RAF fighter flew within 250 feet of civil­ian jet

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - News -

An RAF jet fighter and a civil­ian air­craft came within just a few hun­dred feet of each other over Caith­ness, an of­fi­cial re­port has re­vealed.

The risk of col­li­sion was placed at the sec­ond high­est rat­ing – where safety was not as­sured.

The “wor­ry­ing” in­ci­dent in which the Ty­phoon fighter – which had taken off from RAF Lossiemouth in Mo­ray – flew with­out a work­ing sec­ondary sur­veil­lance radar (SSR) and did not see the Jet­stream air­craft, has led to changes by the RAF.

Both planes were blamed for the in­ci­dent, by the UK Air­prox Board, which in­ves­ti­gates near-misses.

It said the Ty­phoon SSR un­ser­vice­abil­ity meant the Mo­ray-based air traf­fic con­troller had no alti­tude in­for­ma­tion. The in­ci­dent hap­pened at 8.25am on June 14 about 27 nau­ti­cal miles south east of Wick.

The BAE Jet­stream 41 pi­lot saw the Ty­phoon, “bal­loon­ing” in the win­dow in the 9 o’clock po­si­tion and clos­ing fast.

“The pi­lot fly­ing deemed a col­li­sion was close, dis­con­nected the auto-pi­lot, and pushed the nose down to in­crease sep­a­ra­tion,” said the re­port.

“Both Cap­tain and First Of­fi­cer were some­what un­set­tled by this event. It was agreed by both pi­lots that they were within 250 feet – plus or mi­nus 50 feet.”

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