View Full Version : 2 airliners nearly collide over Caribbean

30th Aug 2008, 03:37
WASHINGTON - Two airliners were one minute from colliding when one of the planes turned away from the other over the Caribbean this week, federal authorities said Friday.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it was investigating an incident in which a Delta Air Lines flight and a Russian-registered passenger jet were heading toward each other Thursday north of Puerto Rico when cockpit alarms went off.

2 airliners nearly collide over Caribbean - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080829/ap_on_go_ot/airliners_near_collision)

30th Aug 2008, 09:39
Delta flight, Russian jet nearly collided over Caribbean | Front page | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle (http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5974443.html)

From the brief article can't tell if its WATRS or San Juan FIR.

30th Aug 2008, 09:45
I think you may have exaggerated your post as the pond as now turned out to be the waters of st juan.... non event I take it.......

30th Aug 2008, 10:42

Obviously needed space to fill.

30th Aug 2008, 15:46
Certainly a 'non event' as it happens, like the DHL 757 and Tu-154 should have been.:(

30th Aug 2008, 22:08
I look at my radar every day and see loads of aircraft one minute from colliding. It's a crowded sky up there, particularly as everyones travelling at least three miles a minute and we only need to keep you three miles apart!

30th Aug 2008, 22:12
The biggest beef in the story (for the author) was probably that there was -again- a Russian Airliner involved. Surprised to see that no accusation like "Drunk Russian Pilots risk hundreds of innocent schoolchildren`s lives" were made.


31st Aug 2008, 01:05
Well, what does 'headed at each other mean'? Head on? If true, what's the Russian jet doing at FL330 since that's typically a southbound altitude?

Either way, either ATC didn't seperate them by the required 10 minutes or one of them is at the wrong altitude.

31st Aug 2008, 01:58
Those routes are all supposed to be at least RNP10 now, and a hell of a lot more than 3NM separation.

Admittedly, the news report was short on details...how close was it? Reaction to TCAS-close, or plain old see and avoid? What FIR were they in? What position reports had been made? Vox or ACARS? What was the intercept angle for "heading towards each other?"

31st Aug 2008, 03:21
Reaction to TCAS-close, or plain old see and avoid?TCAS, if the news reports can be taken at face value.

The Aviation Herald entry explicitly says "The Transaero Boeing 747 descended in response to a TCAS Resolution Advisory."

Possibly these track views might inform as to general location:

Delta 485 track (http://flightaware.com/live/flight/DAL485/history/20080828/1938Z/KJFK/TTPP)
Transaero 554 track (http://flightaware.com/live/flight/TSO554/history/20080828/2110Z/MDPC/UUDD)

31st Aug 2008, 03:40
Scary, some years ago I had a resolution advisory, the intruder was a Delta, I still do not know why the ATC did not report the traffic to us when they knew the intruder flight was cruising at the same level as us. We climbed 1000 ft (we were cruising at FL330), in the Mazatlan (Mexico) control area.
This situation reminds me the RA I had to follow about 15 years ago.

Cheers, safe flights.

31st Aug 2008, 11:09
If true, what's the Russian jet doing at FL330 since that's typically a southbound altitude?

Not in this instance.

This is standard RVSM airspace (FL290-FL410). Odd levels 360-179 degrees. "Southbound" could be odd or even.

In this case, FL330 would have been correct for the TSO IMO. L456 and A523 in San Juan Oceanic both track westbound semi-circular, suggesting an even cruise level. G449 on the other hand would be an odd level. Depends exactly where the incident occurred, although the routes given on archae86's links would suggest waypoint THANK.


31st Aug 2008, 15:25
B777FD -

Here's the full quote -

"Head on? If true, what's the Russian jet doing at FL330 since that's typically a southbound altitude?"

Delta was southbound. Aeroflot was probably on a NE course, enroute to Europe(?) if it was at a correct cruising altitude. Aeroflot's route lists MIA as a destination but SJU's airspace is significantly south of the MIA-Europe traffic that we typically encounter in the WATRS airspace.

News report said the aircraft were approaching head on. That's news reports, which is why I wrote "if true". Again, that's news reports, and in 105 yrs of flying two a/c have yet to approach each other 'tail on'. ;)

It's obvious someone, either ATC, or one of the crews, made a mistake.

31st Aug 2008, 16:42
Not sure what point you're trying to make. I was questioning FL330 being (I quote) "typically a southbound altitude?" when it is a eastbound altitude and that would be why the TSO was at FL330.

31st Aug 2008, 17:31
I wonder what the "Russian-registered passenger jet" actually was, since the bulk of the Russian fleet used overseas has various western registrations. Another report says it was a Transaero B747(who do holiday charters from Moscow to various Caribbean points like the Dominican Republic), but all Transaero's B747s have either Bermuda or USA registrations.

31st Aug 2008, 18:13
Could be Delta's from Georgia:)

31st Aug 2008, 19:53
It was a Transaero aircraft. There is already a preliminary report on NTSB.
OPS08IA014A (http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20080829X01354&key=1)

31st Aug 2008, 23:47
Just a quick point here. 180 miles North of Puerto Rico is not the Caribbean - it's the Atlantic Ocean. Puerto Rico is one of the islands forming the northern boundary of the Caribbean Sea.
Just nit picking:ugh:

1st Sep 2008, 00:43
It's obvious someone, either ATC, or one of the crews, made a mistake.Another reminder that offsetting should be made mandatory? Even better, built in to every FMS?

The matter's been a bit a hairy dog on Pprune almost from the day Danny opened this site, and, as stated by '410', offsetting's main proponent here on Pprune, nothing's going to get done until 300+ Americans die. 300+ have already died in similar single accidents, (Saudia 747 and Tupolov out of Delhi in 1993), but the deaths of 300+ citizens of Third World nations don't seem to have quite the impact on CNN as 300+ Americans will.

This incident seems to have gone close to tragically testing '410's' theory. Pity we can't get the change mandated without 300+ people having to die first.

1st Sep 2008, 01:48
SLOP's main effectiveness is for headon situations. Offsetting R1 or R2 would not decrease the collision potential on crossing routes.

1st Sep 2008, 01:58
B777FD - I thought the article said the flights were 'head on', but it actually says 'heading towards' and then mentions 'intersecting routes', which indicates a crossing airway(IMO).

That misstatement by myself lead me to wonder what routing the Aeroflot a/c was on, as in "if true about being head on, why was he at FL330."

However, the primary altitude for a/c in the WATRS is odd for southbound flights and even for northbound flights. We're saying the same thing, east is odd, but in the WATRS that equates to "southbound is odd".

1st Sep 2008, 06:01
it wasn't Aeroflot

1st Sep 2008, 07:56
If the Delta route was as depicted in the FlightAware link, the TRM from DARUX to THANK on the WATRS airway L456 is 182 degrees - an even level in my opinion. Same for A523 which is predominantly 199 TRM. Not all WATRS airways are odd southbound! That is all I am saying. I agree about the SLOP necessity though.

1st Sep 2008, 15:20
Been flying WATRS, on and off, for the last 16 yrs. Southbound, even on courses of 184 degrees, 193 degrees, is odd. Northbound is even. Flights towards BDA airspace are odd, and regardless of the course(182, 184, etc) are still odd south of BDA.

Are all of the airways that way? Havn't flown all of them since the realignment but I've yet to see an required altitude change to correspond with a course change that had us flying at the 'wrong' altitude.

1st Sep 2008, 17:36
And that could be the cause of this incident.