'DJI Mavic' drone seen menacing London City airliner after takeoff

UK Airprox Board say it was 'endangering other aircraft'

A DJI Mavic drone. File picture

A "DJI Mavic type" drone was flown close to an airliner leaving London City Airport in September, a recently published UK Airprox Board report has revealed.

The report [PDF] is unusual in that most drones involved in airprox incidents are not identified so specifically by pilots.

A De Havilland Dash-8 turboprop airliner, taking off from London City Airport, encountered the drone at 3,000ft above Stratford, where it was spotted by the third pilot, sitting in the observer's position.

The airliner had just taken off westwards from City's runway 27 and had turned sharply north, climbing, when it encountered the drone.

The captain and co-pilot decided that no avoiding action was needed because the drone was below them. They reported a vertical separation of 100ft.

The Airprox Board's report stated that the drone was being flown beyond practical visual line of sight (VLOS) where it was "endangering other aircraft at that location and altitude".

The board agreed that the drone had been "flown into conflict" with the DHC-8, but that the situation was best described as one where "safety had been reduced" but there was "no risk of collision".

In a statement to The Register, DJI said: "There is no proof that it was, indeed, a DJI Mavic Pro," referring to the use of the word "type" in the report's description.

"In past airprox incidents, reports of drone involvement turned out to be false.

"DJI strongly condemns the unsafe use of this technology in areas that conflict with normal operations of manned air traffic. We will continue working together with regulators to help our users understand the safe and legal operation of aerial technology." ®

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