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Thu Sep 12, 2019, 11:22 AM

Two US fighter jets flew under parachutists in UK near miss

Source: The Guardian

Two US fighter jets flew under parachutists in UK near miss

Airprox board says F-15 pilots inadvertently flew across Cambridgeshire parachute site

Mattha Busby
Thu 12 Sep 2019 10.21 BST
Last modified on Thu 12 Sep 2019 14.49 BST

Two US fighter planes were in danger of colliding with a pair of skydivers in Cambridgeshire after the jets inadvertently flew across a parachuting site, a report has revealed.

A GoPro camera fitted to the helmet of one of the parachutists recorded video of the F-15 fighter jets flying beneath them as they fell at 120mph.

The UK Airprox board, which reports on air proximity events in British airspace, said regulations and procedures were not complied with, and that although the pilots should have been made aware of the skydiving centres as part of their normal briefing routine, they ought to have either questioned air traffic control or avoided the area.

As they were handed over from air traffic controllers at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to those at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk just before 1.20pm on 17 April this year, the planes slightly changed course to avoid a refuelling tanker. After the changeover the frequency became busy, meaning the controller was unable to change the heading of the F-15s.

“The controller believed he would have plenty of time to change the heading of the F-15s when they came on frequency,” the report said. “However, the frequency became busy just as they transferred and so by the time the F-15 pilots checked in with the controller they were already about to fly over Chatteris.”


Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/sep/12/two-us-fighter-jets-flew-under-parachutists-in-uk-near-miss

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