NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

RAF Lossiemouth Typhoons avoided collision at last second

Image caption The incident involved two RAF Typhoons

Two RAF jets involved in a near miss near their Lossiemouth airbase only avoided a collision because one of the pilots happened to check his navigation system at the last second, a report has said.

The Typhoons were coming in to land in dark conditions last December.

The pilot did not know what made him check his navigation system when he did.

The UK Airprox Board found one pilot had flown an unexpected course.

The report described how at one point one pilot was flying visually and thought that he could see the leader's lights ahead of him.

'Unanimously applauded'

It said: "Unknown to him at the time, his leader had flown a slightly wider circuit and was therefore out to the right-hand side of the canopy at that point - the lights he could see belonged to Typhoon B, not his leader."

After checking his tactical air navigation system (TACAN), the pilot rolled and began to climb - and saw his leader "directly in his previously planned flightpath".

The report said: "The pilot noted that he did not know what prompted him to check the TACAN but he was confident, in hindsight, that if he had not done so separation between the aircraft would have been non-existent."

The board members "unanimously applauded him" for so doing and agreed that this had "most likely prevented much more serious consequences".