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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
16 1 3 7 2 3
Assessed Airprox reports

Airprox

Aircraft 1 (Type)

Aircraft 2 (Type)

Airspace (Class)

ICAO

Risk

2023095

DG800 (Civ Gld)

SR22 (Civ FW)

London FIR (G)

C

2023099

ASW20 (Civ Gld)

SR22 (Civ FW)

London FIR (G)

C

2023108

ASK21 (Civ Gld)

SR22 (Civ FW)

London FIR (G)

B

2023110

Hawk (HQ Air Ops)

Prefect (HQ Air Trg)

London FIR (G)

C

2023112

C680 (Civ Comm)

AW169 (HEMS)

London FIR (G)

C

2023113

DA42 (​​Civ Comm​)

C152 (​​Civ FW​)

London FIR (G)

E

2023114

Mini Nimbus (​​Civ Gld)​

PA28 (​​Civ FW​)

London FIR (G)

C

2023116

Model jet (​​Civ UAS​)

Hawk (​​HQ Air Ops)​

London FIR (G)

C

Recommendations:

1. Defence considers the addition of radar overlays for model aircraft operating sites that are notified in the UK AIP ENR 5.5.

2. Defence considers the addition of VFR chart symbols for model aircraft operating sites that are notified in the UK AIP ENR 5.5.

3. Large Model Association (LMA) considers listing all sites that operate under the ‘Over 25kg Scheme’ for flight testing, as listed on the LMA website, in the UK AIP.

2023120

DJI Inspire (​​Civ UAS​)

‘Microlight’ (​​Unknown​)

London FIR (G)

D

2023121

Hawk (​​HQ Air Ops)​

‘Microlight’ (Unknown)

London FIR (G)

A

2023123

C152 (​Civ FW)​

C152 (​​Civ FW​)

Fairoaks ATZ (D)

B

2023124

SZD 50-3 (​​Civ Gld​)

DA42 (​​Civ FW​)

London FIR (G)

B

Recommendations:

1. Kent Gliding Club and Lydd Airport establish a Letter of Agreement to address the risk of concurrent activities in the same volume of airspace.

2. Lydd Airport includes Challock gliding site on the applicable Instrument Approach Charts.

2023125

B737 ​​(CAT)​

PA38 (​​Civ FW​)

Liverpool CTR (D)

C

2023129

AS350 ​​(Civ Comm)​ 

LS6 (​​Civ Gld​)

Scottish FIR (G)

E

2023134

Piper Cub (​​Civ FW​)

Strikemaster (​​Civ FW​)

London FIR (G)

E

2023235

DA42 ​​(Civ FW​)

Unknown Aircraft (Unknown)

London FIR (G)

D

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
8 1 3 3 1

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

2023240

2 Sep 23

1140

A320

(CAT)

Drone

5120N 00029W

9NM S Heathrow

FL070

 

London TMA

(A)

The A320 pilot reports that they encountered a drone at FL070, when on a downwind leg to RW09L, 9NM south of threshold 09L. It was a very close call, distance to the drone was less than 10m, it passed down the right side of the aircraft, just below. The drone was a white quadcopter with diameter of about 3ft.

 

Reported Separation: <30ft V/ <10m 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 providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.

A

2023241

24 Oct 23

1533

B737

(CAT)

Unk Obj

5311N 00320W

3NM NE Manchester Airport

3500ft

Manchester TMA

(A)

The B737 pilot reports that they were on a Listo2S departure from MAN 05L. On heading 148° a drone (disc shaped like a polo mint with silver curved sides and centre with a black top) passed under left wing during flap retraction. Seen by both pilots and reported on handover to Scottish.

 

Reported Separation: 50ft V/50m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

 

The Scottish Controller reports that a B737 departing [airfield] for [destination airfield] checked in following the SID route then reported sighting a drone. Details taken were that a black hollow frisbee shaped drone had been seen 100ft off their left wing, about 50ft above, moving right to left or northbound direction. The aircraft had been around 3500ft (QNH 1000hPa).

 

NATS Safety Investigations report that, analysis of the radar indicated that there were no associated primary or secondary contacts associated with the drone report that were 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 such that they were unable to determine the nature of the unknown object.

 

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

2023242

25 Oct 23

1130

A320

(CAT)

Unk Obj

5321N 00238W

7.5NM E Liverpool

2000ft

Liverpool CTR

(D)

The A320 pilot reports that a drone was within safe distance of the aircraft on base-leg.

 

[UKAB Secretariat note: No further details were forthcoming upon request].

 

Reported Separation: 100ft V/NK H

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

 

The Liverpool controller reports that [the pilot of the A320] was being vectored for a right-hand pattern for RW27. Whilst on right-base at an altitude of 2000ft, the [pilot] reported a drone to the right of them, 100ft below. The [A320 pilot] was turned on to final approach and landed safely.

 

Merseyside Police Counter UAS team and the Manchester [controller] were informed.

 

UKAB Secretariat note that a primary-only contact was observed on radar for one radar sweep, at a location which the A320 pilot had passed 4sec earlier as they had turned from right-base to final at 2000ft.

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

2023244

28 Sep 23

1128

Falcon

(Civ Comm)

Balloon

5018N 00518W

14NM North of Culdrose

9300ft

 

London FIR

(G)

The Falcon pilot reports that, whilst marshalling at 9000ft, north of Culdrose, what looked like a small meteorological balloon was observed to pass down the right-hand side of the aircraft, co-altitude and approximately 25m displaced from the right wing. Plymouth Military ATC and the other aircraft in the formation were informed.

 

Reported Separation: 0ft V/25m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

 

The Plymouth Military controller reports that no Airprox report was received at the time, no RT records kept (post 30 days of event before they were informed, plus there had been a new comms system).

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

B

2023246

19 Oct 23

1240

B737

(CAT)

Drone

5155N 00002E

8NM WNW EGSS

7500ft

London TMA

(A)

The B737 pilot reports in the climb and entering a gap in the clouds where a dark coloured object, possibly brown or black, was seen in the 11 o’clock against the backdrop of cloud. At the time they were heading west approximately 30NM to the east of waypoint SILVA. The object was initially thought to be a large bird but as it passed the aircraft it was seen to be box shaped with two possible arms on the lateral axis, most likely a drone. It passed to the left and below the aircraft. Their flight path was diverging from the object when it was spotted so it was unnecessary to take avoiding action. The incident was reported to London ATC.

 

Reported Separation: 100ft V/100m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Low

 

The Swanwick Controller reports that when the B737 pilot checked in on frequency they reported having sighted a drone after departure, approximately 8NM WNW of EGSS. They reported the drone as square in shape, dark in colour and tracking east. The controller advised Group Supervisor Midlands of the sighting who then liaised with EGSS airport police.

 

The NATS Airprox Investigation reports that upon contacting the NW Deps controller at 1240:22, the pilot of [B737] reported that, passing FL75, they had sighted a drone. This was described as a “dark square shape tracking east”. The NW Deps controller advised the Group Supervisor Midlands of the drone sighting and a police report was made with Stansted Airport Police. Analysis of the radar by Safety Investigations indicated that there were no associated primary or secondary contacts associated with the drone 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.

 

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

2023247

5 Nov 23

1612

EC135

(NPAS)

Drone

5134N 00258W

Newport

1300ft

London FIR

(G)

The EC135 pilot reports enroute to a tasking, straight and level over Newport when a large unlit drone (estimated 50cm in diameter) was seen in the 1 o'clock position and slightly below the aircraft. It was moving in the window in a manner that did not lead them to believe it would impact the aircraft and, by the time they had called it, it had moved to approximately the 3 o'clock position. It appeared to be tracking west as the lateral separation did not change markedly. A crew-member of 14 years flying experience who also saw it stated that was the closest they had been to a drone while airborne. The pilot, flying since 2000, expressed the same sentiment. The incident was reported to Cardiff Radar and they continued on to the tasking. While in this instance, once visual they did not feel threatened by this incident, the drone was well above 400ft and could easily have constituted a very real threat.

 

Reported Separation: 50ft V/80-100m H

Reported Risk of Collision: Medium

 

The Cardiff controller reports that at approximately 1612Z the EC135 pilot reported sighting of a drone in the vicinity of Newport at 1200ft. They were in receipt of a Basic Service from Cardiff at the time. The information was passed as Traffic Information with no mention of an Airprox. The controller acknowledged and passed the information to another aircraft operating in the vicinity.

In the Board’s opinion the reported altitude and 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

2023250

24 Oct 23

1706

King Air

(Civ Comm)

Drone

5229N 00146W

1NM NW Birmingham

700ft

Birmingham CTR

(D)

The King Air pilot reports that, during an RNP approach to RW15 at Birmingham, the crew were aware of the possibility of a drone following a sighting by a preceding aircraft pilot. On a 1NM final (approximately), a drone was sighted at the same level (700-800ft) in close proximity off the left wing. The drone was a small recreational-type quadcopter.

Reported Separation: 0ft V/ NR H

Reported Risk of Collision: NR

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

B

2023251

27 Oct 23

1557

A320

(CAT)

Unk Obj

5136N 00011W

IVO Finchley

6500ft

London TMA

(A)

The A320 pilot reports that, whilst descending through 6500ft over North London at 220kts, heading southeast and under radar vectors for RW27L, a drone was encountered. It had a diameter of 12-18 inches and was jet-black in appearance and passed above, to the left side of the aircraft, and above the left-hand wing. It was sighted by the Captain.

Reported Separation: NR

Reported Risk of Collision: NR

 

A NATS Investigation reports that the pilot of Heathrow inbound [A320 C/S] reported sighting a drone as they were on a downwind heading for RW27L passing FL072. The crew described the drone to be black in colour and approximately 0.5m in diameter and was estimated to be at 6500ft.

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 there was insufficient information to make a sound judgement of risk.

D

 

[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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