AUDIO has emerged of pilots and air traffic controllers involved in dramatic conversations after two passenger jets came close to colliding in Irish airspace.
Aer Lingus Airbus A320 from Milan flight #EI433 and Ryanair Boeing 737 from Venice flight #FR9451 came within seconds of colliding while on approach to Dublin Airport last week.
The jets were on final approach into Dublin when they flew within less than 1,000 feet of each other, provoking air traffic controllers to issue emergency commands.
Air traffic controllers and pilots in the audio remained calm and professional throughout the ordeal and disaster was quickly averted.
Aircraft in Dublin airspace are supposed to be at least three miles apart laterally and 1,000 feet apart in altitude at all times, but at one point the planes were as little as 700 feet away from each other over Ireland’s capital.
According to Airlive there were delays of 30 minutes last Monday at Dublin airport when the Aer Lingus A320 and Ryanair Boeing 737 were preparing to land.
In the audio recording of the incident, an air traffic controller warns the Aer Lingus A320 jet to halt its descent at 20,000 feet.
The Ryanair flight is then ordered to halt its own descent at 21,000 feet.
Listen to the exchange below (audio begins after 22 seconds)
Realising that the jets are too close to one another and disaster could be imminent, the controllers warns: “Shamrock 43R turn left immediately for traffic turn left maintain flight level 2-0-0.”
A warning from the Aer Lingus cockpit’s airborne collision avoidance system (ACAS) can then be heard declaring “Traffic Traffic” as the aircraft detects the nearby Ryanair jet.
The Ryanair plane's pilot tells the controller that his plane has similarly detected the Aer Lingus jet which is now only 700 feet away.
Air Traffic controllers then order the Ryanair plane to ascend to 22,000 feet to get further away from the Aer Lingus plane.
Both jets performed safe landings at Dublin Airport shortly thereafter.
A Ryanair spokesperson said: 'This flight from Venice Treviso to Dublin last Monday (6 Feb) was on approach to Dublin Airport under the direction of Dublin ATC when it was instructed by ATC to 'go around'. The crew performed a routine ‘go around’ and landed normally shortly afterwards.”
The deadliest mid-air collision in history occurred in 1996 when a Saudi Arabian Airlines Boeing 747-100B and a Kazakhstan Airlines Ilyushin Il-76 slammed into each other in Indian airspace.
The crash killed all 349 people on board both planes, making it the third-deadliest aircraft accident in the history of aviation.