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Air France Jet's Drone Near-Miss Being Investigated

Image: Air France Jet's Drone Near-Miss Being Investigated
Air France reported a close call with a drone as a plane landed in Paris last month. (Christian Hartmann/Reuters, file)

By    |   Friday, 04 Mar 2016 01:56 PM

An Air France jet had a close call with drone as it prepared to land in Paris last month, it was reported Thursday.

According to AFP, France's aviation investigation agency (BEA) said the Airbus A320 was flying at 5,500 feet on Feb. 19 as it neared Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport en route from Barcelona.

The flight's co-pilot noticed the drone on the plane's left side, informed the pilot, turned off the autopilot, and performed an evasive maneuver.

In the end, the drone was avoided, and the pilot estimated that the unmanned aircraft passed under the left wing of the plane.

"Serious," is the word the BEA used in gauging the incident, noting that the drone came within 16 feet of the plane.

Information about the type of drone, its size, or other defining characterizations were not provided by investigators, nor was the number of passengers onboard the flight.

Last month, aviation industry group IATA said that civilian-operated drones are a "real and growing threat" to passenger and other commercial jets.

Additionally, according to Bloomberg News, "There were seven close shaves in the U.K. in December alone, and four of those were classified as involving a serious risk of collision."

France began regulating recreational drones in 2012, banning their use above 500 feet. The rule has been very hard to enforce, however.

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An Air France jet had a close call with drone as it prepared to land in Paris last month, it was reported Thursday.
air france, drone, near miss, investigated
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2016-56-04
Friday, 04 Mar 2016 01:56 PM
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