A recent landing at Nice Airport, France, might have been more eventful than anticipated. On August 18th, an Airbus A380-800, flying as flight EK77 from Dubai to Nice under Emirates Airlines, might've collided with a “large drone,” according to the Aviation Safety Network.
The aftermath? The mammoth double-decker aircraft showed visible damage on the part of its leading wing edge. The situation led to the grounding of the aircraft and the consequent cancellation of its return flight to Dubai. The damaged wing component has since been replaced.
The French investigation agency BEA has taken up the matter. They've confirmed that they're “investigating the incident,” but at this juncture, they cannot unequivocally confirm if a drone was actually involved.
As the situation unfolds, the aircraft remains at the Nice airport, and the alleged drone operator remains unidentified.
This isn't an isolated incident of drones and airplanes crossing paths. Reports often come about near-misses, sometimes even damage, because of drones. But, it's worth noting that while pilots frequently report these encounters, it's not always conclusively proven that a drone was the offender.
Still, caution is the catchphrase. Aviation authorities continually emphasize awareness and caution when drones are used near airports.
The Nice incident again brings to the forefront the critical importance of rules and regulations in the drone world.
Photos courtesy of Aviation Safety Network and NiceMatin.
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