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Cathay Pacific Airbus 330 and Virgin Blue Boeing in Near Miss

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MELBOURNE, Dec 28 (Bernama) -- Air traffic controllers have been blamed for a serious near miss involving a Virgin Blue flight from Melbourne, and a Cathay Pacific flight heading to Melbourne.


The Northern Territory News reported today that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB)was investigating how the Virgin Blue Boeing and Cathay Pacific Airbus A330 passenger aircraft came to be on a collision course last Tuesday, and have described the incident as "serious".


Virgin Blue flight DJ1457 was carrying 120 passengers when it was discovered it was flying into the path of Cathay Pacific flight CX135 south of Katherine over the Northern Territory last Tuesday.


Initial reports indicated they were heading towards each other on the same "reciprocal track".


The north-bound Virgin Blue is understood to have been dangerously close to the south-bound Cathay Pacific flight heading south from Hong Kong to Melbourne.






The ATSB said it was not until the crew of the Cathay Pacific flight questioned the controller, and the controller then instructed them to climb to another flight path and cleared the aircraft to divert right, that a collision was avoided.


The Virgin Blue flight crew then told the air traffic controllers that they would divert right, and both planes passed each other safely.


ATSB investigators are treating the incident as "serious".


The fault is believed to have been made by Brisbane-based air traffic controllers.




Source : http://malaysia.news.yahoo.com/bnm/20091228/tts-aviation-near-miss-993ba14.html

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Yeah... It's just that the incident happened on Dec 22 - that's last week - and only 'leaked' to us by the tv and bernama?... :unknw:



Cathay A333 and Virgin Blue B738 near Darwin on Dec 22nd 2009, loss of separation


By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Dec 23rd 2009 15:05Z, last updated Wednesday, Dec 23rd 2009 15:05Z


A Cathay Pacific Airbus A330-300, registration B-HLV performing flight CX-135 from Hong Kong (China) to Melbourne,VI (Australia), was enroute southbound at FL370 about 350nm southsoutheast of Darwin,NT (Australia).


A Virgin Blue Boeing 737-800, registration VH-VUJ performing flight DJ-1457 from Melbourne,VI to Darwin,NT (Australia), was enroute northbound at non-standard flight level 370 on the reciprocal track of the Cathay Pacific Airbus.


The crew of the Cathay Pacific queried the controller as they were approaching a position about 50nm magnetic radial 157 off waypoint DOSAM (S16.9028 E133.2) and was cleared to climb to FL380 and veer off track to the right. The Boeing crew advised, they'd turn off the track 10nm to the right, too.


Both aircraft reached their intended destinations for a safe landing.


The Australian Transportation Safety Board ATSB rated the occurrence a serious incident stating, that there was a break down of separation standards, and opened an investigation.

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This happened somewhere over Katherine, NT. And it was definitely slow news even for us here in Aus.

News came into light some time yesterday, here: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/airliners-on-collision-course-20091228-lgyd.html


Not really a near miss, but as we all know with the media these days, they call anything that could lead to a crash (eventually or imaginarily) a near miss. Oh well.


Lucky the CX crew was switched on enough to alert ATC about the FL clearance. :good:

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