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Drone hit British Airways plane near Heathrow

British Airways plane

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PA

A plane approaching Heathrow Airport is believed to have hit a drone before it landed safely, the Metropolitan Police have said.

The British Airways flight from Geneva was hit as it approached the London airport at about 12:50 BST with 132 passengers and five crew on board.

After landing, the pilot reported an object – believed to be a drone – had struck the front of the Airbus A320.

Aviation police based at Heathrow have launched an investigation.

Police said no arrests have been made.

A British Airways spokesman said: “Our aircraft landed safely, was fully examined by our engineers and it was cleared to operate its next flight.”

The airline will give the police “every assistance with their investigation”, the spokesman added.

The incident follows a warning earlier this year by the head of the International Air Transport Association that drones flown by the general public are “a real and growing threat” to civilian aircraft.

Tony Tyler called for drone regulations to be put in place before any serious accidents occur.

In January, the UK Air Proximity Board – which investigates near-miss incidents in UK airspace – said there had been four serious near-misses at UK airports.

The category A incidents were reported at Stansted, Heathrow, London City and Manchester airports.

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