)  

    Aircraft

    (Operator)

    Object 

    Location[1]

    Description

    Altitude

    Airspace

    (Class)

    Pilot/Controller Report

    Reported Separation

    Reported Risk

    Comments/Risk Statement

    ICAO

    Risk

    2021106

    24 Jun 21

    1545

    EMB175

    (CAT)

    Balloon

    5325N 00131W

    1NM east of ADELU

    FL190

    London FIR

    (A)

    The EMB175 pilot reports that they were flying towards BHX on a radar heading of 260° in the descent passing FL190, under Radar Control. The balloon was seen 2 sec before it was underneath the aircraft. There was no time to take any action. The balloon caught their eye because of the reflection. There was no time to react. The object was small and only visible at the last moment, 2 sec before the balloon crossed underneath the aircraft. It was an unmanned balloon about 2m diameter made from aluminium coloured foil with a box underneath.

     

    Reported Separation: H 0ft/V 15-50ft

    Reported Risk of Collision: High

     

    The Prestwick controller reports that the EMB175 was passing FL190 in the vicinity of ADELU when the pilot reported a large balloon, about 10ft in diameter, about 30ft below the aircraft.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it was probably a balloon.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 4, 6

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.

    A
    2021108

    08 Jul 21

    1825

    Citation 525

    (Civ Comm)

    4 x Unk Objs

    5122N 00019E

    3NM NW Biggin Hill

    FL100

    London TMA

    (A)

    The Citation 525 pilot reports that they were on climb-out from Biggin Hill on vectors with London Control, climbing through FL100 at about 230kt and in a left hand turn as instructed by London. The FO/PF spotted 4 small black objects and called out “birds” pointing in their direction to alert the PIC/PM who was running the FL100 checks. They thought it was strange to see birds so high up but didn’t think it could be anything else as there were 4 of them quite close together. The left-hand turn brought them closer to the unidentified objects, but they could see they were going to miss them, passing just to the right and above. The pilot could see the objects were in a diagonal line and definitely not birds before they lost sight as they went under the aircraft, but the PIC was then able to get a much better look and identified the objects as ‘H’ shaped drones and black or dark grey in colour and 10-12 inches in size. They reported the incident to ATC giving them the limited information they had based on the few seconds they were exposed to the threat. The drones were quite close together in a sort of vertical diagonal line somewhere between FL100 and FL110. The pilot believed that there was not much they could have done to avoid them as they were on their flight path, even if they had seen them earlier.

     

    Reported Separation: 50-100ftV/ 0m H

     

    The Capital Radar controller reports that the Citation 525 pilot reported that they had had a near-miss with 4 drones. They reported the drones as grey, about the size of a tea-tray and at altitude 10,000ft.

    Notwithstanding the pilot’s description of the objects, in the Board’s opinion the reported altitude of the objects was such that they were unable to determine the nature of the unknown objects.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 4, 6

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not been assured.

    B
    2021109

    30 May 21   

    1437

    SportCruiser

    (Civ FW)

    Drone

    5257N 00315W

    5NM ESE of Corwen

    4700ft

    London FIR

    (G)

    The SportCruiser pilot reports cruise-climbing away from Sleap and heading towards Snowdon for sightseeing. They observed a flashing distant red light and assumed it was a helicopter much further away and lower. They quickly realised it was a lot closer but wasn't an immediate threat as it was identified as a stationary drone. They mentally noted its significant size, estimated at 1.5m diameter, with at least 8 rotors – commercial scale. They did not recall any NOTAMs advising of drones in the area. They were not established in communications with London Info prior to this event but called immediately afterwards and reported the sighting to the London FISO.

     

    Reported Separation: 200ft V/75m H

    Reported Risk of Collision: Low

     

    NATS Safety Investigations reports that [the SportCruiser] pilot reported a small black quadcopter-style drone, approximately 2m in diameter. The FISO acknowledged the drone report and obtained details from the [SportCruiser] pilot. The pilot also reported that the drone passed them by approximately 20-50m. The drone report had no impact on operations.

    Analysis of the radar by Safety Investigations indicated that there were no associated primary or secondary contacts visible on radar at the approximate time of the event.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021110

    8 Jul 21

    1906

    C680

    (Civ Comm)

    Drone

    5124N 00022E

    2NM S Gravesend

    4000ft

    London TMA

    (A)

    The C680 pilot reports under radar vectors with Thames Radar, heading north. They saw a drone pass almost directly in front, around 300ft below. They immediately reported it to ATC who noted their position. They noted the drone looked mainly black with white markings.

     

    Reported Separation: 300ft V/NK H

    Reported Risk of Collision: NR

     

    The Thames Radar Controller reports that whilst being radar vectored, the C680 pilot reported a drone at about 4000ft in the vicinity of Brands Hatch. This was acknowledged as per current procedures and reported to subsequent flights for the next 30 mins.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021111

    07 Jul 21

    1300

    BE200

    (Civ Comm)

    Drone

    5554N 00042W

    3NM final RW23 Glasgow Airport

    1100ft

     

    Glasgow CTR

    (D)

    The BE200 pilot reports that they were on ILS final descent to RW23, passing through about 1100ft QNH at about 3NM from the RW threshold, a round metallic drone about 1m in diameter was sighted level with the aircraft about 200m to the left of their track. The drone may have been stationary as it passed quickly down the left-hand side of their aircraft to go behind.

     

    Reported Separation: H 200m/V 0ft

    Reported Risk of Collision: NR

     

    The Glasgow controller reports that the BE200 pilot reported on frequency at 3.5NM final and was cleared to land RW23. Almost immediately the pilot reported at 100ft they had passed a done on their left-hand side. The pilot was slightly right of the centreline at the time and so the drone was extremely close to the final approach track. Nothing was observed from the tower and no returns were visible on radar. Initially all aircraft movements were stopped until 1500Z when normal operations to RW23 were resumed.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

       

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021116

    14 Jul 21

    2035

    DJI Mavic Air

    (Civ UAS)

    Drone

    5434N 00113W

    IVO Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough

    196ft (60m)

    Teesside CTR

    (D)

    The DJI Mavic Operator reports that their first flight started at 18:42. 18 mins into the third flight at 19:50, the pilot spotted an unidentified UAS enter the same airspace. Flight behaviour was erratic (typical of DJI drones in sports mode) and followed by an ascent likely well beyond 400ft. The pilot landed their own UAS at the designated take off/landing point (TOLP) and saw the other operators approximately 150m west of the TOLP. They appeared to be using a controller similar to the controller used for a DJI Mavic Air 2 or DJI Mini 2. The pilot approached them, asked how long they would be flying for, the response was ‘not long, they only had one battery left’. The pilot explained they would remain on the ground and asked the other operators to notify the pilot once they were finished. This was agreed. The pilot sat approximately 50m away from the other operators. At 20:10, the other operators alerted the pilot they were finished and walked away. The pilot returned to the TOLP to continue the mission from 20:13. At 20:35, the pilot spotted what appeared to be the same previous SUAS enter the airspace and came in close proximity with the pilot’s own SUAS, proximity estimated to be around 30m, and would have been under 10m without evasion. At the time, the pilots SUAS was approximately 300m away from the TOLP at an elevation of 60m AGL and was static for at least 1 min taking photographs. The pilot took evasive action and returned to the TOLP immediately. During the return, the pilots RC briefly had a signal interference warning. After landing safely, the pilot checked the previous site as used by the other operators and confirmed they were not there however, they could see one of the other operators alone approximately 150m in the same direction slightly concealed by grass/bush. The pilot aborted the mission, noted details of the incident and packed up. During this time, the other UAS landed and the operator left the area.

     

    Reported Separation: <50ft/30m

    Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 4, 7

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not been assured.

    B
    2021134

    01 Aug 21

    1558

     

    A321

    (CAT)

    Drone

    5132N 00009E

    3.5NM NE London/City Airport

    7200ft

    London TMA

    (A)

    The A321 pilot reports that a large black drone passed them about 150m to their left-hand side. The drone was about the size of a shoebox, dark in colour and appeared to be a quadcopter-type drone.

     

    Reported Separation: 0ft V/150m H

    Reported Risk of Collision: Low

     

    The NATS Safety Investigation reports that the pilot of the A321 reported a drone 2NM E of London City Airport at 7500ft to the Heathrow Approach controller. Heathrow Tower was advised, and subsequent Heathrow inbound aircraft were positioned clear of the reported drone activity. There were no associated primary or secondary contacts visible on radar at the approximate time of the event.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021138

    02 Aug 21

    1300

    A320

    (CAT)

    Drone

    5325N 00207W

    6NM NE

    Manchester

    2100ft

    Manchester CTA

    (D)

    The A320 pilot reports that the Captain was PM and the First Officer was PF and was flying the 23R ILS approach into Manchester Airport. On the Tower frequency, the crew heard that a drone had been spotted by the preceding aircraft. At approximately 6NM/2100ft the Captain and First Officer also identified a black object that passed the aircraft at about the 1 o’clock position and at about 20-30ft higher than the aircraft. Due to the speed of the aircraft and with the object also potentially moving, it was hard to identify the object with certainty but the Captain and First Officer both instinctively thought it was a drone. It was black in appearance and the shape was ‘boxy’ and certainly not like a bird (which would have had more distinctive features such as wings/colour/shape). It is also worth noting that it would have been highly unusual for a bird to have remained on the 3° flight path when the preceding aircraft also spotted it. The First Officer carried out the landing with no further incidences. Once the aircraft was secured, the First Officer and Captain both went to inspect the exterior the aircraft (in particular the rudder and elevators). There were no signs of impact.

     

    Reported Separation: 20-30ft V/20ft H

    Reported Risk of Collision: High

     

    The Manchester controller reports that the A320 pilot reported a drone in their 1 o’clock, 20ft away whilst on a 6NM final and only slightly higher than the aircraft.

     

    A NATS Investigation found that the drone reported by a previous crew was a different drone, reported in the vicinity of Oldham. The two following aircraft elected to break-off the approach and no further sightings were reported.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.

    A
    2021140

    25 Jul 21

    1655

    B737

    (CAT)

    Unk Obj

    5326N 00207W

    Bredbury

    2500ft

    Manchester CTR

    (D)

    The B737 pilot reports descending on the ILS for RW23R at Manchester when the FO sighted a drone on the right side behind and above the aircraft. It was difficult to judge size and range. The sighting was reported to the tower controller on landing and an ASR was filed.

     

    Reported Separation: ~500ft V/~300m H

    Reported Risk of Collision: High

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were such that they were unable to determine the nature of the unknown object.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021149

    14 Aug 21

    1403

    Quik GTR

    (Civ FW)

    Drone

    5111N 00023E

    Paddock Wood

    2200ft

    London FIR

    (G)

    The Quik GTR pilot reports flying at 2200ft on the western periphery of Paddock Wood from south-to-north when they observed what appeared to be a small light-grey object crossing their flightpath from the west to the east at approximately 1800ft. At first, they thought was it was a small balloon but, as they passed over, they could see it was a drone (quadcopter). It was not changing course and their current course was taking them clear of the other aircraft, so they maintained heading, altitude and speed.

     

    Reported Separation: 400ft V/100m H

    Reported Risk of Collision: Low

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C
    2021151

    16 Aug 21

    1441

     

    FA20

    (Civ Comm)

    Drone

    5426N 00126W

    Sockburn, Teesside

    1200ft

    Teesside CTR

    (D)

    The FA20 pilot reports that they were turning base leg for RW05 at Teesside International on a visual approach. As they started the turn and descent a drone was spotted by the First Officer out of the right-hand window. The drone was always to the south of the aircraft and travelling in the opposite direction. It was noted that it was co-alt with them at approximately 1200ft. Air Traffic Control were advised and the flight continued to land without any further incident. The pilot reported that the incident all happened very quickly, but that they could see that the drone was a white quadcopter.

     

    Reported Separation: 0ft V/0.1NM H

    Reported Risk of Collision: Low

     

    The Teesside controller reports that the FA20 was on right base RW05, shortly to turn onto final, when the pilot reported a drone sighting on the right-hand side of the aircraft at 1200ft, the aircraft continued as normal to land. The controller on duty deemed this to be at approximately 2.5NM to the SW of Teesside, putting it on the edge of the FRZ. Due to proximity of the FRZ, the controller decided to class the situation as "Unauthorised drone within the FRZ but outside of the airfield boundary". Local procedures were followed in accordance with MATS Pt 2. Subsequent aircraft and police were all informed of the report.

    In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and/or description of the object were sufficient to indicate that it could have been a drone. The Board also established that the reported position of the drone was outside the Teesside FRZ.

     

    Applicable Contributory Factors: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

     

    Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

    C



    [1] Latitude and Longitude are usually only estimates that are based on the reported time of occurrence mapped against any available radar data for the aircraft’s position at that time. Because such reported times may be inaccurate, the associated latitudes and longitudes should therefore not be relied upon as precise locations of the event.