Delta Pilot Reports Close Call With Drone Before Landing At JFK Airport

NEW YORK – A Delta airplane preparing to land at JFK Airport Friday had a close call with a drone.

A spokesman for Delta Airlines told Eyewitness News that flight 407 was heading from Orlando, Florida, to New York’s JFK International Airport. The crew reported the an airborne object was near the plane as it made its approach to the runway.

The plane landed at about 5 p.m. without incident.

“We are investigating and cooperating fully with the Federal Aviation Administration,” said the spokesman.

The FAA said the unmanned aircraft was seen off the right wing of the plane at 1,700 feet. The pilot did not take any evasive action.

Sources told ABC News the drone was about 100 feet from the plane.

Recorded radio traffic from LiveATC.net captured the pilot’s report:

Tower: Delta 407
Cockpit: Yeah About a mile back there was a drone flying just on the SW side of this (INAUDIBLE) airport here.
Tower: At what altitude would you saw that way?
Cockpit: I’d say about 100 feet below us. Just off right wing.
Tower: Roger

(about 30 minutes later)
Tower: Any chance you get the color or type?
Cockpit: No its not close enough to be able to tell.
Tower: Jetblue..use caution..the one that’s ahead of your reported a drone at Floyd Bennett Field. (SW of JFK)

The plane was an MD-88 with five crew members and 154 passengers on board.

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