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PIA flight avoids deadly encounter with a drone in Karachi

KARACHI: A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight avoided a deadly accident as a drone quadcopter flew close-by to the Sukkur-bound flight this evening, ARY News reported on Friday.

An ATR aircraft bearing flight number PK-536 took off for Sukkur at 5:24 PM from Karachi, and just as it was gaining altitude, a drone approached the aircraft at the altitude of 4300 feet.

The drone was just 100 feet far from the aircraft when the pilot successfully manoeuvred the aircraft away from the quadcopter.

The incident took place 4.7 nautical miles off Karachi and the flight later safely landed in Sukkur at 6:10 PM.

A PIA spokesperson told ARY News that the pilot of the said flight will be inquired further about the incident.

Meanwhile, the PIA was yet to receive an official word from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on the matter, said the spokesperson.

Read More: Drone reports temporarily halt flights from London’s Heathrow

After birds and lasers, drones are one of the major threats that pilots have to deal with during the flights as either of the three things can cause a flight to crash.

Earlier in December, London’s second busiest airport, Gatwick, was severely disrupted when drones were sighted on three consecutive days in December, resulting in about 1,000 flights being canceled or diverting and affecting 140,000 passengers.

Gatwick’s drone nightmare – the most disruptive yet at a major airport – exposed a new vulnerability that will be scrutinized by security forces, airlines and airport operators across the world.

The British army was forced to deploy military technology to guard the area around Gatwick, reassuring the airport that it was safe enough to fly.

Similarly, flights from London’s Heathrow airport were halted for about an hour on January 8 after reports of a drone sighting near Europe’s busiest air hub.

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