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Planes in near-miss were just 44m apart

TWO planes at Dublin Airport were just metres away from a collision, it has been revealed.

A crash was only narrowly avoided last year after air crew spotted another plane preparing to taxi onto the runway where they were due to land.

The pilot of a Germanwings flight from Cologne aborted the landing after they saw a Turkish Airlines aircraft was about to encroach on their landing space.

A detailed report by the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) outlined that the German aircraft was just 60m above the ground and at their closest the two planes were just 44m apart vertically.



climbed

The Germanwings flight from Cologne had 132 passengers and crew on board and had clearance to approach the runway at approximately 10.30am on October 16 last year.

The pilot of the Turkish Airlines plane, bound for Istanbul with 105 passengers and crew had been instructed by air traffic controllers to hold back from the runway as the German aircraft had precedence to land.

The Germanwings flight was less than 1km from its touchdown point before it climbed away.

"We're going around, there's (an aircraft) entering the runway," the pilot transmitted.

The pilot of the Turkish Airlines flight was instructed to immediately vacate the runway and said: "Sorry for the inconvenience."

Both planes landed and took off without further incidence.

Turkish Airlines submitted a report to the AAIU which said that the manual about holding positions at Dublin Airport was confusing.

The commander said that in order to increase the separation between the two aircraft, they taxied quickly to another area where they vacated the runway.



hotspot

But the AAIU report said that he had been distracted by cockpit tasks as he taxied towards the runway and did not correctly see and interpret the signs for holding positions.

They also said that the holding position point where the Turkish Airlines craft was based was designated as an "Incursion Hotspot" which is a "movement area with a history or potential risk of collision or runway incursion, and where heightened attention by pilots and drivers is necessary."

The AAIU said that it was a "serious incident" and issued six safety recommendations relating to instructions and signage for holding positions at Dublin Airport as a result.

hnews@herald.ie


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