AN investigation into an incident where a passenger jet flew too close to a Ryanair flight over Spain has determined the Vueling crew did not follow air traffic control instructions.
The serious ‘loss of separation’ incident resulted in the two jets coming within 100 feet (30.4 metres) vertically and 1.4 nautical miles (2.6 kilometres) when they should have been considerably further apart.
Spain’s Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil (CIAIAC) has now issued a report into the incident which occurred near Sevilla, Spain on 30 October 2014.
Ryanair flight FR2848 was en route from Shannon to Malaga with 36 passengers and seven crew on board. While on approach to Malaga, the crew had been cleared to descend to 15,000 feet at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute or more.
Meanwhile, a Vueling flight from Barcelona to Sevilla, with 153 passengers and six crew, was descending towards Sevilla after being cleared to an altitude of 17,000 feet at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute or less.
The CIAIAC investigation found that the incident occurred because the crew of Veuling flight failed to follow the descent instructions given to them by air traffic control.
Both jet’s Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) alerted the crews to the imminent danger and issued automatic resolution advisories (RA) to each crew.
The crew of Veuling flight 2226 did not obey their TCAS (Traffic Collisions Avoidance System) resolution advisory and increased their rate of descent instead of reducing it as required. These actions brought them into conflict with the Ryanair flight.
The investigation was unable to determine whether crew fatigue played a part in the incident.