have opened an inquiry after a serious airprox
incident involving a Kazakh Tupolev Tu-154 and an
Algerian Lockheed C-130 Hercules in Swiss-controlled French airspace.
accident investigation agency BFU says the incident occurred when a trainee
controller at Geneva centre, after receiving a conflict warning, instructed the
Tu-154 to arrest a previously-cleared climb from FL240 to FL260 – resulting in
the aircraft’s levelling off at the C-130’s altitude of FL250.
air traffic control instructor, who was monitoring the trainee, ordered the
Tu-154 to execute an immediate rapid climb to FL300 but was unable to prevent
the two aircraft closing to just 100ft vertically and 0.4nm horizontally.
the time of the 8 February incident the Tu-154, operated by Berkut
Air and registered UN-85173, had been flying northeast en route from Grenoble
in France to the Kazakh
city of Almaty.
C-130 belonged to the Algerian Air Force and was registered 7T-WHB. It had
departed Pardubice in the Czech
Republic and was heading for the
northern Algerian city of Boufarik.
details have been disclosed regarding the number of occupants on board either
aircraft. The incident occurred at 19:37, after sunset, near the KOGAS waypoint
which lies to the east of Lake Annecy
the short-term conflict alert warning sounded at the Geneva
area centre it is unclear whether either aircraft’s crew received an alert from
on-board collision-avoidance systems.
air traffic controller stopped the climb of the Tupolev
at FL250,” says the BFU. “The instructor directly intervened over the trainee
and gave the Tupolev the instruction to climb to
FL300, and demanded the highest possible climb-rate from the aircraft.”
air navigation service Skyguide says: “After the
incident Skyguide took necessary measures
immediately, in accordance with procedures. The staff were
replaced and attended to without delay and, where necessary, exempted from
says that the radio communication and radar recordings have been preserved and
handed to investigators. Skyguide stresses that the
cause of the incident has yet to be determined, but adds: “The incident is
already a subject of discussion in training and further education activities.”
event has parallels with the fatal mid-air collision between a Russian-operated
Tu-154 and a Boeing 757 freighter in Swiss-controlled German airspace, over Lake
Constance, five years
the airprox between the Algerian and Kazakh aircraft
occurred in French airspace, the country’s air accident agency Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses has
delegated investigation responsibility to the BFU, which expects to give
further details on the incident at the end of March.