FAA Investigates After 2 Planes Report Drone Flying Near JFK Airport

Two airplanes attempting to land at a New York airport on Friday reported seeing a drone flying near them, and one of them had a close call with the unmanned aircraft, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

JetBlue 1834, en route from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, reported seeing a drone as it approached JFK International Airport at 2:24 p.m., the FAA said. The pilot didn't take any evasive action to avoid the drone.

Later in the afternoon, a Delta 407, arriving from Orlando, was making its final approach into the airport at 4:55 p.m. when it narrowly missed a drone at 1,400 feet up in the air. The FAA said the pilot of that plane also didn't take any evasive action to avoid the drone.

"About a mile back there was a drone flying," the Delta pilot says in an air traffic control radio recording. "About 100 feet below us, just off our right wing." 

One hundred feet is considered very close in aviation. There's a risk an object like a drone could be sucked into the plane's engine or strike the plane's windshield.

Operating drones and similar objects in New York City must have official clearance to fly withing 5 miles of an airport. FAA rules do not permit people to fly unmanned object above 400 feet because of the possibility of colliding with commercial aircraft.

No injuries have been reported. The FAA said it is investigating the sightings.

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