More Stupidity: Drone misses Virgin Atlantic 787 by 3 meters

A drone has gotten within 3 meters of a Virgin Atlantic 787-9 as it tried to land at London Heathrow earlier this year.

In June a Virgin Atlantic flight between Delhi, India, and Londen, England was on final approach to Heathrow’s runway 27L at 3,200ft when a “drone-like object” was seen under the aircraft’s right wing, only just missing the aircraft’s Rolls Royce engine by 3 meters. The aircraft then landed safely without incident. The drone operator has yet to be found with the drone being in the highest category of collision risk.

Safety concerns have been prevalent around drones near planes with a Skyjet aircraft in Canada getting hit by one last year. As much as governments try to enforce laws and restrictions to try and stop the drones going near busy airspace they can’t fix the stupidity of some people.

Virgin Atlantic’s 787-9 aircraft at Seatlle full photo credit


But really, is anyone surprised by this?


I’m not. It’s becoming quite common now so something needs to change

Drone need to be ban within 10 mile of airport or more.

Drone related aircraft incidents happen all of the time. If you ask me, there isn’t a need for topics like these. Although it shows that the aviation field is becoming more dangerous and shows that even a small plastic drone can cause a giant airliner to fall from the sky.

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In fairness it was a major airline at a major airport which could have caused serious damage

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A lot of major airlines come face to face with drone incidents.

One of those could do serious damage to an engine if hit straight on, Something needs to be done about this.

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If I was a pilot on this pilot I would find this owner of the drone and break the drone. It is ridiculous and something needs to be done

That drone must have one hell of a video though…

(But it’s not worth it, don’t do it)


I think the drone operator wouldn’t upload the video cause he knows it’d probably be reported and he’d be fined (or whatever the legal consequences are)

Buuut then again if he was stupid enough the fly the drone in the approach path of an aircraft he can probably be stupid enough to upload the video 🙄

Actually, not really. There was a study earlier this month that showed drones actually cant do a major amount of damage if it doesn’t hit the landing gear or engine. It’ll make a mere dent in the wing, and that’s all. Even if it did destroy an engine, the aircraft will likely be able to land safely on one engine.

I saw a drone just off the wingtip of the left wing of the 777 I was flying on approach to Heathrow literally a few days ago when I was coming back from China!

I’m not particularly surprised by this! This is just pure stupidity!

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The only appropriate sentence is a jail term. Could have killed everyone onboard and then some. What is it that these drone operators aren’t getting?

That’s as dumb as people saying ‘we should ban guns at schools.’ Guess what, guns are banned at schools and drones are banned within a 5 mile radius of an airport.

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There needs to be a law about flying drones near airports because this is getting rediculous…

I could be wrong, but I think there are a few laws or one. Although law or no law, people will still fly there.

London* mate


There is…

It’s a 5km radius around airports.

Unsure about other countries, but the Australian Government even has an app for drone users, which shows where you can fly your drone throughout the country.

    • If your drone weighs more than 100 grams:
    • You must keep your drone at least 5.5km away from controlled aerodromes (usually those with a control tower)
    • You may fly within 5.5km of a non-controlled aerodrome or helicopter landing site (HLS) only if manned aircraft are not operating to or from the aerodrome. If you become aware of manned aircraft operating to or from the aerodrome/ HLS, you must manoeuvre away from the aircraft and land as soon as safely possible. This includes:
      • not operating your drone within the airfield boundary (*without approval)
      • not operating your drone in the approach and departure paths of the aerodrome (*without approval)
  • You must only fly during the day and keep your drone within visual line-of sight.

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I found this few weeks ago and I think people should know how dangerous to fly a drone near to an aircraft or airport.