GUNDU From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 5715 times:
05 September 2000 07:00AM
Two jets within seconds of mid-air collision
LONDON - Two passenger jets came within 10 seconds of a mid-air collision above Central London before intervention by an air-traffic controller averted the disaster.
The jets from United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, carrying 707 people in all, came as close as 200 metres to each other before a computer-activated collision-course alarm warned them of the danger.
The two jets were on their final approach to Heathrow in the early hours of Sunday on Aug 20, reported The Times of London.
Once the alarm sounded, air-traffic controllers at West Drayton immediately told the pilot of United Flight 998: ''Take urgent avoiding action now! Turn on to a heading of 270 degrees to avoid airliner.''
The captain of the United Boeing 777, carrying 278 passengers and 14 crew from Boston, calmly replied: ''Understood. Immediate action taken. I have got the other aircraft beneath me in my sight.''
After the near miss, the air-traffic controller told the United pilot that the Virgin aircraft was ''going 600 feet underneath you''.
Virgin Flight 22, from Washington, was carrying 400 passengers and 15 crew. Both jets, flying at about 480 km per hour, were descending towards Heathrow at different angles but could have collided within moments.
A pilot who listened in on the exchange between the controller and the United pilot said: ''It was a computer conflict alarm that saved the day and prevented what could have been the worst air disaster in Britain.
''Can you imagine the devastation if these jets had come down in the Westminster region - on the Houses of Parliament?''
A Civil Aviation authority said the incident had been investigated and the conclusion was that safety had not been compromised.
A far more nonchalant Virgin Atlantic spokesman said: ''These incidents are not uncommon in the stacking system for aircraft waiting for permission to land at Heathrow.''
This latest incident comes shortly after Britain's air traffic watchdog issued a safety alert after an increasing number of cases of radio hackers posing as controllers and issuing false instructions to airline pilots descending to land at British airports.
In all 20 cases reported so far this year, the pilots eventually realised they were talking to fake air-traffic controllers.
That shows you how British ATC handle the problem, eh?
Udo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 1 day ago) and read 5531 times:
Some people in London should realize soon that the traffic control system has to be updated. I just read that they use an out of time system to control the traffic...
Does there have to be a collision with 800 deaths first until they react?
Na From Germany, joined Dec 1999, 11491 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 19 hours ago) and read 5483 times:
Heathrow/London seems to be No.1 in near collisions in the world. Frightening.
LHR should be the perfect airport for the A3XX: Bigger aircraft = less flights = less chance of an accident.
Last year I was sitting in an LH A321 when we came near to an LH A310 during approach to FRA in the middle of thick clouds. The A310 was so near you could read the registration! I´ve never heard about this "near-miss" in the news. It was no less tight than this Virgin/United near London!
BOS-CDG From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 5448 times:
Udo is right,
The NERC project (new en route center for the London Area) has been a total failure, which hopefully could go operational end of 2001, 6 years behind schedule...Beautiful state-of-the-art building still waiting for its controllers...
A big stain on Lockheed-Martin's record (they are doing the system with several other partners...).
Widebody From Ireland, joined Aug 2000, 1152 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 16 hours ago) and read 5425 times:
....the above article indicates the TCAS in both aircraft prevented the collosion...
"The jets from United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic, carrying 707 people in all, came as close as 200 metres to each other before a computer-activated collision-course alarm warned them of the danger...."
LoneStarMike From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4028 posts, RR: 30
Reply 7, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 5407 times:
Thanks for posting that. The scariest thing about the article to me was the end.
"This latest incident comes shortly after Britain's air traffic watchdog issued a safety alert after an increasing number of cases of radio hackers posing as controllers and issuing false instructions to airline pilots descending to land at British airports.
In all 20 cases reported so far this year, the pilots eventually realised they were talking to fake air-traffic controllers."
Now that is frightening. I wonder if this will become some sort of new terrorism? Instead of blowing up a plane, just give it false instructions and either crash it into the ground or into another plane (2 for 1). Ugh. I don't even want to think about this.
BY291A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 5322 times:
How many times has this sort of thing got to happen before the government realise that our ATC systems are out of date? Living under many of the main UK airways this post leaves me concerned and anxious. Are all aircraft fitted with TCAS?? If not why not???!
People who make hoax ATC calls should be treated seriously, as one day there stupid actions may kill many people, both in the air and on the ground.
B744 From New Zealand, joined Dec 1999, 491 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (15 years 5 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 5291 times:
It's very simple to broadcast on the VHF AM frequencies. All you need is an off-the-shelf radio used by light aircraft, gliders and even small landing strips / drop zones and if you know the local tower / approach frequencies, you can transmit. The type of modulation used is very old and very insecure. The main problem that aviation authorities face in trying to mandate a changeover to a newer more secure technology is the co-ordination required to change everyone over. i.e., what happens if an airport has been upgarded but a particular aircraft (that maybe doesn't fly there often) hasn't (and vice-versa).
However, I think the problem is serious enough to be tackled.