The captain of a Ryanair flight abandoned landing after a UFO, which the captain at first thought could be a drone, was spotted near the plane.
From The Daily Mirror:
A plane heading in to Liverpool had to abandon its landing after airport skywatchers saw a UFO over the River Mersey.
Ryanair 448 from Dublin was two miles from Liverpool John Lennon Airport last night when routine checks identified something in the sky.
The pilot of the Boeing 737 was told to perform a go-around – when an aircraft on final approach to an airport abandons its landing.
After circling back over Wirral, the flight landed safely at 10.47pm.
Passengers said the captain told them the abandoned landing was because of a suspected drone, but a spokesman for Liverpool John Lennon Airport said nothing was found when further checks were carried out.
This is likely to spark the interest of UFO hunters who comb the skies looking for signs of alien life.
As well as using radar, the airport carries out visual checks and said the go-around order was standard safety procedure, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Airport spokesman Robin Tudor said: “At the top of the control tower we do visual checks, looking around the airfield, and even at night time the guys are still there.
“They thought they saw something about a mile out from the airfield, on the mid to far side of the Mersey.
“There was an aircraft on approach which was further away, but standard procedure is to check it out if we’re not sure what it is.
“They sent somebody down there but they couldn’t see anything.
“It can be things like a flock of birds, but we always play safe in these situations and will investigate.”
Ryanair has been contacted for a comment.
In August, a flight from Liverpool to Bucharest was forced to make an emergency landing after suffering a suspected bird strike shortly after take-off.
Although it is unclear whether last night’s sighting over the Mersey was a drone, users of the hobby aircraft have previously been warned about flying them safely.
In July, the Civil Aviation Authority said an Airbus A320’s wing passed 6m (20ft) below a drone hovering at Heathrow and warned pilots could be prosecuted if they put the safety of other aircraft at risk.
The authority has issued a set of safety guidelines which, it said, should help ensure drone flights do not impinge on other aircraft.
Tim Johnson, CAA director of policy, said: “Drone users must understand that when taking to the skies they are entering one of the busiest areas of airspace in the world – a complex system that brings together all manner of aircraft including passenger aeroplanes, military jets, helicopters, gliders, light aircraft and now drones.
“When doing so, they must be aware of the rules and regulations for flying drones that are designed to keep all air users safe.”
“Interest in drones has developed rapidly in the last couple of years and our main concern is to ensure owners of drones can enjoy this rapidly growing technology safely and have regard for all other airspace users when doing so.”
A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “The crew of this flight from Dublin to Liverpool performed a ‘go-around’ upon the instructions of Air Traffic Control at Liverpool Airport. The aircraft then landed normally, and on time.”
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