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False alarm: Drone-airplane collision probably just a floating plastic bag

by Jacob Kleinman | April 22, 2016April 22, 2016 1:15 pm PST


Earlier this week, reports that a drone had bumped into a British Airways plane near Heathrow airport in London made the rounds online. Now it turns out that alleged drone was probably just a floating plastic bag.

“And indeed, the early reports of a dent in the front of the plane were not confirmed,” British transport minister Robert Goodwill told¬†The Telegraph.¬†“There was no actual damage to the plane and there’s indeed some speculation that it may have even been a plastic bag or something.”

The incident happened in southwest London at an elevation of around 1,700 feet. That’s four times higher than drones are allowed to fly. They’re currently limited to 400 feet by law.

Thankfully, this case turned out to be a false alarm. Still, we’re a little wary of the possibility that some inexperienced (or even malicious) drone owner could do some actual damage. Goodwill also commented on the option of restricting the flight of drones using geo-fencing, which would stop them from flying into restricted areas, noting that the software could still be hacked.

The Telegraph

Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...