A remote-controlled drone flew within a few hundred feet of a Southwest Airlines jet yesterday as it neared Dallas Love Field Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Southwest Airlines flight 28 was flying from Houston to Dallas when the pilot spotted the drone near the Boeing 737's left wing. The incident occurred around a mile from the airport. The pilot's sighting was confirmed by the airport's air traffic controllers, who saw the quadcopter from their control tower, the FAA said.
The plane had 143 passengers and five crew on board. It landed safely just before 2pm local time, according to NBC TV news. The FAA is investigating the incident.
In a statement it said: "The pilot reported seeing a small quadcopter passing a few hundred feet off the left wing while it was on a one-mile final approach to Dallas Love Field. The pilot took no evasive action and landed without incident. A controller in the control tower spotted the small, unmanned aircraft and notified the Dallas Police Department."
A Dallas police helicopter has searched for the drone without success. Police are trying to find the controller of the drone.
A Southwest Airlines spokesman said that the flight "landed safely" and that the "crew filed a report with appropriate agencies". The spokesman added: "The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and our pilots take this responsibility very seriously."
The spokesman added: "The safety of our customers and employees is our top priority and our pilots take this responsibility very seriously."
The FAA advises people operating drones to visit knowbeforeyoufly.org, which contains the regulations on flying drones in public.
Drones are small and fly at low velocities. Nevertheless, they can be a serious hazard to aircraft traveling at high speeds, which are vulnerable to impacts.
Incidents in which drones come too close to aircraft have now reached very high levels. The FAA says there are currently around two incidents each day involving drones and flight paths across the US.