RAF Typhoon flights over Lancashire suspended after near miss with passenger jet

May 5, 2010 | by | 1 Comment

RAF chiefs suspended Typhoon flights over Lancashire after a fighter jet came just 400ft from colliding with a passenger plane, it has emerged.

The 1,550mph Eurofighter was only the length of a football pitch away as it swerved past the 60-seater DCH-8 plane after the pilot misjudged his altitude.

Disaster was narrowly avoided when the £68m jet, which had been on a direct collision course, dipped underneath the aircraft in a split-second manoeuvre,

The DCH-8 pilot, flying from Belfast to Leeds airports, never saw the Typhoon Eurofighter as it was moving so fast, a UK Airprox Board report has revealed.

All military flights in the skies above Warton, Lancashire, where the near-miss occurred, have been suspended by the RAF while a full investigation is carried out.

Details of the narrowly avoided disaster from August 27 last year were released by the UK Airprox Board, which looks into incidents on behalf of the Civil Aviation Authority.

The report said air traffic controllers warned the pilot of the DCH-8 the fighter had passed over Warton, near Blackpool, and was closing in fast.

It adds: ”It went through 1,000ft as they were replying to Air Traffic Control so they were able to call out the separation, 700ft, 600ft, 500ft, 400ft.”

The multi-million pound fighter jet, capable of travelling at mach 2 or twice the speed of sound, passed underneath the passenger jet.

The report adds: “The pilot of the Typhoon admits that this was a poorly executed level-off.

”As a result the Typhoon pilot broke that coordination and flew sufficiently close to the DHC-8 to cause a Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System Resolution Advisory.”

The unnamed pilot, based at RAF Coningsby, in Lincolnshire, has been spoken to about the ”seriousness” of the incident, the report confirmed.

According to the report the Eurofighter, which was flying between Lincolnshire and Anglesey, in Wales, was travelling so fast the pilot of the DCH-8 never saw it.

The Eurofighter Typhoon is the crown jewel of the RAF and capable of gravity-defying manoeuvres and equipped with a deadly arsenal of weapons.

The airspace is known as Class F, meaning it is less restricted than other areas without as much influence from air traffic controllers.

A full military report into the near-miss is due in Spring 2011.

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  1. Str says:

     ‘The Eurofighter Typhoon is the crown jewel of the RAF and capable of gravity-defying manoeuvres’ — unusual that, for a plane!

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