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.



24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.