'Drone' alert over New York after pilot spots UFO


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The Independent US

It may sound like a pilot has been watching too much X Files, but an investigation has been launched after a UFO sighting near a New York airport.

The Alitalia pilot saw something mysterious hovering about 200 feet away as he made his final approach into JFK airport over Brooklyn on Monday.

Sources told the New York Post that the 'drone' was black with helicopter rotors on its corners.

Heard in an audio recording released last night, the pilot said: "We saw a drone, a drone aircraft."

In response, the tower warns other pilots, telling one: "Delta 1368, use caution. There was a report of a drone aircraft on about a 5-mile funnel 1,500 feet."

Authorities are now seeking the public's help to find whoever was controlling the aircraft.

Special Agent in Charge John Giacalone said: "The FBI is asking anyone with information about the unmanned aircraft or the operator to contact us.

"Our paramount concern is the safety of aircraft passengers and crew."

In a statement to CNN yesterday, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) spokeswoman Laura Brown said: "The FAA is investigating a report... He saw a small, unmanned or remote-controlled aircraft while on final approach to Runway 31 Right."

No other pilots saw the aircraft.

Investigators are looking into the idea that the 'drone' may have been radio-controlled model aircraft that wandered into commercial airspace.

Under FAA safe operating rules, model aircraft are prohibited from flying higher than 400 feet above ground and no closer to an airport than 3 miles, unless airport authorities have been notified.

There are two model aircraft fields in Brooklyn - both within 17 miles of the airport - according to the New York City Parks Department.