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‘Seconds from crash’ at Sibson Airfield

Two aircraft were seconds from a mid-air collision at Sibson Aerodrome earlier this year according to a report from the UK Airprox Board.

The report says that the two aircraft, both Cessna 208’s, were separated by just 50ft vertically before the control tower intervened preventing the collision on 18th April 2019.

The lower of the two aircraft was being flown by a student pilot, with an instructor on board, and was on final approach at the same time as the other aircraft, which had just dropped parachutists.

A staff member at Sibson Aerodrome said that “Both pilots were unaware of the position of the other C208 and, if not told to go around, it was estimated that a collision would have occurred after about five seconds”.

In addition to the control tower intervention, which was commended by the Airprox report, the instructor took control of the training aircraft when he heard noise and saw the shadow of the aircraft above.

The report criticised the schedule of the parachute drops which had the potential to put pressure on the pilots to have a quick turnaround and said there should be ‘sufficient flexibility’ in the schedule.

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