A Drone Came Within 16 Feet of Hitting an Air France Plane

The near-miss could have been catastrophic.

In what’s being characterized as the closest encounter yet between an unmanned aerial vehicle and a civilian aircraft, an Air France plane last month came within 16 feet of colliding with a drone.

The Airbus Group SE A320, which can carry up to 150 passengers, was preparing to land at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport en route from Barcelona on February 19 when the pilot saw a drone on the aircraft’s left-hand side. At a height of 5,500 feet, he quickly disengaged the plane’s autopilot and carried out an avoidance maneuver.

The agency that investigates France’s air accidents disclosed the incident. It classified the near-miss as “serious.”

-more at Fortune

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