Drone in near-miss with plane over London's Shard skyscraper

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  • FILE - In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 file photo, the Shard as seen from the river Thames in London. A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July. The "very near-miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window, it was reported on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 file photo, the Shard as seen from the river Thames in London. A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July. The "very near-... miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window, it was reported on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File) (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 file photo, the Shard as seen from the river Thames in London. A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July. The "very near-miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window, it was reported on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)

    FILE - In this Thursday, June 19, 2014 file photo, the Shard as seen from the river Thames in London. A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July. The "very near-... miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window, it was reported on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File) (The Associated Press)

A new report says a drone just missed hitting an A320 passenger plane flying above the Shard skyscraper in central London in July.

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The "very near-miss" underscored the fears of many aviation experts about the growing popularity of drones. The plane was approaching Heathrow Airport and flying at nearly 5,000 feet (1,525 meters) when the pilot spotted a 50-centimeter (20-inch) drone off the right flight deck window.

The UK Airprox report says "chance had played a major part" in avoiding a collision.

Under British rules, a drone operator must be able to see the drone at all times — so such a flight would be illegal.

The review published last week says there were several incidents involving drones in the last reporting period, including one near-miss with a plane at Liverpool Airport.