Report reveals aircraft had narrow miss with ‘unidentified object’

Report reveals aircraft had narrow miss with ‘unidentified object’

A passenger aircraft had a narrow miss with an unidentified object, later described by the pilot as a possible “microlight”, while flying into Glasgow airport.

A report by the UK Airprox Board said investigators were unable to determine what the object was during the incident involving the Airbus A320 on December 2.

The report reveals that as the aircraft made its final approach to Glasgow Airport on December 2 the pilot saw an “object ‘loom ahead’ at a range of about 100m”.

The pilot assessed the risk of collission as “high” after the object  – which was described as “bigger than a balloon” – passed about 300ft underneath the aircraft.

A cockpit transcript from the report includes a conversation between the aircraft staff and a controller at Glasgow Airport. The pilot asked the controller if there was “anything in the area” after seeing the blue and yellow object.

When asked if he thought it may have been a “glider or something like that” the pilot replied: “Well maybe a microlight. It just looked too big for a balloon.”

At the time of the incident, the A320 was flying with its landing lights on and in clear conditions.

Search action was taken with no result and the A320 pilot stated his intention to file an Airprox, which investigates near misses.

The Airprox report concluded: “Investigation of the available surveillance sources was unable to trace any activity matching that described by the A320 pilot. Additionally there was no other information to indicate the presence or otherwise of activity in the area.”

The report said the board deemed it unlikely that the object was a fixed wing aircraft, helicopter or hot air balloon. It was also thought that a meteorological balloon would appear on the radar.

The report said the Airprox board could not discount the object being a glider, but said it was unlikely that one would be operating in the area because of low temperatures and constrained airspace.



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