Argentinas A343, Easyjet A319 and Iberia A320 at Barcelona on Nov 12th 2012, loss of separation and TCAS resolution on final approach

Last Update: November 13, 2012 / 15:20:27 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 12, 2012

Classification
Incident

Flight number
AR-1160

Destination
Barcelona, Spain

Aircraft Registration
LV-BMT

Aircraft Type
Airbus A340-300

ICAO Type Designator
A343

An Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A340-300, registration LV-BMT performing flight AR-1160 (dep Nov 11th) from Buenos Aires Ezeiza,BA (Argentina) to Barcelona,SP (Spain), was on approach to Barcelona's runway 25R about to intercept the localizer while descending through 6200 feet. When ATC at the same time instructed to reduce speed to 160 knots, the crew advised they could not descend and reduce speed at the same time due to the heavy aircraft and advised they had no choice but to go around. The controller cleared the aircraft to head south and maintain 4000 feet.

The controller cleared an Easyjet Airbus A319-100 registration G-EZAO performing flight U2-2765 from Milan Malpensa (Italy) to Barcelona followed by an Iberia Airbus A320-200 registration EC-ILQ performing flight IB-1446 from Madrid,SP (Spain) to Barcelona for the ILS approaches to runway 25R.

The controller subsequently cleared AR-1160 to descend to 2300 feet and turn left onto heading 070 (effectively downwind), the crew reported they had the Iberia in sight on their TCAS display and offered to visually follow the Iberia, which the controller approved.

After the A340 began turning a crew, supposedly the Iberia crew, immediately began complaining on the radio "you can't do this, we are on the ILS", the Argentinian crew defending "we are following ATC instructions", ATC instructing the A340 "Follow TCAS instructions!", the A340 climbed from about 2400 to 2900 feet and after the conflict was resolved the controller instructed the A340 to continue turning left. The A340 subsequently intercepted the ILS 25R.

In a following charged communication between the controller and the A340 crew the controller suspected the A340 mistook the Easyjet A319 for the Iberia A320 and thus attempted to follow the wrong aircraft causing the loss of separation between all three aircraft.

All three aircraft landed safely, the Iberia crew commented "what a mess the Aerolineas has caused".

Radar data suggest that the minimum separation between the A340 and the Iberia A320 was less than 300 feet vertical with less than 2nm horizontal with the A340 briefly heading straight towards and then parallel to the Iberia between 14:56Z and 14:58Z before trajectories began to diverge.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 12, 2012

Classification
Incident

Flight number
AR-1160

Destination
Barcelona, Spain

Aircraft Registration
LV-BMT

Aircraft Type
Airbus A340-300

ICAO Type Designator
A343

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