An Egypt Air flight from Ostend heading to Cologne, and an Air France jet packed with passengers heading towards Amsterdam almost ended in a possible disaster, a possible midair crash of the Belgium city of Ghent.
It happened on New Year’s Day when the two planes came close to colliding. The incident was reported by local media.
Two planes, one of them an Air France passenger plane, had a mid-air near miss in the Ghent region over Belgium on 1 January. The distance between the two aircraft was 90 meters in altitude and 1,370 meters (0.8 miles) horizontally. An Egyptian cargo plane is said to have ignored instructions as many as three times.
The Belgium Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the federal Mobility Department has started an investigation into a serious incident in the airspace near Ghent (East Flanders) on New Year’s Day.
An Egyptian cargo plane, an Airbus A300, had taken off from the regional airport of Ostend and nearly collided with an Air France passenger plane bound for Amsterdam.
The Egypt Air plane was gaining altitude as it was bound for Cologne, while the French aircraft, which had taken off near Paris, was preparing for landing.
According to the first findings of the report, pilots of Egypt Air were ordered to stop gaining altitude three times. When both were coming closer to one another, the TCAS alert system automatically started. This activates an alarm in the cockpit, but the Egyptian crew allegedly ignored this as well.
In the end, the two were at 22,000 feet altitude approximately when the near miss took place. This happened above Lozer, south of Ghent near Kruishoutem. The report is talking of”a serious incident”.
The Belgian air traffic control center Belgocontrol said it reported the incident immediately to the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU).
Spokesman Dominique Dehaene said, “traffic controllers did their job correctly.”