Incident date: July 8, 2017
The B787 pilot reports that he was on a Lambourne right departure from RW26L at Gatwick. He had been cleared to climb above the profile and had just levelled at 6000ft. The F/O said “something passing down our left hand side” and he saw a small blackspiky object flash past about 30ft below and inside the wing tip. He would guess it was about 18 inchesto two feet in length. The F/O (PM) recorded the
position shortly after the event which he passed to ATC with the description of the object as red and black and probably a drone.
Reported Separation: 30ft V/NK H
The drone was being flown beyond practical VLOS limits and was endangering other aircraft at that location and altitude. The Board agreed that the incident was therefore
best described as the drone was flown into conflict with the B787.
The Board considered that the pilot’s estimate of separation, allied to his overall account of the incident and his inability to avoid the object portrayed a situation where
providence had played a major part in the incident and/or a definite risk of collision had existed.