A drone that almost hit an aircraft approaching Gatwick put 130 lives at risk, a pilot has said.

The drone passed over the right wing of the Airbus A319 as it was preparing to land, according to the UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which investigates near-misses. It was described as “very large, certainly not a toy”, with four blades and a diameter of one metre.

The airliner’s first officer told investigators that the “startle factor of the drone’s proximity” nearly caused him to disconnect the autopilot and take avoiding action.