After a potential mid-air collision was avoided by the Sri Lankan Airlines crew in Turkish airspace, an official report has been filed.
The planes involved in the incident were a British Airways Boeing 777-200 (registration G-VIIG) flying flight BA105 from London Heathrow to Dubai and a SriLankan Airlines Airbus A330-300 (registration 4R-ALM) carrying 275 passengers from London Heathrow to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport.
The British Airways jet, which was only 15 miles away and flying at 35,000 feet, had not been picked up by the Ankara Air Traffic Control, according to The Daily Mirror, therefore the flight UL504 escaped a potential mid-air collision in Turkish territory on Tuesday.
When Ankara Air Traffic Control asked the pilot of the SriLankan Airlines jet to climb to 35,000 feet when the British Airways flight was passing overhead close by, the pilot declined.
When the crew arrived safely in Colombo, they submitted an official report on the incident.
The UL504 crew overheard an ATC chat between BA AIR and Ankara Control regarding a potential intermittent transponder failure on BA AIR, according to the official report, which states that there was a British Airways flight above at 35,000 feet in Turkish Airspace.
In the crew’s own words, “Due to the vigilance and the action taken by the crew on UL504, managed to avert one of the worst mid-air collisions.”
Just after the UL flight took off, the British Airways flight, which was bound for Dubai before landing in Singapore, departed Heathrow.
The British Airways flight was traveling at a quicker pace than the UL flight, therefore if the UL captain had climbed to the desired height, the two aircraft would have collided in midair.
The flight’s crew and passengers successfully disembarked at the BIA following landing, and an incident report was submitted.
UL 504’s pilot refused to increase the flight’s altitude despite Ankara Air Traffic Control’s request.