RAF Tornado jet came within metres of colliding with DRONE being flown by farmer

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AN RAF fighter jet came within metres of hitting a drone being flown by a farmer.

The Tornado was hurtling at almost 520mph when it passed the drone, which was just 22m away.

 An RAF Tornado jet was in a near-miss with a drone

Alamy

An RAF Tornado jet was in a near-miss with a drone

The drama unfolded just ten miles from RAF Wattisham, Suffolk, with the jet flying at an altitude of 122m at the time.

It did not see the drone, which was being used for an agricultural survey, but the farmer said there was a high risk of collision.

The Civil Aviation Authority, who produced a report, said safety “had been much reduced” by the near-miss on July 4.

The report said the proximity of the two aircraft, and the fact the pilot wasn’t able to see the drone, resulted in “a significant and largely unmitigated safety risk”.

 Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk where the Tornado was heading
Wattisham Airfield in Suffolk where the Tornado was heading

It recommended that RAF Air Command use a system to be informed of anyone operating commercial drones near the base.

It comes after Gatwick Airport was plunged into chaos last week after a drone sighting left 140,000 passengers stranded.

Sussex Police have been slammed after holding a married couple for more than 36 hours without charge over the attack.

 The chaos at Gatwick saw hundreds of flights cancelled

PA:Press Association

The chaos at Gatwick saw hundreds of flights cancelled

Elaine Kirk, 54, and Paul Gait, 47, were arrested on Friday night after cops stormed their home in Crawley, West Sussex.

But friends and family have hit out at cops after claiming they had provided alibis for window fitter Paul, who was apparently working at the time of the drama.

And now police have been criticised over the shambles after revealing there may not even have been a drone attack at the airport – before backtracking today.

In July, the Government restricted drones to 400ft and banned them from flying within 1km of an airport.

Recreational drones are fitted with GPS “geo-fencing” preventing them from flying near restricted airspace, including airports.

If convicted, the drone grinch could face up to five years in prison.

Gatwick Airport drone chaos latest – Detectives sensationally admit ‘there may NEVER have been a drone attack’ as cops slammed over couple quizzed for 36 hours


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