According to Transport Minister Robert Goodwill, authorities have yet to confirm it was a drone at all. He claims local police tweeted (!) they’d received a report of a drone striking an airplane, which is where the story originated.
Sanity break: the local police reported a drone struck a plane. No actual report was filed at the time, and the governing authorities had not confirmed the news at all. Amazing how the news cycle works sometimes.
The strike occurred at 1,700 feet — well above the 500ft ceiling drones are limited to. There was also no damage to the plane. Robert Goodwin:
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.
Goodwin also resists the call for tighter regulations on drones, probably because it was “a plastic bag or something” that likely hit the airplane, not a drone. I mean, it’s more likely your neighbor will lose their mind and murder you than it is a drone will strike your plane.
But lets just keep assuming the worst about drones anyway, because technology is scary.