French Airbus plane narrowly avoids collision with drone

An Air France Airbus A320 jet narrowly avoided colliding with a drone while descending for an approach to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport last month, the French aviation investigation agency BEA said.

An Airbus A320 aircraft, left, and an Airbus A321, right, stand on the tarmac at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France.
Antoine Antoniol | Bloomberg | Getty Images
An Airbus A320 aircraft, left, and an Airbus A321, right, stand on the tarmac at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France.

The aircraft had been operating a service from Barcelona on Feb. 19 and was flying at 5,500ft when the co-pilot saw the drone.

He immediately disengaged the autopilot and carried out an avoidance manoeuvre while informing the captain of the drone's presence, BEA said on its website.

The drone passed just five metres below the aircraft's left wing, the agency said, classifying the incident as "serious".

An investigation is still ongoing.