The FBI said it’s investigating an unmanned aircraft spotted by a pilot on an arriving flight yesterday near John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating the craft, which came within 60 meters of an Alitalia SpA flight, said John Giacalone, special agent in charge of counterterrorism for the FBI’s New York office. The craft was described as no more than three feet wide with four propellers, according to the FBI. “Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew,” Giacalone said. The Alitalia plane was about three miles from Kennedy Airport’s runway 31R when the incident occurred, the FBI said. (via Drone spotted by pilot near New York airport, FBI investigating | World | News | National Post)
The pilot said the drone was at about 1,500 feet altitude. The plane didn’t take evasive action and landed without incident, according to the FAA.
The captain of Alitalia flight 608 from Rome to New York JFK, Sergio Blasoni, and his co-pilot spotted an object, which appeared to be a “drone” aircraft, John Di Rienzo, a New York spokesman for Rome-based Alitalia, said in an e-mail. The crew “landed the Boeing 777 safely, and, as per procedure, immediately alerted air traffic controllers,” he said.
“We saw a drone, a drone aircraft,” the pilot said in a radio call to the airport tower, according to a recording on the LiveATC.net website, which posts air-traffic radio calls from around the U.S.