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Drone nearly hit plane over London's Shard skyscraper

Posted at 6:26 AM, Nov 17, 2016

LONDON (AP) — A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July.

The "very near-miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window.

The UK Airprox report says "chance had played a major part" in avoiding a collision.

Under British rules, a drone operator must be able to see the drone at all times — so such a flight would be illegal.

The review published last week says there were several incidents involving drones in the last reporting period, including one near-miss with a plane at Liverpool Airport.