Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 2 months ago

Have 2 planes ever collided as the result of an air traffic controller’s mistake?

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    I heard that in the 1990s a controller set two light planes onto crossing approaches onto parallel runways at same time.

    The low wing monoplane overtook from above the high wing monoplane, so that neither could not be seen by the other.  The overtaking plane cut the tail off the front plane.  Several people died.  Leading pilot was first husband of my cousin's wife.  Was told that story by cousin.  Not sure if there were survivors from low wing plane.

  • Joseph
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Yes, of course, it happened a number of times.  Here are a few examples.

    On August 11, 1979 two Tu-134s collided in the air over Ukraine.  One of the aircraft involved in the collisions correctly reported its estimated arrival times at several waypoints, but the air traffic controller incorrectly noted those times.  He then cleared the second aircraft to climb the the altitude occupied by the first aircraft, resulting in a collision.  Seventeen players, coaches and staff of the Top Soviet Soccer League Pakhtakor Tashkent FC, on their way to a match in Minsk, died in the crash. 

    On August 17, 1957 two Il-14s collided over Kiev when the controller mistakenly cleared both of them for a final approach at the same time.  The controller believed that one of the planes was farther away from the airport than it actually was.

    On the night of July 1, 2002 a Tu-154 collided with a DHL Boeing 757 over Überlingen, Germany.  An overworked air traffic controller, working two stations and hampered by delayed radar returns incorrectly instructed the Tu-154 to descent to avoid the conflict with the 757.  The correct action was for the Tu-154 to climb or for the 757 to descent. 

    Following Russian policy at the time the Tu-154 crew followed the controller's instructions instead of their TCAS (Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System) which was telling them to climb. 

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