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TCAS Saves Two Air Mauritius A350s From Mid-Air Collision

Two Air Mauritius Airbus A350 flights headed in opposite directions narrowly avoided a mid-air collision as a result of what appears to be air traffic controller negligence. ( More...

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Highflyer1950 13
I suppose the next feature on box navigation will be the ability in a non- radar environment to select the desired altitude and using ADS/TCAS info you might get a message back requiring a certain rate of climb or be level by a certain distance and maybe even an offset track climb requirment?

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Rich Pelkowski 5
I recall Non-Radar Approach Control (GRR); could be very demanding depending on the amount and type air traffic. Unforegiving of inattention to detail.
Juan Jimenez 4
That'll give you constipation, for sure.
SkyAware123 5
?? more like the opposite. Clean underwear on isle-1 please.
Airbusbreath 4
Couldn't have picked two better airplanes for it to happen to, since the autopilot on the 350 will automatically fly the TCAS commands. The pilots can, of course, disconnect the autopilot and fly it manually if necessary for any reason.
tsberry901 3
Correction-you're right. I used to fly the Airbus a300. Your comment took me by surprise until I actually looked at the a 350 manual. Sorry!
Airbusbreath 2
No worries, thanks for clarifying.
tsberry901 2
No it does not.
Airbusbreath 2
Well, maybe it doesn't at another airline. But at ours, standard procedure is to verify on the FMA that 'TCAS' arms after the advisory 'TRAFFIC, TRAFFIC' and then becomes active once the TA (traffic advisory) becomes an RA (resolution advisory). We don't disconnect the autopilot unless it fails to arm or engage.
Highflyer1950 3
Thanks for the info. I just can’t figure out how a controller would issue an conflicting altitude change to these two aircraft with a closing speed of at least 800 knots and within 3 minutes of passing each other? Possible loss of situational awareness on the controller's part but what were the four pilots’ looking at on their TCAS prior to the TA? Opposite direction traffic always got my attention when -/+ 1,000’ at 12 o'clock, especially a heavy or a super at 50 nm or less. Would they not be on the same frequency?
Wayne Fox 4
ATC is subject to human error. Hooray for TCAS doing its job!
lynx318 4
TCAS, worth every dollar and then some, introduction didn't come soon enough.
SkyAware123 -1
The day humans running planes are out of the equation is the day air travel will be infinitely more safe.
Mike Hindson-Evans 7
Strength in depth. I bet the drivers woke up sharpish when TCAS kicked off!
chugheset 2
While this may not be exactly on topic, why do we still use Victor airways now that technology has advanced to the point where I suspect they are unnecessary. It's always a bit unsettling to look at FlightAware or other apps and see hundreds of flights traveling in close proximity and only separated by several hundred feet.
James Smith 1
If you are flying low (below 18,000ft)and slow (C182) victor airways offer Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude (MOCA) +/- 4nm either side of center line. Flying direct transfers the obstruction clearance responsibility to the pilot. As a practical matter, victor airways have breaks in them now due to decommissioning VORs such as V12, V190. Many victor airways are designed to avoid restricted airspace. V234 takes the flight away from Vance MOA.
chugheset 1
Perfect answer, thanks!
Robert Maillardet 1
For a novice, the article is unclear about how close this was? I assume that an 800m separation at coincident 39,000 altitude did not actually occur but it was the prediction of that occurring that triggered the warning? Do the records show just exactly how close these planes came to each other in space at closest approach? Be grateful for any advice from one of the many experienced members here - I am just a novice enthusiast who enjoys following these stories.

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tony badzioch 4
What kind of bigot are you to automatically assume a diversity/inclusion angle to the controllers? Keep your political comments out of this space!
Rich Pelkowski 5
For what it may be worth, here are the facts at least as I can determine:

1). These were not Federal Aviation Adminstratinve (FAA), Air Traffic Controllers.

2). Why resort to name calling; i.e. "bigot".

In fact, in De3cember 2013 the FAA dropped the preference for Controller Training Initiative (CTI) graduates and insteaad relied only on a biographical questionaire to review candidates for Air Traffic Control positions. You can draw your own conclusions: Here is a dated news release from the Dean of Aviation at the Beaver County Commuity College (CCBC), CCBC was the 1st academic institute to participate in the CTI program close to 40 years ago, and is/was widely considered preiminent in the private sector's effort at training future Air Traffic Controllers.

The news release follows:

December 2013, the FAA dropped the preference for CTI graduates and
instead relied only on a biographical questionnaire to review candidates
for air traffic controller positions.
The colleges believe the FAA changes were made based on an agency
diversity study that examined the race and gender of CTI graduates.
Because the FAA has changed the national perception of the hiring
practice, the CTIs are being hit," said Bill Pinter, dean of aviation sciences
at the Beaver County college, which had one of the highest success
rates for graduates at the FAA Academy at 97 percent.
In 2013, there were about 200 students in the college's air traffic control
program, but now, post-change, the college has about 60 students in the
FvH FvH 3
The incident happened over Sudan, so the suggestion that its cause may be related to FAA hiring policies seems quite far-fetched
Jim Mitchell 4
Right on!
Ronald Montgrain -1
Maybe because it's unfortunately become a big part of hiring standards in the past 20 years?
Have you thought of that?


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