easyJet’s Near Miss at Bordeaux

An easyJet A320 takes off.
Photo Credit: easyJet

It has been reported that an easyJet flight back in December 2022 was landing in Bordeaux and overflew a Robin DR400.

This article will cover the details surrounding the report released about the easyJet flight that narrowly missed a Robin DR400.

easyJet at Bordeaux DR400 Near Miss

easyJet Flight Birmingham-Palma Suffers False Hijack Alarm
Photo Credit: Adrian Pingstone via Wikimedia Commons.

As per a report released by the BEA and reported by The Connexion, an easyJet service from London Gatwick (LGW) to Bordeaux (BOD) on December 31, 2022.

Ultimately pinning the blame on the airport’s tower controlling practices, the mishap happened whereby at the same time the easyJet aircraft was landing a Robin DR400 light aircraft was given authorisation to take off on the same runway.

It was the Robin DR400 pilot that spotted the error and disregarded the take off allowing the easyJet to pass 50 meters above. The light aircraft was not visible to the easyJet pilots and aborted the landing after the tower controllers become aware of the situation.

In their report, the BEA said, “Too few controllers were at their workstations, and so there were insufficient means to manage the situation.”

“It occurred due to a social consensus in place for several years at the DSNA [Direction des Services de la navigation aérienne, or Air traffic control management service], whereby controllers organise themselves outside of the established legal framework. This means that the number of controllers actually present is lower than the number theoretically required.”

“He did not know the exact position of the [easyJet aircraft] and had no visibility behind him. He also had no contact with the controllers, who were busy, but inferred that he did not have priority in the situation, since his aircraft was on the ground.”

“The easyJet pilots were not blamed for the incident, however there were some discrepancies in their account.”

“One of the easyJet pilots said he did not see the light aircraft “because he was looking at the area where the wheels would touch down,” while the co-pilot said “controllers told him to interrupt the landing due to a plane on the runway, but he could not see one.”

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