EZEIZA From Argentina, joined Aug 2004, 4967 posts, RR: 24 Posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 4144 times:
In the middle of the civil aviation crisis that is currently affecting Argentina's skies (with radars not working since a couple of months ago after lightining struck the Baires terminal!), there have been report today of a near collision at FL33-35 between UA flight 847 and Andes flight 851. Reports are saying that both aircrafts were instructed to descend to FL33 and got as close as 4miles from eachother, with TCAS alert going off. Sorry if the details are crap, but this is what the press is saying (yup, the press, who to illustrate a UA plane they show an A319, which I'm guessing is not the plane flying in from the US! )
So, it's unclear of what happened exactly, but something did happen. In March, there was another mid-air close call between teo aircraft, one being of Bolivian company Aerosur (can't remember the other one involved).
To add a bit more drama to all this, IFALPA released last week a safety bulletin recomending pilots to "exercise extreme vigilance and awareness of the present ATC situation in order to maintain safe operations".
EHHO From Bulgaria, joined Dec 2005, 815 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4001 times:
Quoting EZEIZA (Thread starter): to illustrate a UA plane they show an A319, which I'm guessing is not the plane flying in from the US!
Russian outlet NEWSRU.com mentions a B772. Full article here, only in Russian. The article also says that the other plane was an Air Andes MD-82. According to the report, Argentinian interior minister Hanibal Fernandez was on board the UA flight.
"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
KC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12146 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3865 times:
Quoting Skyman (Reply 2): That is not a near-mid air. I don´t know what the seperation minimas in Argentina are, but in Germany the minimas are 5 NM or even 2,5 - 3 NM on approach.
With the FL´s do you mean 33 or 330?
Hmmmm. Yes, it is a near mid-air. At high altitudes, like FL 330, aircraft seperation MUST be 5nm vertically, and 2000' horizontally. The headings of the two aircraft also play into the situation here. If the headings are converging, that is a problem, since both aircraft, most likely, were flying at 300 knots (approximately 7 miles per minute, depending on winds, so these airplanes could have been 20-35 seconds from collision).
If the headings were diverging, then you are correct, as the aircraft are actually flying away from each other.
As in Germany, the 5nm minimum seperation at high altitude is the same world wide, simply because of the speeds airplanes fly at.
In a local news channel, there was a pilot being interviewed and he was claiming that he spoke to the Andes pilot after the incident and he said that there was no real incident. He mentioned the TCAS warning, but that they were at no time in real collision danger, and that they never got so close as mentioned in the reports.
IMO this was blown out of proportion for political reasons (It's election year in Argentina!!)
However, a few days after the radar stopped working, there was a real close call involving a Bolivian Aerosur aircraft and another plane (can't remember which one). In that occasion, the Bolivian pilot told ATC that he was so close that "he could see the other pilots' uniform".
In RVSM airspace vertical separation is 1000ft until FL 410, but I think Argentina doesn´t have that (not sure). No matter in what constellation 4NM is not a near mid air for. TCAS starts working at 4 NM and the pilots might only have gotten a TA and they get that every month. But maybe it is just me and I´m used to too much high traffic in central Europe. 1,5 NM and 200ft or something like that now that is a near mid air.
The one potentially serious consequence of repeated radar problems is that the FAA could put Argentina in Cat II. I'm not sure how likely that is, as a lot of this has been political lately (see Venezuela), and Argentina is a special non-NATO ally, and the new US-Argentina bilateral indicates that these good relations extend to travel. But a trip to Cat II is probably the last thing AR needs right now...
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
EZEIZA From Argentina, joined Aug 2004, 4967 posts, RR: 24
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3250 times:
Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 9): The one potentially serious consequence of repeated radar problems is that the FAA could put Argentina in Cat II.
I hope that the new US-Argentina agreement over flight increase will make the FAA give Argentina some time before they consider degrading Argentina again. It would be a shame to see the country in CAT II again! However, this is a very good point, and the authorities and those responsable of Civilian aviation here should see this as a threat, meaning get your act together now!
XAAPB From Mexico, joined Jan 2005, 438 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3210 times:
Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 5): In a local news channel, there was a pilot being interviewed and he was claiming that he spoke to the Andes pilot after the incident and he said that there was no real incident. He mentioned the TCAS warning, but that they were at no time in real collision danger, and that they never got so close as mentioned in the reports.
Well let's remember sometimes the media reports are exaggerated!!
EZEIZA From Argentina, joined Aug 2004, 4967 posts, RR: 24
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3032 times:
Quoting PU752 (Reply 13): Also this is a typical argentine overreaction
I don't think its an overreaction for no reason. it's election year, and the Defence minister has been on the spotlight of all critics because of her lack of knowledge of aviation (she said several times that the radars were working properly) so a non-incident like this turned out to be, still could have an impact on the average citizen that has to vote in a few months.