The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) is investigating after a near “mid-air collision” between a Porter Airlines aircraft and a possible drone injured two crew members east of Toronto Monday morning.
A TSB spokeswoman said Porter Airlines Flight POE 204 was en route to Billy Bishop Airport from Ottawa just before 7:30 a.m., when an unmanned aerial vehicle was spotted about 50 kilometres east of the city.
Porter Airlines spokesman Brad Cicero told Global News through a statement that crews quickly took action.
“As they approached the object, they realized it was very close to their flight path and decided to take appropriate evasive action. There was no contact between the aircraft and object,” Cicero said.
“The pilots’ initial assessment was that it looked like a balloon. After debriefing, there is potential that the object was a drone.”
Cicero said two flight attendants were taken to hospital with minor injuries. Both have been released. There are no reports of passenger injuries.
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TSB investigators attended Billy Bishop Airport to speak with flight crew members and gather additional information.
The growing threat of collisions with drones prompted Transport Canada in September to warn those flying them about the potential hazards they presented.
“Before you take to the skies, make sure you understand the rules and follow them,” the agency says on its website. “Not doing so could put lives at risk and cost you up to $25,000 in fines and/or jail time.”
While flying drones under 35 kilograms requires no special permit, users must stay away from flying within nine kilometres of an airport or helicopter landing pad and no higher than 90 metres.
With files from The Canadian Press