Drone pilot tries to take photos of Meghan’s new home on the Heathrow flight path

A drone pilot risked disaster by trying to take aerial images of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s new home in the middle of the Heathrow passenger jet flight path yesterday.

A photographer walking in Windsor Great Park yesterday took took shots of the quad-copter soaring hundreds of yards into the air right in the centre of one of the busiest airport approaches for passenger jets in the word.

The drone flew south to north along the line of The Long Walk – the route Harry and Meghan took in a carriage on their wedding day last year – and hovered over Windsor Castle.

A photographer walking in Windsor Great Park yesterday took shots of the quad-copter soaring hundreds of yards into the air

A photographer walking in Windsor Great Park yesterday took shots of the quad-copter soaring hundreds of yards into the air

A photographer walking in Windsor Great Park yesterday took shots of the quad-copter soaring hundreds of yards into the air 

The flight took place right in the centre of one of the busiest airport approaches for passenger jets in the word. Pictured is Frogmore Cottage with a passenger jet passing ahead

The flight took place right in the centre of one of the busiest airport approaches for passenger jets in the word. Pictured is Frogmore Cottage with a passenger jet passing ahead

The flight took place right in the centre of one of the busiest airport approaches for passenger jets in the word. Pictured is Frogmore Cottage with a passenger jet passing ahead 

The drone flew south to north along the line of The Long Walk - the route Harry and Meghan took in a carriage on their wedding day last year - and hovered over Windsor Castle

The drone flew south to north along the line of The Long Walk - the route Harry and Meghan took in a carriage on their wedding day last year - and hovered over Windsor Castle

The drone flew south to north along the line of The Long Walk – the route Harry and Meghan took in a carriage on their wedding day last year – and hovered over Windsor Castle

It then returned south down the The Long Walk before swerving east and heading directly to Frogmore Cottage before returning south from where it came from and disappearing.

The drone flight took place between 5.02pm and 5.08pm on Saturday.

The photographer, who snapped the drone on a long lens with a professional high-megapixel camera, estimated the height of the drone to be more than 980 feet – around 300ft lower than the passenger jets.

The maximum height a drone can be legally flown, even in an uncontrolled airspace, is 300ft.

The route taken by the drone was within very tightly controlled airspace.

It was in what is called the London Central Zone as well as being right in the middle of the Heathrow arrivals and departures flight path.

It was also within five miles of the airport, which is a further controlled zone by law, and near Windsor Castle, which is a banned zone for drone flights. It is also illegal to fly zones within the confines of Windsor Great Park.

Between midday and 7pm on Saturday, this precise area was in the middle of the flight path for all arrivals into Heathrow airport with passenger planes flying through it at low altitude every two minutes.

Frogmore Cottage is not always under the Heathrow flight path, but it was yesterday

Frogmore Cottage is not always under the Heathrow flight path, but it was yesterday

Frogmore Cottage is not always under the Heathrow flight path, but it was yesterday

The site's proximity to Windsor Castle means drone flights are banned even if planes aren't passing above

The site's proximity to Windsor Castle means drone flights are banned even if planes aren't passing above

The site’s proximity to Windsor Castle means drone flights are banned even if planes aren’t passing above 

A website dedicated to tracking all flights in and out of international airports showed that at 5.03pm on Saturday – right in the middle of the drone flight – eight jets were lining up to make the final approach to Heathrow flying over this exact part of Windsor.

As passenger planes went over Frogmore Cottage every two minutes around 5pm on Saturday. They were at a height of between 1,300ft and 1,400ft according to a flight tracking website

A passer-by said of the drone flight: ‘We were walking along the Long Walk towards Windsor Castle a few hundred meters from the castle.

‘The passenger jet flight path switches between times of day and at this time (5pm) arrivals were coming in right over our heads.

‘They are always very low. The noise is deafening. There were jumbo jets (Boeing 747) and super jumbos (Airbus A380) and others.

Meghan and Harry are pictured on Tuesday at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales

Meghan and Harry are pictured on Tuesday at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales

Meghan and Harry are pictured on Tuesday at a reception at Buckingham Palace in London to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the investiture of the Prince of Wales

‘They come about every two minutes and on Saturday that was their flight path all afternoon.

‘Then in between the flights we heard the distinctive whirring of a drone overhead. I was quite shocked. It seems like such an obviously dangerous thing to do with the planes coming so low overheard and so regularly right in this area.

‘It flew over our heads at about 200 meters up towards Windsor Castle and then went up very high almost out of sight but we could see that it came back towards us then went to the east over to the area where I know Frogmore Cottage is.

‘Then it returned to the Long Walk and flew back over our heads and went south out of sight. It was in the air above us for about five or six minutes. In that time, three flights must have come over in the exact same air space and also very low.’

Harry and Meghan only moved in to Frogmore Cottage on Friday. 

On Saturday, throughout the day, their new 10-bedroom home was directly under the flight path for Heathrow arrivals from around the world.

Between 19 and 21 December 2018, hundreds of flights were cancelled at Gatwick Airport, following reports of drone sightings close to the runway.

The reports caused major disruption, affecting approximately 140,000 passengers and 1,000 flights. 

Flights were also suspended for an hour at Heathrow in February.  

Kensington Palace refused to comment. MailOnline has contacted Thames Valley Police and Heathrow Airport. 

The couple moved into Frogmore (pictured) after months of renovation work

The couple moved into Frogmore (pictured) after months of renovation work

The couple moved into Frogmore (pictured) after months of renovation work  

Protective covering had previously been seen over Frogmore Cottage during the works

Protective covering had previously been seen over Frogmore Cottage during the works

Protective covering had previously been seen over Frogmore Cottage during the works

Revealed: The 120 near misses between drones and aircraft last year

A large ‘commercial drone’ that came within 22 yards of an Airbus coming into Heathrow was one of 120 near misses in the last year – it was revealed in January. 

The number of near misses between drones and aircraft were up 29 per cent from 2017 – where just 93 were recorded. While in 2014 just six incidents were recorded. 

Now an anti-drone system has been placed on top of a commercial vehicle at Heathrow in a bid to stop the rising tide of drone related incidents.  

An anti-drone system (bottom) has been placed on top of a commercial vehicle at Heathrow in a bid to stop the rising tide of drone related incidents

An anti-drone system (bottom) has been placed on top of a commercial vehicle at Heathrow in a bid to stop the rising tide of drone related incidents

An anti-drone system (bottom) has been placed on top of a commercial vehicle at Heathrow in a bid to stop the rising tide of drone related incidents

Over Christmas a drone sighting at Gatwick led to 120,000 passengers unable to take off or land at the airport.  

Passengers were stuck on planes for several hours and were forced to sleep on floors inside the airport as flights were cancelled between December 19 and 21. 

While on January 8 this year flights halted for almost 90 minutes at Heathrow Airport after a drone was spotted at around 5.05pm.

The AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System), pictured, is able to detect, track and ground drones and has been designed to stop them being used for terrorist, espionage or other malicious activities

The AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System), pictured, is able to detect, track and ground drones and has been designed to stop them being used for terrorist, espionage or other malicious activities

The AUDS (Anti-UAV Defence System), pictured, is able to detect, track and ground drones and has been designed to stop them being used for terrorist, espionage or other malicious activities

Travel experts estimated that around 40 flights were delayed in the shutdown, with Scotland Yard later confirming that ‘military assistance [had] been implemented’ to bring the incident to an end. 

 Details of 18 of near misses in the past year were revealed by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB). 

Four of those investigated by the UKAB involved airliners which were approaching the west London hub.

A pilot of an Airbus A380 spotted a large ‘commercial drone’ pass along the right side of the aircraft within 20 metres at an altitude of 3,400 feet.

The UKAB assessed that the drone was being flown in a way which was ‘endangering other aircraft’ and concluded that the incident on July 22 last year involved the highest risk of collision.

Another category A near miss featured an Embraer 190 aircraft at an altitude of 800 feet as it was coming into land at Glasgow Airport on September 7.

A ‘shiny white drone’ was flown immediately above the plane at just 15-30 metres away.

The UKAB concluded that a ‘definite risk of collision had existed’. 

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