Near collision of 2 Qantas planes prompts investigation
SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian authorities were on Saturday investigating how two Qantas passenger planes got so close that it triggered a collision warning alert, forcing them to take evasive action.
The incident happened over southern Australia on Friday and involved two Airbus A330s travelling in opposite directions between Sydney and Perth.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB), which is investigating, said early reports were that the eastbound plane was cruising at 39,000 feet when the westbound plane was given permission to climb from 38,000 feet to 40,000 feet, triggering one of the plane's traffic collision avoidance systems.
"One of the aircraft, the lower one, asked for clearance to climb; the air traffic controller gave that clearance," Mr Richard Woodward, vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, told the ABC news station.