African Airline Reports That Drone Collided With Passenger Jet


An African airline reported Friday that one of its planes collided with a drone while approaching the airport in Tete, Mozambique.

Linhas Aereas de Mozambique (LAM) said on its Facebook page that the Boeing 737-700 was approaching Tete from Maputo on Thursday about 5:15 p.m. local time with 86 people aboard when the incident happened. The plane landed safely without any injuries.

“The crew heard a crash, which alerted the possibility that the aircraft had contact with an external body,” LAM said on its Facebook page.

If the object that struck the jet is confirmed as a drone, the incident would be one of the first worldwide where a remote-controlled aircraft collided with a passenger airliner. While pilots have reported hundreds of sightings of drones near planes, previous suspected collisions have been debunked.

The Drone Manufacturers Alliance, a group representing most civilian-drone makers, noted that past reports of collisions with passenger planes “turned out to be false.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Bart Jansen