Emirates plane nearly collides with Air Seychelles mid-air!
Emirates Airbus A380-800, the world's largest passenger plane, came into very close contact with an Air Seychelles Airbus A330-200 while descending to land in Mauritius. A collision was barely avoided, as the Air Seychelles flight was taking off at the same time as the Emirates plane's landing.
The Mauritius Air Traffic Control had cleared the Air Seychelles flight for take-off and advised it to climb to 37,000 feet at the same time the Emirates flight was cleared to descend at 38,000 feet.
According to a report published by the Aviation Herald, the Emirates plane instead descended to 36,000 feet, heading towards the path of the Air Seychelles flight. The Air Seychelles pilot had to make a sharp turn in order to avoid a catastrophic collision.
Air Seychelles has commended its two pilots for averting a major disaster.
“We commend our Captain Roberto Vallicelli and Seychellois First Officer Ronny Morel who were operating the HM054 flight from Mauritius to Seychelles on the evening of Friday 14 July 2017,” the carrier said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the UAE airline's spokesperson told Gulf News in a statement: “Emirates has received reports of an event on 14th July 2017 in relation to aircraft separation involving flight EK-703 in Mauritius airspace.”
“The matter has been reported to the respective air transport authorities and Emirates will extend its full cooperation to any investigation. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.”
The Aviation Herald report also suggested that the incident was a result of a misreading of flight level instruction that was not corrected by air traffic control staff.
Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, a private intelligence and analysis resource for the aerospace, airline and aviation industries, was quoted by Arab News as saying that the Emirates crew could not be blamed for the error.
“Air Traffic Control (ATC) should have advised the A380 crew again and got them to confirm that clearance was only given to descend to 38,000 feet, not 36,000 feet. By all accounts, it does not appear that the crew of the A380 did anything wrong, but rather, the ATC crew should have double-checked flight levels and they did not.”
“If anything, questions should rightly be being asked about the competencies of ATC staff who did not realize the situation prevailing at the time whereas the flight crews of both airplanes did,” he added
We're just glad nobody was injured!