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Controller’s fault might have been cause for near collision in Barcelona’s airport

July 07, 2014, 12:00 UTC+3
“The plane approaching to land always has priority and nothing shall detain it,” said a top expert source in Russia’s air traffic controllers’ circles
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MOSCOW, July 7. /ITAR-TASS/. The controller’s fault might have been cause for the incident in Barcelona’s airport, which almost led to a collision of a Russian plane with an Argentinean airliner during the landing. A top expert source in Russia’s air traffic controllers’ circles expressed this view, commenting the incident to ITAR-TASS on Monday.

“The plane approaching to land always has priority and nothing shall detain it,” the expert commented a video footage on the internet showing the hazardous situation on the landing strip.


What happened in the airport of Barcelona

On the video published on the internet, it can be seen how the Argentinean jet is taxiing for takeoff and is crossing the takeoff runway at the same moment when Russia’s UTair airliner is already landing and almost touching ground.

When Russian pilots noticed the other plane on the landing strip, they decided to suspend the descending and to proceed in go-around mode.

The comment that can be heard in the video says that the gap between the planes was more than 1 km.


Fault of the controller or crew’s mistake

The expert has specified that the plane’s crew hasn’t returned to Moscow yet and more information will be available only after it comes back.

“However, even upon the video footage it can be said that there was either a controllers’ fault, or a mistake of the Argentinean plane’s crew that for some reason misheard the controllers’ command,” he emphasized.


Cases of planes’ collisions in airports

One of the latest cases of plane collision was the incident in London’s Stansted airport in June 2014. Two passenger airliners of Ireland’s Ryanair carrier collided while maneuvering. The passengers from both planes were evacuated, no one was hurt, but due to the incident the flights at Stansted were delayed for three hours.

In October 2013, two Airbuses of the Turkish Airlines collided in Istanbul’s Ataturk airport during maneuvering. None of the passengers or crewmembers was injured, but both planes were damaged.

In March 2013, in New York’s JFK airport, a plane of the US-based JetBlue air carrier stopped on the taxiway strip because the pushback tug that was driving it to the takeoff runway had some technical issues, and a plane of Air India collided with it.

JetBlue’s plane suffered minor damage, and the 150 passengers were put on another jet.

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