Business jet 'took avoiding action to prevent mid-air collision'
A business jet had to take avoiding action to prevent a potential mid-air collision with a Heathrow-bound airliner with 232 passengers aboard, an accident report revealed today.
The German-owned Citation 525 jet passed only just over half a mile away and 100ft to 200ft below the Turkish Airlines' Boeing 777 plane in the skies over London, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) report said.
The Citation was cleared by the control tower at London City Airport to climb, initially to 3,000ft.
But acknowledging the instruction, the crew said it would be climbing to 4,000ft - a "readback" mistake not noticed by the London City tower controller.
The Boeing 777 had been cleared to descend to 4,000ft and it was at this height that it passed the Citation, which had two crew and one passenger aboard.
The AAIB report, which described the events of the afternoon of July 27 as a "serious incident", said the Boeing 777 had not "followed the commands" from three on-board collision-avoidance warnings.
The report added that the only person to see the Citation was a pilot occupying the right observer seat who saw it "pass west of them at an estimated 100 to 200ft below".
The AAIB said the Citation captain later filed an airprox (aircraft proximity) report in which he stated the crew was given clearance to climb to 4,000ft.
He said he had the Boeing 777 in sight "all the time" and initially thought his aircraft would be "well above" the Boeing as he crossed its track.
The AAB said that if the weather had been bad the Citation would not have been able to see the Boeing and would therefore not have been able to take effective avoiding action.
In bad weather "the only barrier to a potential mid-air collision" in this case was the collision avoidance system, the AAIB added.
But the report said that the avoidance system did not resolve the incident as the Boeing crew did not respond to the in-flight alerts in time and the Citation did not have a collision-avoidance piece of equipment known as TCAS II.
The AAIB recommended that the Civil Aviation Authority considered whether TCAS II should be mandatory for certain aircraft operating in the London City-Heathrow area.
Making a number of other recommendations, the AAIB said that since the incident the instructions from London City to maintain a height of 3,000ft is given separately from the remainder of the flight take-off clearance and requires a separate readback from the crew.
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 2 Mother of newborn Baby No 59 trapped in sewer pipe told Chinese police she 'heard crying' when she raised alarm
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
AirAsia QZ8501: Black box reveals warning alarms 'screamed' before crash, as more bodies recovered from near fuselage of jet
Rob Lowe hits out at White House decision not to meet Israeli leader
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign
British Muslim leaders outraged after Eric Pickles says followers of Islam should 'prove their identity'
UK terror fears: My jihadist son returned from Syria mentally scarred – now he is being ignored
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
Billy Crystal: 'Stop shoving gay sex scenes in my face'
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...