RAF plane comes within 100ft of crashing 'with a drone'

Plane carrying one of Britain’s most senior civil servants comes within 100ft of crashing ‘with a drone’ after vaccine mission flight from Brussels

  • RAF plane came within 100ft of a potentially catastrophic crash with ‘drone’
  • Passengers included one of Britain’s most senior civil servants Sir Tim Barrow 
  • ‘Drone’ was flying at 4,000ft- ten times higher than the legal maximum height

A plane believed to be carrying one of Britain’s most senior civil servants on a mission to protect the vaccination programme came within 100ft of a potentially catastrophic crash with a suspected drone.

The BAE-146 jet – an RAF aircraft used by members of the Royal Family and Government Ministers – was returning to the UK from Brussels on March 23 when the pilots spotted a 3ft device flying ‘extremely close’.

A report by the UK Airprox Board, which investigates near misses, says the suspected drone was flying at 4,000ft – ten times higher than the legal maximum height – and the jet’s pilots reported that it ‘appeared to be within 50ft to 100ft above their altitude and passed just to the starboard side of the aircraft’.

Sir Tim, who was previously ambassador to the Ukraine, Russia and the EU and a key figure in the Brexit talks

It is understood that passengers included Sir Tim Barrow, Political Director of the Foreign Office, who had been sent to Brussels after the EU threatened to block exports of the AstraZeneca vaccine to the UK. 

Sir Tim, who was previously ambassador to the Ukraine, Russia and the EU and a key figure in the Brexit talks.

The plane was flying at 175mph –- too fast for the pilots to be certain it was a drone – but air crew at RAF Northolt in West London alerted police.

The BAE-146 jet – an RAF aircraft used by members of the Royal Family and Government Ministers – was returning to the UK from Brussels on March 23 when the pilots spotted a 3ft device flying ‘extremely close’. The same type of plane is seen above

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