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Assessment Summary Sheet

Contributory factor assessment for each assessed Airprox can be downloaded.

Number of Airprox reports assessed, and their ICAO Risk rating
Total Risk A Risk B Risk C Risk D Risk E
14 0 2 7 0 5
Assessed Airprox reports
Airprox Aircraft 1 (Type) Aircraft 2 (Type) Airspace (Class) ICAO Risk
2020037 Hawk (HQ Air Trg) Texan (HQ Air Trg) London FIR (G) B
2020040 Voyager (HQ Air Ops) Unknown Glider (Civ Gld) London FIR (G) C
2020047 Avenger (RN) Discus (Civ Gld) London FIR (G) E
2020048 RV10 (Civ FW) Paramotor (Civ Hang) London FIR (G) C
2020050 Fuji FA-200 (Civ FW) Untraced Light Aircraft (Unknown) London FIR (G) C
2020051 DR400/Arcus T (Civ FW) R44 (Civ Comm) London FIR (G) E
2020052 PA28 (Civ FW) Osprey (Foreign Mil) London FIR (G) E
2020054 Astir (Civ Gld) C182 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) E
2020055 Juno (HQ Air Trg) C172 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) C
2020056 DJI Phantom UAS (Civ UAS) AS355 (Civ Comm) London FIR (G) C
2020057 FR20 (Civ Comm) Hunter (Civ Comm) London FIR (G) E
2020058 A320 (CAT) P68 (Civ Comm) London CTR (D) C
2020059 DA40 (Civ FW) P51 (Civ FW) London FIR (G) C
2020060 Bell 412EP (Civ Comm) Untraced Light Aircraft (Unknown) London FIR (G) B

 

Consolidated Drone/Balloon/Model/Unknown Object Summary Sheet

Contributory factor assessment for each Drone/Balloon/Model/Unknown Object Airprox can be downloaded.

Number of Drone/Balloon/Model/Unknown Object reports, and their ICAO Risk rating
Total Risk A Risk B Risk C Risk D Risk E
9 2 2 5 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
2020065

30 Jun 20

1434

 

PA28

(Civ FW)

Drone

5626N 00322W

Scone Airfield

1900ft

 

Perth ATZ

(G)

The PA28 pilot reports when deadside descending, the student saw the drone first and told the Instructor that there was a drone at a similar height (1900ft on the QNH, 1500ft agl). Their standard deadside descent took them around the object so there was no avoiding action required other than to observe that there was no change to the drone’s position. However, had they not seen it and descended around it, the risk of collision would have been high. The drone was round and red/orange, about 30cm in height and 80cm in diameter. It was stationary and seemed to be ‘horizontal’ rather than ‘vertical’ and so did not look like a balloon. Subsequently they reported it to Tower so that other aircraft could be informed.

 

Reported Separation: 0ft V/300m H

Reported Risk of Collision: High

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 although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

C
2020071

18 Jul 20

1524

A320

(CAT)

Drone

5129N 00011W

10NM final LHR 27R

3000ft

London TMA

(A)

The A320 pilot reports that on approach into Heathrow they were advised by Approach control of drone activity. On passing 10NM at 3000ft ft a red drone was seen passing right-to-left ahead of them and approximately 500ft above their position.

[UKAB note: Airprox 2020097 reported drone activity 30min earlier]

 

Reported Separation: 500ft V/NR H

Reported Risk of Collision: None

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, 8

 

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
2020072

27 May 20

1551

B787

(CAT)

Unk Obj

5124N 00032W

5NM SW Heathrow Airport

5100ft

LTMA

(A)

The B787 pilot reports that they were on departure from LHR, under radar control climbing through 5100ft to the SW of LHR on a heading of 285°, when the P3 saw a reflective (shiny) black surface of a small object pass very quickly down the left-hand side of the aircraft. It appeared to be “very close” but a detailed identification of size and shape was not possible due to the speed with which it passed.

 

Reported Separation: ‘Very close’.

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium.

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 safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not been assured.

B
2020073

18 Jul 20

1635

C172

(Civ FW)

Drone

5435N 00554W

SW Belfast City Airport

1600ft

Scottish FIR

(G)

(Belfast City NOTAM’d as closed)

The C172 pilot reports that during a navigation exercise they encountered a drone approximately 2NM from Belfast at 1850ft, level with their aircraft. By altering course to the right, they avoided the drone by approximately 5 metres horizontally. The drone was hovering and remained in position while they passed it; it was light purple in colour and believed to be of the 4-rotor type.

 

They made a radio report to Aldergrove Approach who were providing a Basic Service at the time as Belfast City was closed by NOTAM and the CTR had reverted to class G airspace. Further details were submitted by telephone to Aldergrove Approach after landing at their destination.

 

Reported Separation: 0ft V/5m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Not Reported.

 

The Belfast Aldergrove App Controller reports that the C172 was transiting past Belfast City, which was closed, and so the C172 pilot remained on the Aldergrove frequency. As the C172 passed 2NM SW of the airport the pilot reported coming very close to a UAV, which was purple in colour. Other aircraft in the region were warned about the presence of the UAV.

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, 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
2020075

21 Jul 20

1403

B787

(CAT)

Unk Obj

5129N 00023W

2NM E LHR

600ft

London CTR

(D)

The B787 pilot reports on final approach to LHR 27R and passing approximately 600ft when the FO (pilot monitoring) saw what looked like a drone pass overhead about 100ft above the cockpit. The suspected drone was black in colour but due to the momentary sighting it was not possible to identify any other characteristics. The possible sighting was reported to Heathrow Tower just prior to vacating the runway. The pilot noted that the risk of collision was likely although it was hard to determine exactly how close it was. He did not recognise the object as a drone seen close up, but it was definitely black in colour and looked solid and had a constant shape unlike a bird. He thought it was rectangular but not completely uniform in shape. The fact that he could pick out in a few seconds that it was not completely uniform made him think that it was probably closer than he first thought which is why he thought the risk of collision was likely.

 

Reported Separation: 100ft V/0m 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 definitively 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 safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not been assured.

B
2020079

27 Jul 20

2019

C560XLS

(Civ Comm)

Balloon

5152N 00011E

Bishop’s Stortford

FL91

London TMA

(A)

The Citation pilot reports that an unidentified object passed close to their aircraft during descent through FL80 approaching Luton Airport. The object, which was silver in colour and resembled a large partially deflated balloon, appeared to be around 1m in size and passed on the right side of the aircraft at an estimated distance of 10-20m. This was reported to Essex Radar at the time and the flight continued normally.

 

Reported Separation: NK V/10-20m H

Reported Risk of Collision: NR

 

Enquiries were made with The Met Office, the outcome of which led to the possibility of the object being a meteorological radiosonde balloon being discounted.

 

The NATS radar replay briefly showed (a single radar sweep) an unidentified primary return near to the location reported by the Citation pilot. The incident estimated altitude is taken from the NATS investigation report, which established that the aircraft was higher at the time of the Airprox than the pilot reported.

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, 5

 

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
2020097

18 Jul 20

1453

A320

(CAT)

2 x Drones

5132N 00002E

17NM E H’Row

5400ft

London TMA

(A)

The A320 pilot reports that they were on a base leg at 17NM and passing 5400ft when they overflew 2 drones approximately 1000ft below. The FO saw what was initially thought to be a balloon travelling in the opposite direction, as it got closer it looked metallic and did not have the usual movement of a balloon, it was at a constant altitude and not climbing towards them. The estimate was that it was 1000ft below, given that they were at 5000ft and it appeared to be around a quarter of the distance to the ground. Once the Captain was informed about the first drone they looked back to the south and saw a second object on the same course as the first drone, but slightly further west. Both appeared to be black metallic objects moving at a constant altitude, they were more solid than a balloon and smaller than a helicopter, more like the small drones of the type seen in parks. The drones were 1NM apart and travelling in a northerly direction. When they later reported the drones to ATC they were told that other pilots had also reported seeing them.

[UKAB note: Airprox 2020071 reported drone activity 30min later]

 

Reported Separation: 1000ft V/ 0m H

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: 1, 2, 3, 4, 8

 

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
2020098

14 Aug 20

1550

C404

(Civ Comm)

Drone

5245N 00115W

Kegworth

3000ft

East Midlands CTR

(D)

The C404 pilot reports that they were conducting a survey overhead East Midlands at 3000ft and in a right-hand turn over Kegworth when a drone was spotted off the right-hand P2 window. The drone was a quadcopter with 4 rotors and was a reflective black colour that was shining. It was between 100-200m from the starboard wing and vertically was between 0-500ft separation. Avoiding action was taken and once clear of conflict the pilot reported the sighting to ATC.

 

Reported Separation: 0-500ft V/ 100-200m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

 

The East Midlands ATC Investigation At 1549Z the pilot advised radar that they thought they had passed close to a drone operating nearby. The pilot estimated that the altitude of the drone was 2500ft. Based on the pilot's initial reported position, ATC believed the drone to be operating approximately 2.5NM to the south of the airfield, inside the control zone but outside the flight restriction zone. Radar advised ADC and all members of staff present in the VCR attempted to visually acquire the drone in the reported position, all to no avail. Based on the reported position, and the inability to sight the drone from ATC, the ATC supervisor initially decided to carry on with operations. The drone was more than 1000m from the airfield boundary, not believed to be posing a threat and ATC were prepared to pass a warning to other aircraft operating in the vicinity of the reported position of the possibility of a drone. After landing the pilot telephoned the ATC Supervisor to discuss the sighting. The pilot advised that they had definitely sighted something which wasn't a bird. The object had appeared to be reflective and, although not huge, had appeared to be curved as they would expect a quadcopter to look. The object had passed sufficiently close to the aircraft that they intended to report an Airprox on the incident. The pilot was asked to confirm exactly where they believed the drone to have been. They advised they thought it was 1NM south of Kegworth. On the basis of that report, the ATC supervisor then elected to carry out the actions as detailed in the EMA Drone Alert Policy. It was now believed that the drone had been within the FRZ after all, therefore all relevant parties on the policy had been informed.

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 although safety had been reduced, there had been no risk of collision.

C
2020100

14 Aug 20

1856

EMB505

(Civ Comm)

Unk Obj

5217N 00134W

Warwick

3300ft

Birmingham CTA

(D)

The EMB505 pilot reports that they were flying the RNP approach to RW33 positioning to the IAF for the procedure. They were in and out of IMC and, moments before reaching the IAF, a drone rushed by their right-hand side. The captain saw it, but the FO (PF) did not. It was very close, within 200/300ft of their aircraft and they were flying at approximately 200kts at this point. The drone was reported to ATC immediately. After landing, the captain reported to ATC and provided a sketch of the drone’s reported position on the approach procedure.

 

Reported Separation: NK V/200-300ft H

Reported Risk of Collision: NR

 

The Birmingham ATC investigation found that there were no unidentified radar returns in the immediate vicinity of the reported drone sighting. Reporting action was taken in accordance with extant procedures; there were no further sightings reported.

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, 7

 

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.

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