A blunder by Spanish air traffic control caused a “near miss” over the skies of Spain
SPANISH air traffic control made a serious blunder that caused a near miss and a potential air disaster over the skies of Spain.
On the afternoon of 2 October 2018, two Boeing 737-800s belonging to the Irish airline took off almost at the same time from Spanish airports.
But the ZGZ controller also told his aircraft to lose altitude, saying: “Descend immediately level 320.”
Conferring with each other the two controllers according to the aviation report said to each other:
The ZGZ controller: “I’m descending mine, I’m descending mine”.
His PAL colleague said: “Mine is already descending!”
As the planes came just 2.3 miles in touch with each other thankfully both aircraft were fitted with a standard traffic collision avoidance system known as TCAS, which automatically issued “resolution advisories” to avert danger when a conflict is detected.
These evasion measures take priority over air-traffic control instructions.
The pilots disengaged their autopilot systems. As advised by TCAS, the first plane climbed while the second descended.
At the closest, the separation was just 334 feet vertically and 2.3 nautical miles horizontally, with the first aircraft above the second.
Ryanair’s pilots were cleared of any responsibility in the report after taking the evasive action: “The actions of the crews are deemed not to have contributed in any way.” it revealed as the blame lied with Spanish air traffic control.
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