Only 30ft from death – RAF Tornado jets pass each other in mid-air miss
TWO RAF jets came within 30ft of crashing in one of two category-A near-misses involving military aircraft reported by investigators today.
The latest incidents bring to a total of six the number of such critical-level near-misses involving RAF Tornados within the last two years.
They also come weeks after two Tornados collided off Moray, killing three airmen.
The UK Airprox Board, the expert panel which investigates such incidents, concluded in both of the latest cases that an “actual risk of collision existed”.
In the first, in January, the crew of a Tornado was so shaken after nearly colliding with a Typhoon aircraft that they returned to the RAF Lossiemouth base in Moray.
The board found the planes had come within 30ft feet of each other during a night-time mid-air refuelling exercise with a VC10 tanker off north England.
Its report referred to “this most serious incident” and said members had “agreed unanimously that there had been a serious risk of collision”.
The board stated: “Typhoon 2 is assessed to have passed underneath the Tornado with a miss-distance estimated by the crew of the Tornado as 20ft to 30ft.”
The board concluded the incident was caused by the Typhoon pilot becoming disorientated while trying to stow its refuelling probe, and “broke away into conflict with the joining Tornado, which he did not see”.
In the other incident, a Tornado on a training flight from Lossiemouth crossed the path of two MC130P military transport planes – believed to be US Air Force – coming into land at the air base, passing some 200ft from them.
An RAF spokesman said: “Even though pilots are keeping a careful lookout for other aircraft, there is no guarantee the other aircraft will be detected.
“These human factors are neither errors nor signs of poor
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West