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Jet scare due to 'distraction'

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Jet scare due to 'distraction'

Post by shammy on Tue Dec 18, 2007 3:45 pm

18th December,2007

A distracted air traffic controller's data error led to a near-miss between two aircraft south-west of Sydney airport, an incident report has found.

The lapse affected a Boeing 737-8FE from Melbourne that was descending to Sydney airport on April 4 and an Airbus A330-342X departing for Hong Kong.

In a report released today, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) said the two aircraft came within 1.9 nautical miles (3.52km) of each other and were just 600 feet (182.88m) apart.

Air safety standards require aircraft to be separated by three nautical miles (5.56km) and 1,000 feet (304.8m).

The report found the air traffic controller responsible for the planes had just come on duty and was distracted and changing the personal settings on his Air Situation Display (ASD) console.

He entered an incorrect radar data tag showing the cleared flight level for one of the aircraft.

"The displayed cleared flight level (CFL) differed from the level assigned to the B737 by the controller," the report said.

"That assigned level was being used for separation by another air traffic controller."

The error was spotted just before an alert on the console was activated and controllers took action to avert a collision.


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