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Investigation underway after suspected drone almost crashed into Porter plane

Last Updated Nov 15, 2016 at 5:16 am EDT

A Porter Airlines plane lands next to a taxiing plane at Toronto's Island Airport on Friday, November 13, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

The Transportation Safety Board of Canada is investigating after a Porter Airlines plane narrowly avoided a mid-air collision about 50 kilometres east of Toronto.

The plane was approaching Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport from Ottawa at around 7:30 a.m. on Mondaywhen an unidentified object crossed its path, forcing the pilot to make an evasive maneuver.

The plane was at an altitude of 9000 feet at the time.

The TSB told 680 NEWS the object is believed to be a drone, but a full investigation is underway to determine exactly what happened.

Two cabin crew sustained injuries when the pilot veered to avoid the object. The extent of their injuries hasn’t been revealed.

All crew members are being interviewed by two TSB investigators.


Statement from Porter Airlines:

A Porter aircraft was on its initial approach to Billy Bishop Airport for landing. It was at an altitude of approximately 9,000 feet over Lake Ontario near Pickering when the pilots noticed an object in the distance. 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.

The pilots’ initial assessment was that it looked like a balloon. After debriefing, there is potential that the object was drone.

Porter is working with the Transportation Safety Board as they investigate the incident.

Two flight attendants sustained minor injuries. They were taken to hospital and released. There were no reported passenger injuries.

The incident took place at approximately 7:30 a.m. The flight was arriving in Toronto from Ottawa with 54 passengers.