Jumbo jets in near collision as pilots fail to follow instructions

2013-10-21 08:53
Glasgow - Two jumbo jets with 1 000 people aboard almost crashed over Scotland because all four pilots turned the planes onto a collision course after failing to follow instructions.

An air traffic controller spotted the eminent danger on a radar sweep, which showed the transatlantic Boeing 747s gradually converging.

The Daily Mail reports the pilots were ordered to take action immediately, with the plane on the left told to make a left turn and the one on the right told to make a right turn.

The pilots did the exact opposite and almost collided, had they not physically seen each other. Tragedy was averted by mere seconds as each plane took evasive action, with one plane climbing and the other diving.

According to the report the planes were only 30 metres (100ft) at one point and despite a lengthy investigation, experts are at a loss to explain how the crews of both aircraft either misheard or misinterpreted their orders.

The near tragedy, which took place in June, emerged in a report from the UK Airprox Board, which looks into near-misses in British airspace.

The report concluded that the pilots had each taken the other instructions but could not understand exactly how this happened.

It stated the calls signs were different and the radio transmissions were clear. An earlier instruction by the air traffic control is believed to have compounded the danger when it ordered the planes to fly at the same height.
 

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