Drone Reportedly Crashes Into British Airways Jet Near London’s Heathrow Airport

By Jack Phillips, Epoch Times
April 18, 2016 10:40 am Last Updated: April 18, 2016 11:06 am

A plane that was approaching London’s Heathrow Airport is believed to have been struck by a drone, Metropolitan Police said.

The incident took place as a British Airways flight from Geneva was approaching the airport at around 12:50 p.m. local time on Sunday with 132 passengers on board, according to the BBC.

The flight, BA727, landed safely at Heathrow’s Terminal 5, Sky News reported. British Airways said the Airbus A320 jet was checked by a crew of engineers before it was cleared to make its next flight.

Frankly it was only a matter of time … given the huge numbers being flown around by amateurs.
— Steve Landells, British Airline Pilots Association

Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made. None of the passengers or crew on the plane were injured.

“Safety and security are always our first priority and we will give the police every assistance with their investigation,” said a British Airways spokesperson. “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight,” a spokesperson added.

According to the Metro, the drone operator could face up to five years in prison if courts determine they endangered the plane.

Steve Landells, who is a flight safety specialist at the British Airline Pilots Association, told the Metro that there needs to be more awareness.

“Frankly it was only a matter of time before we had a drone strike given the huge numbers being flown around by amateurs who don’t understand the risks and the rules,” he said.