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    Exclamation Canadian Airbus 320 Makes Aerial Avoidance Maneouvers

    Be interesting to hear what the Turkish AF has to say about this. It may be that my information and training is very out of date (1983-86) but I am pretty sure that a/c that are in a climb or descent for approach to an aerodrome have "right-of-way" to static level flights. Chief Reason will have better, up to date info on that, as a current qualified pilot.

    Canadian pilot's evasive manoeuvre terrifies, impresses passengers

    By Randy Boswell, Canwest News ServiceJune 17, 2009

    On the same day an Air France jet plunged into the Atlantic Ocean near Brazil, killing all 228 people on board, a Canadian airliner flying from Turkey to Northern Ireland was forced to make a dramatic dodge over the Mediterranean Sea to avoid a mid-air collision with a military aircraft.

    The June 1 near miss aboard the Skyservice Airlines flight a vacation charter serving Britain's Thomson Holidays left more than 160 Belfast-bound passengers shaken from an experience that one compared to a "plummeting roller-coaster."

    Another described how the incident left "grown men crying" and that "everybody thought they were dead."

    But as Turkish and Canadian authorities investigate what's called, in aviation jargon, a "proximity event," the drastic action taken by Toronto-based Skyservice's two Canadian pilots is being hailed as heroic.

    The close encounter, which received no attention in Canada in the aftermath of the Air France tragedy, occurred shortly after the Airbus A320 took off from Dalaman Airport in southwestern Turkey.

    The Canadian jet, in the midst of its climb to cruising altitude when confronted by an approaching aircraft, quickly veered down and sideways out of its path.

    "Our crew did exactly what a good crew should do, the way these guys are trained," Skyservice CEO Rob Giguere told Canwest News Service on Wednesday. "They were vigilant, they observed an aircraft that could have been a conflict, they made an avoiding manoeuvre to ensure that they had clearance and separation they did a good job."

    He added: "It was a good outcome to a situation that could have been very serious."

    Passengers who were momentarily terrified, but emerged unhurt from the ordeal, were more effusive in their praise for the pilots, who aren't being identified by Skyservice due to privacy reasons.

    "The pilot was absolutely fantastic, a hero in my mind," one of the passengers told the Belfast Telegraph. "As the panic sort of went down and the plane was going back up, the pilot came onto the intercom. He said he was sorry and he was sure our hearts were in our mouths.

    "Then he came back and said it was a Turkish military plane and said, 'Had I not taken the dramatic action we have just taken, we wouldn't be here talking about it.'"

    The unnamed passenger added that, "Once we touched down, we were just so relieved, and they all gave a big cheer to the pilot."

    Another passenger on the flight, P.J. Gillespie, told the BBC that "one minute, I was looking down at the engine, the next minute, I was looking up at the engine; the engine was above me. . . . Everybody was screaming, anybody who wasn't screaming was shouting, 'Get it back, get it back.'"

    Eventually, said Gillespie, "the plane levelled out again and the captain came on immediately to say that he was very sorry for what had happened, but he had to take urgent evasive action to avoid a collision."

    Kieran Quinn, who was aboard the Airbus A320 with his wife and two children, told Northern Ireland's Coleraine Times that the pilot explained to passengers he faced an oncoming aircraft and "he had to either go above it or below it to avoid it, and that's why there was the sudden dip.

    "Everyone clapped and cheered, and afterwards, my wife bought him a bottle of champagne," he added. "When we got home and saw what happened with the (Air France) crash, we realized that planes do crash."

    Thomson Holidays issued a statement after the incident, describing how the Canadian pilots "initiated avoiding action to maintain normal separation from a suspected military aircraft. There were no reported injuries and the flight continued as scheduled to Belfast."

    The tour operator added that "we take any incident extremely seriously, and Skyservice Airlines has confirmed that an air-proximity report has been completed and a full investigation is now being carried out by them and the Turkish authorities."

    The Transportation Safety Board of Canada was notified, and its officials are working with Turkish investigators in reviewing the incident, said Giguere.

    Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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    Chief Reason will have better, up to date info on that, as a current qualified pilot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RspctFrmCalgary View Post
    Are you sure you don't mean Gonzo?
    SIGH. ya, I do! LOL
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    I love A320s so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    It may be that my information and training is very out of date (1983-86) but I am pretty sure that a/c that are in a climb or descent for approach to an aerodrome have "right-of-way" to static level flights.
    Old info, but still true. The only exceptions to this rule is aircraft with an emergency or aircraft that are deemed "priority" such as Air Force One or another significant military aircraft on a very specific mission with very special clearance. It is the job of the air traffic controllers to make a path in the airspace if this is true. Maybe they didn't have time, who knows.

    Thank god for the collision avoidance equipment!!!
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