By Patrick Flynn
An investigation has been launched in Spain into how two Ryanair aircraft were forced to take evasive action after being involved in a ‘loss of separation’ incident.
A representative of the Air Accident Investigation Unit (AAIU) of the Department of Transport here is assisting with the investigation which is being conducted Spain’s Comisión de Investigación de Accidentes e Incidentes de Aviación Civil (CIAIAC).
The CIAIAC has confirmed that incident took place on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 about 30km east of Pamplona (Navarra) and involved two Boeing 737-800 aircraft operated by Ryanair which suffered a loss of separation.
One aircraft, flight FR-724, was en route from Santiago de Compostela to Palma de Mallorca, both in Spain, while the second plane, flight FR-1192, was travelling from Seville, Spain to Toulouse in France. The crews of both flights had been in radio contact with Madrid area control centre at the time.
As a result of the incident, the two Boeing 737-800 jets came within 400 feet (122m) vertically and 2.2 nautical miles (4.07kms) of each other before the conflict was resolved.
It has been confirmed that that traffic collision avoidance systems (TCAS) on both aircraft alerted the crews and issued automatic instructions to deal with the possible conflict. The automatic TCAS Conflict Resolution warnings were promptly executed by both pilots with one crew descending and the other climbing to safe altitudes.
The CIAIC confirmed that both aircraft continued to their destinations without further incident adding: "Neither of the two aircraft was damaged."
A Ryanair spokesman confirmed: "As the details of this incident confirm, both aircraft took appropriate diversion measures when they were separated by more than 2 miles and 400 feet of vertical air space."
A spokesman for the AAIU here said: "The AAIU has appointed a Non-Travelling Accredited Representative to assist the Spanish investigation.”