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A343 / B744, en-route, south of Newfoundland Canada, 1998

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Summary
On 20 July 1998, after an ATC error south of Newfoundland, an Air France A340 and an Air Canada 747-400 were on directly converging tracks and at the same level. Collision was avoided by the correct actioning of coordinated TCAS RAs by both aircraft.
Event Details
When July 1998
Actual or Potential
Event Type
HF, LOS
Day/Night Night
Flight Conditions IMC
Flight Details
Aircraft AIRBUS A-340-300
Operator Air France
Domicile France
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Houston Intercontinental
Intended Destination Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport
Flight Phase Cruise
ENR
Flight Details
Aircraft BOEING 747-400 (international, winglets)
Operator Air Canada
Domicile Canada
Type of Flight Public Transport (Passenger)
Origin Montreal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Intended Destination Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport
Flight Phase Cruise
ENR
Location En-Route
Origin Houston Intercontinental
Destination Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport
Location En-Route
Origin Montreal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport
Destination Paris/Charles de Gaulle Airport
Location
Approx. south of Newfoundland, Canada
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General
Tag(s) Aircraft-aircraft near miss
HF
Tag(s) ATC clearance error
Ineffective Monitoring
Procedural non compliance
LOS
Tag(s) Required Separation not maintained
ATC Error
Near Miss
EPR
Tag(s) PAN declaration
Safety Net Mitigations
TCAS Effective
Outcome
Damage or injury No
Causal Factor Group(s)
Group(s) Air Traffic Management
Safety Recommendation(s)
Group(s) None Made
Investigation Type
Type Independent

Description

On 20 July 1998, after an ATC error south of Newfoundland, an Air France A340 and an Air Canada 747-400 were on directly converging tracks and at the same level. Collision was avoided by the correct actioning of coordinated TCAS RAs by both aircraft.

Synopsis

The following is extracted from the synopsis of the official Transport Safety Board (Canada)Report:

"Air France flight 033 (AFR033), an Airbus A340 aircraft, was en route from Houston, Texas, USA, to Paris, France, at flight level FL370 with a routing of WHALE, BANCS, and latitude 46N longitude 50W (Oceanic Track "X"). Air Canada flight 870 (ACA870), a Boeing B747 aircraft, was en route from Montreal, Quebec, to Paris at FL370 with a routing of MILLS, COLOR, and latitude 47N longitude 50W (Oceanic Track "W"). ACA870 was re-cleared from MILLS direct to latitude 45N longitude 50W (Oceanic Track "Y"). The new routing placed ACA870 on a converging track with AFR033. Approximately 30 miles west of the BANCS intersection, both aircraft received and responded to traffic avoidance and collision advisory system (TCAS) resolution advisories (RA). A loss of separation occurred at approximately 0213 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) when the two aircraft closed to approximately 400 ft121.92 m vertically and 1.9 nm3,518.8 m
3.519 km
11,544.619 ft
horizontally. The required separation in the airspace for these aircraft is 5 nm9,260 m
9.26 km
30,380.577 ft
horizontally or 1000 ft304.8 m vertically."

BANCS LOS
Loss of Separation near BANCS

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