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Pilots warned of drones flying near JFK airport

Two airplanes flying near one of the nation’s busiest airports each came within 100 feet of a drone on Friday, according to audio from each flight’s radio calls.

The first, JetBlue Flight 1843, reported spotting a drone at 2:24 p.m. while approaching John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. In the audio recording, the cockpit says that the drone passed just below the planes nose when the jet was flying at an altitude of about 800 to 900 feet.

Then at about 5 p.m., Delta Flight 407 — which had 154 people on board — was preparing to land when the cockpit reported seeing a drone below its right wing.

Both planes landed safely and each incident are being investigated by the FAA, though it’s unclear whether the two incidents are related.

Dangerously close

Drones that fly too close to commercial flights pose a serious threat to the larger aircraft, Phil Derner of NYCaviation.com told CNN affiliate WPIX.

They can be sucked into the engine or even crash into the cockpit window.

“Going into an engine can destroy an engine,” Derner said. “Going into the cockpit window can injure a pilot or even kill a pilot.”

Unmanned aircraft systems are neither supposed to fly within five miles of an airport without notifying the airport operator and control tower nor are they supposed to go above 400 feet.

The FAA says it gets about two reports per day from pilots saying they spotted an unmanned aerial vehicle.

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