An object that was “believed to have been a drone” reportedly struck the front of a British Airways (BA) plane on Sunday, according to the British Metropolitan Police.
The police say they are working with partners from BA, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to investigate the incident, which is being treated as an endangerment of an aircraft under Article 137 Air Navigation Order 2009.
According to the Metropolitan Police, a pilot on an inbound BA flight into London’s Heathrow Airport from Geneva reported to police that the possible drone hit the front of the airplane at approximately 1,700 feet.
Shortly after at 12:38 p.m., the flight landed at Heathrow Terminal 5 safely and was inspected by BA engineers, and there was no damage found to the aircraft, the police say.
Officers believe that the incident occurred in proximity of Richmond Park in South West London. Local officers searched a wide area for suspects and/or debris, but nothing has been found thus far, the Metropolitan Police say.
“Thankfully the aircraft landed safely, but the incident highlights the very real dangers of reckless, negligent and sometimes malicious use of drones,” says Chief Superintendent Martin Hendy, head of Metropolitan Police Service’s aviation policing command. “We continue to work with the Civil Aviation Authority and other partners to tackle this issue and ensure that enthusiasts who fly drones understand the dangers and the law.”