The UK air safety panel has released the report in the near collision of an unidentified Airbus 320 with an even more unidentified object from this past June.
From the article in The Mirror
A terrified airline pilot ducked to avoid a UFO he feared was going to smash into his plane at 34,000ft.
The captain of the packed Airbus A320 spotted the silver object heading straight for the cockpit as his plane flew above Berkshire.
He was looking out of the left window a split second before the bizarre incident.
A safety report said: “As he turned to look ahead, he perceived an object travelling towards them at what appeared to be the same level, slightly above the flight deck windscreen.
“Having very little time to focus, he was under the apprehension that they were on a collision course with no time to react.
“His immediate reaction was to duck to the right and reach over to alert the first officer; there was no time to talk to alert him.”
The stunned captain blurted out: “Did you see that?”
But his bemused deputy had not seen the UFO and replied: “See what?”
The pilot’s behaviour made him fear there was a fault with their plane.
“The first officer turned and looked at him thinking some was wrong with the aircraft,” the report revealed.
The captain was so spooked by the incident in July that he reported the sighting to safety watchdogs at the UK Airprox Board , which investigates near-misses in British airspace.
He told experts he saw a flying object shaped like a cigar or rugby ball, which was “bright silver, metallic”.
The “near-miss” happened 20 miles west of Heathrow Airport, according to a report published last week.
An official probe said: “The pilot was subjected to a powerful impression of immediate danger caused by his perception of an object closing rapidly on his aircraft.”
But investigators, who did not reveal which airline was involved, failed to find any unidentified aircraft in the area at the time.
They added: “It wasn’t possible to trace the object or determine the likely cause of the sighting.”
AIRPROX REPORT No
Date/Time: 19 Jul 2013
Position: 5126N 00058W
(19.5nm W LHR)
Airspace: Lon UIR
PART A: SUMMARY OF INFORMATION REPORTED TO UKAB
THE A320 PILOT reports transiting in level cruise at FL 340, just to the west of Heathrow.
The First Officer (FO) in the RH seat, was looking down at
The Captain, in the LH seat, looked to the West out of the flight deck ‘Direct Vision’ window. As he turned to look ahead, he perceived an object travelling towards them, at what appeared to be the same level, slightly above the flight deck
windscreen. Having very little time to focus, he was under the apprehension that they were on a collision course with no time to react. His immediate reaction was to duck to the right and reach over to alert the FO; there was no time to talk to alert him. The FO turned and looked at him, thinking something was wrong with the aircraft. The Captain was fully expecting to experience some kind of impact with a conflicting aircraft.
His first words to the FO were, “did you see that”, who replied, “see what”.
The Captain perceived an object pass within a few feet above the aircraft. It could best be described as cigar/rugby ball like in shape, bright silver, and metallic like in construction. His first reaction after gathering his thoughts, was to interrogate
the TCAS for returns within the area; none were seen.
He then asked ATC for information on any aircraft in the vicinity, again there were no known aircraft in the area at the time and no other primary or secondary returns. He explained the situation to ATC and the crew both decided they would file an Airprox.
Upon arriving at the destination, the Captain spoke extensively by phone with the ATC watch manager for that sector.
The UK Airprox Board Secretariat was unable to trace the other aircraft.
At 1835 on 19 Jul 2013 at the position of CPA, the sun was at a bearing of 278° and elevation 21° at ground level. This equates to an elevation of about 24° at FL340
Last time a report like this made big news it turned out to be a remote control flying shark.
But unless the UK has had its very own Sharknado, I rather doubt seeing such at 34,000 feet.
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