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EASA drawing up safety guidance over en route wake

European safety regulators are drawing up a safety bulletin centred on mitigating risks of en route wake-vortex encounters.

But the measure is not directly related to a serious upset event in January involving a German business jet after a suspected – but so-far unproven – brush with wake turbulence, possibly from an Airbus A380 in cruise.

The European Aviation Safety Agency initiative is being carried out in co-operation with pan-European air navigation organisation Eurocontrol.

EASA tells FlightGlobal that the activity, started in the final quarter of last year, follows similar efforts to address vortex risk in the take-off and landing phases.

It stresses that the scheme is “not specific” to the A380.

German investigators are still looking into the 7 January loss-of-control accident in which a Bombardier Challenger 604 departed from its normal flight profile, rolling and descending, before eventually landing at Muscat having suffered substantial airframe damage.

No conclusions have yet been reached on the circumstances of the event.

EASA says it aims to publish a safety information bulletin in April in a bid to “raise awareness” and issue guidance and recommendations to counter the risk of en route wake.

The bulletin is still being drafted and the initiative has involved analysis of previous en route wake-related incidents.

EASA says the bulletin amounts to a “first mitigating measure” and will be addressed to operators, air navigation service providers, cockpit crews and air traffic controllers.

“We are monitoring the risk through the Safety Risk Portfolio and will evaluate further actions as necessary,” it adds.

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