Two passenger jets on their way to Istanbul almost collided over Bulgaria. The incident, which happened on September 8 2016, but was disclosed only now, was rated as serious.
Above the town of Elhovo, an Airbus A321 owned by Atlasjet was instructed to descend in order to avoid coming too close to a Turkish Airlines Boeing 737. The Atlasjet pilots initiated a climb instead. As a result, the two jetliners were flying on a parallel course, at the same altitude, just 1.4 miles from each other. In aviation terms, that distance is virtually nothing. Experts call this a “near miss”, even though it would be more logical to call it a “near hit”.
A this stage, it is unclear why the Atlasjet pilots did the opposite of what they were ordered to do by Bulgarian air traffic controllers. The investigation is ongoing.
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