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15 February 2019, 17:37
A plane was involved in a near miss with a commercial drone near Glasgow Airport, it has been revealed.
The tail of the Loganair aircraft was inspected because the crew "thought it may have been hit" as it approached the airport, according to a report by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB).
The incident was rated as having the highest degree of risk.
The near miss happened on November 24 last year when the plane was nine miles from Glasgow Airport at an altitude of 3,000 feet.
Loganair chief operations officer Maurice Boyle said: "Our Saab 2000 aircraft was carrying 22 passengers and three crew from Sumburgh in Shetland and was approaching Glasgow Airport when the captain and first officer both saw the drone in very close proximity.
"Fortunately there was no collision, but this was potentially a very serious incident."
He added: "Penalties should be substantially increased for flagrant misuse of drones near airports, where they represent a very major hazard."
The aircraft's captain and first officer described the drone as dark or black and around one metre wide.
It passed about five metres above the captain's window and was moving at "high speed" in a straight line.
The near miss was reported to air traffic control. Police officers met the crew after landing to file a report.
The UKAB stated that "a definite risk of collision had existed".
It was one of 11 near misses between an aircraft and a drone or unknown object analysed by the board in its latest monthly meeting.
Other cases involved flights landing or taking off in Belfast, Bristol, Hampshire, Liverpool, London and Perth.
There has been growing concern about drones after sightings of the devices caused flights to be grounded over 36 hours at Gatwick Airport in the run-up to Christmas.
Aviation Minister Liz Sugg said: "Flying drones illegally puts others at risk. The law is clear that these are serious criminal acts that hold lengthy prison sentences.
"The Government is further strengthening the law by extending the no-fly zone around airports, and from November all drone users must be registered and tested - which will help hold illegal drone users to account."