Easyjet A319 at Palma Mallorca on May 21st 2014, near collision on final approach

Last Update: October 2, 2015 / 15:56:28 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 21, 2014

Classification
Incident

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-6895

Aircraft Registration
G-EZDM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

An Easyjet Airbus A319-100, registration G-EZDM performing flight U2-6895 from Glasgow,SC (UK) to Palma Mallorca,SP (Spain), was on final approach to Mallorca's runway 24L when an unknown aircraft crossed the final approach course of both runway 24L and 24R. The A319 continued for a safe landing on runway 24L.

The French BEA reported in their weekly bulletin on Jul 1st 2014, that a near collision occurred when an unknown aircraft intruded the localizer for both runways 24L and 24R crossing the final approach path of G-EZDM. Spain's CIAIAC have opened an investigation into the occurrence rated a serious incident.

On Apr 28th 2015 Spain's CIAIAC reported in an interim statement, that a student pilot on a solo flight in his Cessna 150 entered the control zone of Palma Mallorca airport without communication with ATC and without clearance. At the same time G-EZDM was on approach to Mallorca's runway 24L when the commander of the Easyjet flight noticed an aircraft on TCAS display without altitude information. The commander established visual contact with the Cessna and ruled out to perform a missed approach due to proximity with the Cessna flying in similiar direction slightly above the A319. While maintaining visual contact with the Cessna the commander decided to continue the approach, switched the TCAS to Traffic Advisories only and landed safely. The student pilot finally spotted the two runways of Palma Mallorca, turned and climbed to leave the control zone and proceeded to his intended destination for a safe landing. The investigation is ongoing, the research is already complete, a final report is estimated to be released shortly.

On Oct 2nd 2015 the CIAIAC released their final report in Spanish concluding the probable cause of the incident was:

a mistake in the student's visual navigation which led him to deviate from the planned route and inadvertently enter the control zone and approach sector of Palma Mallorca. The fact, that the student was basing his navigation on the gyro based heading indicator without aligning the gyro properly prior to takeoff and regularly in flight, was a contributing factor.

The CIAIAC analysed that the student pilot in the Cessna 150 used the gyro directional information without realizing that the information could be misleading due to the lack of proper alignment of the gyro prior to takeoff and regular alignment in flight. Furthermore visual navigation requires to identify the own position through identification of the ground based on proper visual navigation maps. There was a highway east of Bonnet which could have easily made the student aware of the aerodrome and deviation off course.

When the A319 was on final approach the crew received a TCAS warning, sighted the light aircraft ahead and due to the complexity of the situation decided to not abort the approach keeping the light aircraft in sight throughout the conflict.

The CIAIAC stated that the two aircraft came within 0.1nm horizontal separation, the radar was not able to determine any vertical separation.

The CIAIAC analysed that the air traffic controller looked at his radar screen, did not see any threat and cleared the A319 for the final approach to Palma Mallorca, then diverted his attention to other tasks. Only after the A319 crew had reported the light aircraft he looked up the radar again, discovered the aircraft depicted on the radar screen and tried to radio the aircraft without success.

The CIAIAC analysed that the Cessna 150 was visible on the radar screen of the approach controller indicating the intrusion into the controlled approach sector of Palma Mallorca and the controller most likely was aware of the proximity of the two aircraft, he did not make any attempt to contact the nearby tower of the Cessna pilot's most likely destination aerodrome to talk to the pilot, which would have averted the conflict.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
May 21, 2014

Classification
Incident

Airline
Easyjet

Flight number
U2-6895

Aircraft Registration
G-EZDM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A319

ICAO Type Designator
A319

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