Airbus drone near miss over Bovingdon

An airbus pilot had to take ‘evasive action’ to avoid a drone above the skies of Bovingdon.
According to the Airprox boards’ report the A319 pilot reported that they were being vectored for RW27R when they saw in front and slightly above what was thought to be a helium party balloon with string dangling underneath, as is commonly seen in the FIR. As they got closer it became obvious that it was a black quadcopter drone of fairly large size with some sort of underslung camera system. As they passed underneath and slightly to the left they could see a green-blue light being emitted from the underslung assembly. The object was moving in the windscreen and it was assessed that they were not on a collision course, hence no avoiding action was necessary.

Cause: The drone was being flown above the maximum permitted height of 400ft such that it
was endangering other aircraft at that location. The Board agreed that the incident was therefore best described as the drone was flown into conflict with the A319.

Risk: The Board considered that the pilot’s overall account of the incident portrayed a situation where safety had been much reduced below the norm to the extent that safety had not
been assured.

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