Light aircraft narrowly avoid mid-air collision over Shoreham

TWO small planes came dangerously close to colliding in the skies over Sussex, a report has revealed.

An investigation by the UK Airprox Board (UKAB) concluded that there was a serious risk of a collision between a Socata TB10 and a PA28 over Shoreham Beach near Shoreham Airport on July 18th. ‘last year.

The TB10 pilot told investigators he looked to his left to see part of an aircraft on his left and abruptly climbed as fast as he could to avoid a collision.

Both pilots reported a vertical separation between the two planes of approximately 50 feet (approximately 15 meters), with an analysis by UKAB measuring the horizontal separation of the aircraft at less than 0.1 nautical miles (approximately 185 meters or 608 feet).

Map of the flight path of the two planes as they approached the near miss

The report states that the PA28 pilot did not see the TB10 aircraft until after their closest point of approach and concluded that the TB10 pilot’s entry to climb had “most likely not had time to take effect before the plane has passed each other.”

“Providence played a major role in the events,” the report adds.

The investigation also revealed that there was nothing the air/ground operator at Shoreham could have done to help either of the pilots in the situation, “as they themselves were unaware of the proximity of the two aircraft and, in any case, an air/ground operator is not authorized to give instructions to the pilots”.

The near-miss came nearly six years after the Shoreham Airshow crash, where a plane failed to complete a loop maneuver and crashed, hitting vehicles on the A27.

A total of 11 people were killed and 16 injured in the worst air show disaster in more than 60 years.

A formal investigation by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) found that pilot error was the cause of the crash, with the pilot failing to recognize that the aircraft was flying too low to perform the loop.

An investigation into the tragedy has been repeatedly postponed due to the pandemic.

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