A drone flying near one of the nation’s busiest airports came within 100 feet of a commercial flight on Friday, according to audio from the flight’s radio calls.
Delta Flight 407 was preparing to land at John F. Kennedy International Airport when the cockpit reported spotting the drone below its right wing.
The flight, which had 154 people on board, landed safely and the FAA is investigating the incident, according to a statement issued by Delta Airlines.
Drones that fly too close to commercial flights pose a serious threat to the larger aircraft, Phil Derner of NYCaviation.com told CNN affiliate WPIX.
They can be sucked into the engine or even crash into the cockpit window.
“Going into an engine can destroy an engine,” Derner said. “Going into the cockpit window can injure a pilot or even kill a pilot.”
Unmanned aircraft systems are neither supposed to fly within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator and control tower nor are they supposed to go above 400 feet.
A second incident
Earlier in the day, another flight reported seeing a drone at JFK, though it’s unclear whether the two incidents are related.
The FAA said that a JetBlue Flight 1843 spotted drone at 2:24 p.m.
That plane also landed safely.
The FAA says they get reports of about two unmanned aerial vehicle sightings a day from pilots.