A Typhoon missed a missed another aircraft by less than 100m after the civilian pilot “disconnected the auto-pilot, and pushed the nose down” to avoid a crash.
The incident took place on June 14th south-east of Wick in Caithness and involved an RAF Lossiemouth Typhoon and a BAE Jetstream 41 (JS41).
Both the pilot and the captain of the Jetstream described being “somewhat unsettled” after coming close enough to the Typhoon to clearly see its markings.
After an investigation, a report by the UK Airprox Board said various factors contributed to the near collision.
The incident, which saw the aircraft come within 91.4m of each other was caused by a late sighting by the JS41 pilot and a non-sighting by the Typhoon pilot was the main cause but listed several other factors.
Another reason for the near miss was that the Typhoon did not have a working Secondary Surveillance Radar, which meant a Moray air traffic controller could not see the jet’s altitude and the civilian aircraft’s traffic alert and collision avoidance system was not available.
Other factors that led to the incident:
- A lack of Traffic Information to the Typhoon pilot by the Swanwick air traffic controller.
- The Swanwick controller was distracted by the lack of Typhoon Secondary Surveillance Radar.
- The Swanwick controller did not assimilate that the JS41 was descending.
The RAF has since made measures to reduce the risk of a repeat incident.
Typhoons without a serviceable Secondary Surveillance Radar are now not permitted to fly for anything other than “exceptional operational requirements”.
Additionally, the UK Airprox report says that “the handling of non-transponding aircraft is now included within the Swanwick Mil controller training scenarios”.