LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (CBSLA.com) — A drone was flying close enough to a jetliner making its final approach into Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday to prompt the plane’s pilot to radio the control tower about the encounter, officials said.
The Boeing 737 was flying at around 1,500 feet at 4:40 p.m. when the pilot spotted the drone off the aircraft’s left side, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
Control tower personnel notified other incoming aircraft, as well as the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
The incident was just the latest in a long series of drone sightings by commercial airline pilots. About 130 drones were reported by pilots near LAX in the first eight months of the year.
As of this summer, Los Angeles had the most close encounters between drones and airplanes of anywhere in the country.
Under FAA rules, drone operators are prohibited from flying within a five-mile radius of an airport. The FAA said it is developing an app to give recreational drone flyers a clear picture of where they can safely operate drones.
The Southwest plane landed safely, and airport operations were not affected.
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