15:40 GMT27 January 2020
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    The US Federal Aviation Administration launched an investigation after flight controllers at New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport caught a glimpse of what they suspected to be a personal drone illegally airborne near the flightpath of landing passenger aircraft.

    On Sunday a United Airlines flight from Zurich, Switzerland on final approach to landing at the airport was alerted by flight controllers that a drone had been sighted "in the vicinity of the runway," according to a statement from the carrier.

    According to the statement, the crew on the flight deck of the aircraft was able to monitor the drone and land safely, USA Today reported.

    In announcing an investigation into the incident, the FAA noted that the drone was sighted some two miles southwest of the airport — near the landing pattern — at 11:55am on Sunday.

    Local authorities in the area surrounding the busy international travel hub were alerted, according to the FAA.

    Incidents involving the inappropriate use of personal drones have been on the rise, particularly in light of the device's soaring popularity as a high-tech family toy.

    Last month aerial firefighting operations were brought to a sudden halt amid a large and dangerous wildfire some 100 miles north of Phoenix, Arizona, after a personal drone was seen in the air above the flames.

    The owner of the drone was identified, arrested, and charged with willful endangerment and unlawful operation.

    Recently the FAA took it upon themselves to tweet a warning to all drone owners.

    Noting that the most important rule to remember is to keep your aertial toy below 400 feet, the US agency tweeted: "Flying your #drone this weekend but not sure how high to fly? FAA's resources can help: http://faa.gov/uas #DosAndDonts#DroneQuestion"


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    near miss, passenger jet, drone, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), United Airlines, Phoenix, New Jersey, United States, Newark, Arizona
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