THE INVESTIGATION into a UK controlled-airspace "airmiss" has declared that a descending Airtours McDonnell Douglas MD-83 and a climbing TAT Fokker F28 on reciprocal headings came within less than 200ft (60m) of each other vertically, with no lateral separation. The MD-83 crew was forced to manoeuvre the aircraft violently in an attempt to increase the separation.

The report says, that the incident, which took place on 24 October 1994 was caused primarily, by the sector controller who cleared the MD-83 to descend, "without taking account of the F28".

The adjacent sector controllers, operating on different frequencies, had a "hurried and inconclusive" exchange of information about the developing conflict, according to the report, giving confusing instructions, which caused the two aircraft to turn towards each other.

The CAA says that the controllers were suspended pending the report, and that the issues of disciplinary action and retraining are under consideration.

Source: Flight International