Monarch A321 at Menorca on Jul 21st 2017, undercut by a private plane on final ILS approach

Last Update: November 10, 2018 / 23:07:52 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 21, 2017

Classification
Incident

Flight number
ZB-942

Destination
Menorca, Spain

Aircraft Registration
G-OZBH

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

A Monarch Airlines Airbus A321-200, registration G-OZBH performing flight ZB-942 from Birmingham,EN (UK) to Menorca,SP (Spain), had been cleared for an ILS approach to Menorca's runway 01 and was fully established on localizer and glideslope on final approach.

A private aircraft performing a VFR flight crossing through Menorca terminal area had been instructed to cross the localizer past the A321, however, crossed exactly underneath the A321 causing a TCAS resolution advisory with the A321.

The A321 crew upon receiving the TCAS resolution advisory to "Level Off" initiated a go around, climbed out to safety, positioned for another approach and landed safely on second approach.

The private aircraft also continued to its destination.

Spain's CIAIAC reported the private aircraft crossed the localizer 400 feet below the A321 2.5nm before the runway threshold. The A321 crew received a TCAS resolution advisory to level off and initiated a go around.

The ILS runway 01 features a glidepath of 3.0 degrees. At 2.5nm before the runway threshold the A321 being exactly on glidepath would have been at 844 feet AGL.

On Nov 9th 2018 the CIAIAC released their final report concluding the probable cause of the incident was:

The incident occurred because the pilot of the AQUILA A-210 airplane did not correctly follow the instructions provided by ATS and executed a maneuver that was different from the one he had requested and that had been authorized.

The CIAIAC analysed:

According to the information provided by AEMET, the visibility was good in the area of the incident, though there were low clouds, which made it possible, as the pilot of the AQUILA A-210 stated, for him to believe that he had the AIRBUS-A321 in sight when in fact he was confusing it with another that was on approach to the runway ahead of the AIRBUS-A321.

What does seem clear is that he must have hesitated, which is why he requested clearance from the controller to turn left, away from the approach path. This makes it difficult to understand why, once cleared to make the maneuver he himself had requested, he continued toward the aircraft, forcing it to go around.

This change of mind entailed considerable risk and almost caused a mid-air collision.

The proximity between the airport and the aerodrome makes increases the risk that similar situations may occur, which requires the individual that provide the air traffic service to exercise caution.

In this case, the actions of ATS were correct.

As for the crew of the AIRBUS-A321, their statements indicate that, in general, they followed the TCAS RA procedure correctly.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Jul 21, 2017

Classification
Incident

Flight number
ZB-942

Destination
Menorca, Spain

Aircraft Registration
G-OZBH

Aircraft Type
Airbus A321

ICAO Type Designator
A321

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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