An aircraft thought to be carrying one of Britain’s most senior civil servants on a mission to protect the vaccination programme came within 100 feet of a possibly catastrophic collision with a suspected drone.
The BAE-146 jet, an RAF aircraft used by members of the Royal Family and Government ministers, was returning to the United Kingdom from Brussels on March 23 when the pilots detected a 3-foot device flying extremely close.
A report by the UK Airprox Board, which investigates near-misses, said the suspected drone was flying at 4,000 feet, ten times higher than the legal maximum height, and the jet’s pilots reported that it seemed to be within 50 feet to 100 feet above their altitude and passed just to the starboard side of the aircraft.
It’s understood that the passengers included Sir Tom Barrow, Political Director of the Foreign Office, who’d been assigned to Brussels after the EU threatened to block exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the United Kingdom.
Sir Tom Barrow, was previously an ambassador to Ukraine, Russia and the EU and a principal figure in the Brexit talks.
The aircraft was travelling at 175 mph – too fast for the pilots to be sure it was a drone, but aircrew at RAF Northolt in West London informed the police, but it appears that we’re waiting for a catastrophic plane crash before tightening up rules on drones, although there are some rules already, but there will always be someone that doesn’t follow them.
And all aircraft should have dashcam to later identify drones, or whatever it is, although drones are excellent at capturing video evidence of things the authorities would prefer you don’t see, and it baffles me why a tragedy has to happen with one of these things before action is taken against them and their owners.
Hefty fines would hopefully prevent these incredibly dangerous drones from operating near air space, and hopefully, the word would quickly get around, but until then, these acts will continue and it’s only a matter of time before one comes into contact with an aircraft with unfavourable consequences, but instead, we have to wait for a plane crash before this incompetent government will take this seriously.
And why are civil servants flying on our forces aircraft? They’re paid enough to pay for their own transport, but it looks like it’s the norm for the RAF to put on flights to places to pick up civil servants and high ranking forces officers, and because some senior rich bloke was on the plane, it made this newsworthy, but had he not been on board, this wouldn’t have made the news.
Suspected drone means unidentified flying object (UFO), and had it been a drone, they would have dropped the “suspected.”