NEWS

'Drone' That Hit British Airways Plane Could Have Just Been A Paper Bag

'It has not been confirmed it was actually a drone'.

21/04/2016 17:12

The suspected drone which hit a plane at Heathrow Airport last week may not have been a drone at all.

An investigation was launched after a British Airways pilot reported that his aircraft was struck by a drone as it prepared to land on Sunday.

Flight BA727 was thought to have been struck by a drone around 12.50pm after flying from Geneva - but the object that hit it may in fact have been a humble plastic bag, a minister has said.

Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Was it a drone?
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Or a plastic bag?

A Met Police spokesman said the pilot “believed a drone had struck the aircraft”.

But Transport minister Robert Goodwill has admitted the object that hit the passenger plane had not actually been confirmed to be a drone - and no damage was done to the aircraft.

Reuters Photographer / Reuters
A British Airways plane was hit.

"The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone," the Evening Standard reported Goodwill telling a House of Lords committee on Thursday. "It was the local police force that tweeted that they had a report of a drone striking an aircraft.

"And indeed the early reports of a dent in the front of the plane were not confirmed - 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."

No arrests were made after the incident and the plane managed to land safely at Heathrow Terminal 5. 

Goodwill warned people not to "overreact" to the incident, saying that while he himself had never landed a 747 plane at Heathrow, "I've landed the simulator and the pilot has a lot of other things to concentrate on so we're not quite sure what they saw so I think we should maybe not overreact too much."

The encounter was thought to have been the first time a passenger plane has been hit by a remote-controlled drone, although that's now looking less likely.

Also on HuffPost

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS