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Near-collision of two planes at Zurich probed

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Malcolm Curtis - [email protected]
Near-collision of two planes at Zurich probed
Aerial view of Zurich airport. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A collision between two planes was narrowly avoided at Zurich airport last month when the pilots of the aircraft attempted to land on the same runway from opposite directions, authorities say.

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The incident occurred at night on March 20th when a Hawker-800 business jet operated by NetJets and flying from Turin was approaching the runway to land at the same time as a small plane from a flying school, the Swiss Accident Investigation Board (SAIB) said.

The flying school plane, a Piper PA-28 coming from Nuremberg, Germany, was approaching the wrong runway, said the board, which has opened an investigation into the incident.

A collision was avoided thanks to the intervention of a Skyguide air traffic controller, the ATS new agency reported on Sunday.

The aircraft coming from Germany, owned by the Birrfeld flying school in the canton of Aargau and piloted by one person, turned away and ended up landing on a different runway, ATS reported.

The exact circumstances of the close encounter have yet to be clarified.

The SAIB is also investigating a close call a day earlier (March 19th) near the Bern airport between a helicopter operated by the Swiss military and a Diamond DA20 training plane.

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