Home / National News / Close Call: Delta Pilot Spots Drone Just Before Landing


(NEW YORK) — A Delta pilot flying into JFK airport in New York spotted a drone off its right wing as it approached the runway, the Federal Aviation Administration said Friday.

The plane, an MD88 with five crew members and 154 customers on board, did not take evasive action and landed without incident, according to the FAA.

“About a mile back, there was a drone flying just on the southwest side,” the pilot tells Air Traffic Control, according to audio provided by LiveATC.net.

“At what altitude?” the controller asks.

“I’d say 100 feet below us, just off the right wing,” the pilot responds.

“JetBlue, use caution,” the controller then warns another plane. “The one that’s ahead of you reported a drone.”

Friday’s incident comes on the heels of another close encounter in New York earlier this year, which forced a plane flying near LaGuardia Airport to climb 200 feet to “avoid” an unmanned aircraft hovering 2,700 feet over Brooklyn.

Amid an alarming number of drone incidents, the FAA has launched a campaign warning hobbyists and other unmanned aerial vehicle operators to stay away from airports.

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