Shortly after taking off from Palma airport in Mallorca, the Boeing 737 came within 100ft of the private jet according to radar tracking
A Ryanair flight packed with British holidaymakers arrived ‘seconds’ after an in-flight crash with a private jet.
The pilot of the flight, from Mallorca to Britain’s Manchester Airport on May 28, had to veer off course dramatically after seeing a private jet in its flight path.
Shortly after taking off from Palma airport on the Spanish island, the Boeing 737 came within 100ft of the private jet according to radar tracking.
The minimum vertical distance between commercial flights is supposed to be 1,000 feet, while planes are supposed to stay three to five miles apart horizontally.
An initial investigation shows that the Ryanair flight was about a mile from the jet horizontally and 100 feet very close to it vertically.
As the commercial plane had just taken off, it was hurtling through the air at around 150 mph and continuing to accelerate very rapidly.
The Spanish-registered aircraft had taken off from nearby Son Bonet airfield and was climbing to 1,000ft.
It is believed that the two planes could have been within 20 seconds of crashing into each other.
The Ryanair flight should have been alerted to the jet, a Cirrus SF50, by on-board warning systems or air traffic control – but none did.
Instead, the Ryanair crew spotted it from the cockpit and swerved to miss it.
It is believed that passengers on the Mallorca flight had no idea of the near-miss as both flights landed safely at their destination.
Pilots are taught to always turn right quickly if they fear they are too close to another aircraft.
Spanish aviation chiefs have now launched a full investigation into the incident to establish exactly how it happened, reports the Daily mail.
A Ryanair spokesperson said in a statement: ‘The Palma Manchester combat crew took immediate action after identifying a converging light type aircraft and as a result the aircraft remained well clear and the flight continued to Manchester.
“The event is still under investigation and we continue to liaise with the respective competent authorities to support the associated processes.”
While the investigation will focus on the instructions given to the pilots of the two planes, it is likely that the responsibility will fall on the shoulders of the Spanish air traffic controllers.