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Okęcie. Chopin Airport. A drone the size of a glider flew 30 meters from the landing LOT plane

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An unidentified drone the size of a glider passed by about 30 meters a LOT plane landing on Saturday at Warsaw Chopin Airport, according to the recording from the tower, which was reached by tvn24.pl. Our informants are of the opinion that a catastrophe was very close. We learned from the spokesperson of the national carrier that the pilots have prepared a report and the case is being investigated by the accident investigation commission at PLL LOT.

Saturday, approaching 16. The LOT Embraer flying from Poznań approaches the landing at the Warsaw airport. Fryderyk Chopin. The recording from the tower, which the tvn24.pl portal reached, shows that the drone was first noticed by the crew of this plane.

The pilot tells the controller that he is reporting a yellow drone that at an altitude of 2,000 feet flew 100 feet (about 30 meters) above the approaching plane. When asked by the controller from which direction the drone came, the airman replies that he was heading from the airport towards the plane.

While the plane from Poznań lands on the tarmac of the Warsaw airport, another machine approaches to land LOT Polish Airlines, from Wroclaw. This time, the controller warns the crew saying there should be a yellow drone at over 2,000 feet to the right of the plane. The airman replies that he sees him. He adds that the drone is at an altitude of 1,800-2,000 feet and is the size of a glider.

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Flights suspended for half an hour. The committee is investigating the case

According to tvn24.pl, after two landings of the national carrier’s planes at the Warsaw airport, all operations were suspended for 30 minutes.

Krzysztof Moczulski, spokesman for PLL LOT, confirmed this in an interview with tvn24.pl. He emphasized that after the incident involving the drone, the pilots wrote a report. – The case is being investigated by the aviation accident investigation commission at PLL LOT – he added.

As we have established in several independent sources, the drone was supposed to be several meters long.

International Airport Fryderyk ChopinRadek Pietruszka/PAP

Pilots and controllers comment

We asked several pilots and controllers to listen to the recordings. Everyone agreed that the plane passing the drone flying overhead by 100 feet, or about 30 meters, was a hair away from impact.

– At this altitude, the separation, i.e. the minimum vertical distance between the planes, should be at least 1000 feet, and here it was 1/10 of this value – an experienced pilot notes in an interview with tvn24.pl.

Another echoes him: – They were less than a second away from the catastrophe. They were so close to this drone that a gust of wind was enough to make it happen.

– In a civilized world, space is closed in such a situation – assesses an experienced controller.

Rusłana Krzemińska, spokeswoman for the Polish Air Navigation Services Agency, we asked why the space was closed only after the second plane landed, although the previous one had already provided information about the drone. We also asked if the drone was visible on PANSA radars.

Main photo source: Radek Pietruszka/PAP

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