Lufthansa plane nearly hit drone after ‘black object’ passed within 100 metres of jet near Warsaw


SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 10: A Lufthansa plane lands at San Francisco International Airport on June 10, 2015 in San Francisco, California. The Environmental Protection Agency is taking the first steps to start the process of regulating greenhouse gas emissions from airplane exhaust. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A Lufthansa plane approaching Warsaw’s international airport nearly collided with what appeared to be a drone, the first ever such incident for the German airline, officials said Tuesday.

Przemyslaw Przybylski, the spokesman for Warsaw’s airport, said the incident occurred Monday afternoon around 4 p.m. when a drone passed within 100 metres of the plane arriving from Munich.

He said the near-collision did not occur at the airport itself, but 5 kilometres away near Piaseczno, a town south of Warsaw.

Police are investigating the incident to determine who operated the drone, which should not have been where it was.

A spokeswoman for Lufthansa, Bettina Rittberger, was more hesitant about declaring the object a drone. She said that “a black object appeared on the right side of the plane” at an altitude of 760 metres and that the crew “supposed that this object could be a drone.” She said she couldn’t give more details until the investigation produces more results.

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