Two airliners narrowly avoid each other and near disaster mid-flight

A Qatar Airways Boeing 787 had a near collision with an Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 in the Gulf of Aden. (Illustrative Photo)

Robert Bushell / Robert –

Somaliland’s civil aviation accuses its Somali counterpart of making a mistake, which could have led to hundreds of deaths.

Hundreds of tourists have come close to death without even realizing it. On Saturday 24 February, an Ethiopian Airlines Airbus A350-900 was traveling between Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Akash narrowly avoided a collision with a Qatar Airways Boeing 787 en route from Doha, Uganda to Entebbe. .

At 12:32 pm local time, the Qatar Airways flight, “Which was flying at constant altitude (38,000 feet), it was falsely reported by controllers in Mogadishu (in Somalia, editor’s note) to climb to 40,000 feet.”, a state bordering Somalia, supports Somaliland’s civil aviation in a press release. At the time, the Ethiopian A350 was traveling in the opposite direction, at an altitude of 39,000 feet.

This mistake left the two planes in extremely dangerous conditions in the air, at about the same altitude, over the Gulf of Aden. Fortunately, the TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) collision warning systems on both planes functioned properly, signaling the dangerous proximity between the two planes.

Using TCAS, pilots were able to coordinate vertical evasive maneuvers, one ascending and the other descending, thus avoiding an imminent collision. Without these warnings, disaster can occur. An investigation into the incident was launched by the Somali Civil Aviation to ascertain the exact circumstances.

Strained relationships

The incident highlights the tumultuous relationship between Somalia and its neighbor, Somaliland, a separatist region in the Horn of Africa that has been an internationally unrecognized self-proclaimed republic since 1991. In the skies, the two states are fighting for control of the region’s airspace. In 2019, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) handed over management of Somalia’s airspace to the Somali authorities. In its press release published on Saturday, Somaliland Civil Aviation accused its Somali counterpart of making a mistake. Somalia, on the other hand, has accused Somaliland in the past “Misdirecting planes” .

In Somalia, we are trying to reassure the population. “Somali Civil Aviation Agency (SCAA) assures all Somali citizens and airlines using Somali air that it fully controls the safety of Somali aircraft. There is no insecurity and security threat in the skies of Somalia.The authority wrote on Facebook on Saturday after the near accident.

This narrowly avoidable collision comes just months after a similar incident in the United States. Last November, an American Airlines plane and a Tradewind Aviation plane came close to crashing simultaneously while landing at New York’s JFK Airport. Such an occurrence would not be so rare in the Atlantic. Last summer, a report from the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), released by New York Times, claimed that 46 plane accidents were avoided in the United States in the month of July 2023 alone. Proof that the subject is taken seriously in Uncle’s Country, American Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg acknowledged in USA Today in March 2023. “concerned”And assured that his administration is trying “To look closely and do deep analysis to see what’s going on”.


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