Drone Flies Within 200 Feet of Jet Airliner Preparing to Land at LAX: Pilot

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

A drone flew within 200 feet of a jet airliner that was preparing to land at LAX on Friday afternoon, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said, citing a report from the aircraft's pilot.

The incident occurred at an altitude of about 5,000 feet as the Lufthansa Airbus A380 plane was approaching a runway at Los Angeles International Airport, said Ian Gregor of the FAA.

The agency immediately notified the Los Angeles Police Department's Air Support Division about the pilot's report, Gregor said.

A search for the drone pilot was being conducted though it was unlikely the individual would be found, a lieutenant with the LAPD division told the Los Angeles Times.

Gregor did not say where the flight was coming from, but the only Lufthansa plane that arrived at LAX Friday afternoon had departed from Frankfurt, Germany. It arrived about 1:50 p.m.

The Airbus A380 has a capacity of 544 passengers.

U.S. Sen Dianne Feinstein of California, who last summer introduced legislation regulating drones, issued a statement on the incident.

"This is one more incident that could have brought down an airliner, and it’s completely unacceptable. A near-miss of 200 feet should serve as a stark reminder of the dangers posed by reckless drone use," Feinstein said.

Feinstein said she believed her bill, the Consumer Drone Safety Act, would be debated on the floor of the U.S. Senate next month as part of an FAA reauthorization bill.

The FAA in February 2015 proposed a network of regulations for drones, which have been the subject of federal public education campaigns, especially locally in connection with wildfires.