Report Details Harrowing Bizjet/Glider Close Encounter

 - June 11, 2019, 12:22 PM

French aviation safety investigation agency BAE has issued a serious incident report on the May 23 near midair collision between a Swiss-registered Bombardier Challenger 300 and a German-registered glider near Switzerland’s Basel Mulhouse Freiburg Airport. The twinjet had departed from Zurich and was on approach when the incident occurred.

While descending from 5,000 feet to 4,000 feet on radar vectors for an ILS approach, the Challenger 300 crew saw a glider at the same altitude at a “short distance” on a converging flight path at about 11 a.m. local. Weather was VMC.

The pilot flying the jet told BAE investigators that he “disconnected the autopilot and carried out an evasive maneuver, requiring him to bank up to 45 degrees and pitch the nose down.” The crew estimated the glider flew past their right side at a “distance of 30 meters” (less than 100 feet) and they saw the glider pilot in the cockpit, along with the glider's German registration number.

Switzerland-based charter and management company Premium Air was operating the Challenger 300 on a positioning flight at the time of the incident. No damage or injuries were reported for either aircraft. However, the BAE said its probe into the incident will be a “full ICAO Annex 13 investigation.” Annex 13 spells out the recommended standards for conducting uniform incident/accident investigations by EU member states.