A business jet almost collided with a Boeing 777 in the skies above London last summer.

Airport news for Flights,Heathrow on 09/09/2010.

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A private business jet came close to colliding with a Turkish Airlines passenger jet after departing from London City Airport, a safety report has revealed. The report from the UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) terms the incident, which took place over London, as ‘serious’.

The Citation 525 jet had taken off from London City Airport, near the centre of London, and was flying about 800 metres away from and about 100-200 feet below the Turkish airliner. The Turkish Airlines Boeing, carrying 232 people, was heading for Heathrow Airport. The incident occurred at an altitude of 4,000 feet, on 27 July, 2009.

According to the report, London City Airport’s control tower had cleared the business jet to climb to an altitude of about 3,000 feet. However, when the flight crew of the German-owned Citation acknowledged the tower’s instruction, they said they would climb to 4,000 feet.

The instruction from the business jet, known as a ‘readback’ mistake, was overlooked by the controller at the tower, said the AAIB. At the same time, the Turkish airliner had received clearance to descend to 4,000 feet as it approached Heathrow. Had the incident occurred during bad weather and poor visibility, the only thing preventing a possible mid-air collision would have been built-in collision avoidance systems.

However, the safety investigation found that the crew on the Turkish airliner had ignored three warnings from its on-board collision avoidance systems. Furthermore, the business jet was not even fitted with such safety systems, called TCAS II.

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