Australian Controller Suspended after Near-Miss

 - October 15, 2012, 3:20 PM

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is trying to understand how a military air traffic controller allowed a Qantas-Link Boeing 717 inbound to Darwin carrying 115 passengers to fly through the altitude of a Qantas Boeing 737 that just departed that same airport with 155 people on board. According to Australian media reports, the controller was suspended soon after the incident. Darwin is a joint-use military/civilian airport.

The 717’s Tcas alerted the crew to the other aircraft, which the pilot reported passed about 800 feet beneath him. That same captain said the other aircraft looked as if it had passed much closer to his 717 than 800 feet. He also reported receiving numerous confusing ATC clearances just before the near-miss occurred.