British Airways Plane Was Likely “Hit” By Plastic Bag, Not Drone

Filed Under: British Airways

Earlier in the week it was reported that a British Airways Airbus A320 enroute from Geneva to London was hit by a drone on approach to Heathrow. The plane was supposedly hit by the object at around 1,700 feet, just minutes before landing.

This was believed to be the first instance of a drone hitting a commercial aircraft, which is something which seems to pose a serious threat. There have been several near misses between planes and drones over the past few years, as the popularity of drones has increased.

Drones do seem to pose a risk, regardless of whether or not the motives are nefarious. In other words, I don’t think the next big terrorist attack will consist of a bunch of drones going after planes, but rather that some idiot who lacks common sense could be flying a drone near an airport in a plane’s path.

Well, as it turns out, the British Airways A320 may not have actually been hit by a drone on Sunday… but rather by a plastic bag… or something.


Per The Telegraph:

Transport minister Robert Goodwill admitted authorities had not yet confirmed whether what struck the Airbus A320 was a remote-controlled device.

Mr Goodwill said: “The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone. 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.

“I’ve not actually landed a 747 at Heathrow but 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.”

British Airways must have been channeling their inner Katy Perry, feeling like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again…

  1. Lucky, Fly Lufthansa to pune and get a chance to fly a longhaul configured 737-800. Try it or feature it in you next article.

  2. I have a quadcopter (drone). Weighs under 3 pounds. It’s a very popular model – not at all lighter than average. I just can’t see how it could be any more dangerous than a bird to an airliner. What am I missing?

  3. @Peter, a novice here. I would assume that drones would damage the engine more disastrously than birds would because of the parts that make up the drones. But again, birds can be a deadly projectile too when hitting a plane. Anybody has any thoughts?

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