Virgin Atlantic jet carrying 264 passengers 'came within SECONDS of crashing into two drones at 14,000ft as it approached to land at Heathrow'

A Virgin Atlantic jet came within seconds of colliding with two drones at 14,000ft as it approached Heathrow to land.
Airline bosses are calling for a crackdown on drones after the shocking near-miss, which happened as the B787-9 Dreamliner carrying 264 passengers flew at 320mph over Essex.
A member of the crew spotted the drones, one of which was just 90ft from the aircraft. If either drone had hit the plane, it could have disabled an engine or even smashed the windscreen, injuring the pilots.
The shocking near-miss happened as the B787-9 Dreamliner carrying 264 passengers flew at 320mph over Essex. The report rated the incident as Category A, meaning there was a serious risk of a collision. A stock image is pictured above [File photo]
The shocking near-miss happened as the B787-9 Dreamliner carrying 264 passengers flew at 320mph over Essex. The report rated the incident as Category A, meaning there was a serious risk of a collision. A stock image is pictured above [File photo]
The law says drones should fly no higher than 400ft.
Drone operators who endanger the safety of an aircraft can already be jailed for five years or, if they intend to ‘cause violence’, get life imprisonment.
A report by the UK Airprox Board said one of the drones appeared to veer away at the last second to avoid a collision.
The close call happened just before 5pm on February 14 at the end of a nine-hour flight from Delhi. 
The report rated the incident as Category A, meaning there was a serious risk of a collision. It said that the alarm was first raised by the cabin crew manager who ‘saw two multi-rotor drones on the right-hand side of the aircraft’.
The report added: ‘The first drone was slightly low and a bit further out, whereas the second was close in at the same level and seemed to take avoiding action.’
It concluded that the drones were ‘endangering’ other aircraft and had been flown into conflict with the B787 to the extent that ‘providence had played a major part’ in avoiding a collision.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: ‘Virgin Atlantic can confirm that pilots operating flight VS301 from Delhi to London on 14 February 2019 reported seeing two drones as they flew over Essex. 
A report by the UK Airprox Board said one of the drones appeared to veer away at the last second to avoid a collision. The close call happened just before 5pm on February 14 at the end of a nine-hour flight from Delhi. The drone pictured above is a stock image [File photo]
A report by the UK Airprox Board said one of the drones appeared to veer away at the last second to avoid a collision. The close call happened just before 5pm on February 14 at the end of a nine-hour flight from Delhi. The drone pictured above is a stock image [File photo]
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'The safety and security of our customers and crew is always our priority, and the pilots immediately reported the incident to Air Traffic Control. It’s vital action is taken to further regulate the use of drones, and we urge the Government to consider additional proposals.’
Last month, the Government introduced tough new rules making it illegal to fly drones within 5km of an airport. 
It followed a number of near-misses and the cancellation of hundreds of flights at Gatwick before Christmas after repeated sightings of drones at the airport.
The Mail on Sunday revealed last October how another Virgin Atlantic Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner flying from Delhi was just 10ft from smashing into a drone in the closest-ever near-miss involving a passenger jet in UK airspace.
The scare happened as the jet was flying at 3,200ft just north of Clapham Common in South London on its approach to Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic jet carrying 264 passengers 'came within SECONDS of crashing into two drones at 14,000ft as it approached to land at Heathrow' Virgin Atlantic jet carrying 264 passengers 'came within SECONDS of crashing into two drones at 14,000ft as it approached to land at Heathrow' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 09:13 Rating: 5

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