Civilian air traffic controllers received a special briefing from an RAF Lossiemouth fighter pilot after they routed a civilian aircraft to fly through an area being used by Typhoon jets.
A pair of Lossiemouth-based Typhoons were forced to take evasive action on June 25 after the civilian Jetstream on route between Aberdeen and Inverness airport appeared on their radar screens.
While the incident involving two FGR4s from the Moray base and the Jetstream 41 just 15 miles from the military base never posed a risk of collision, a UK Airprox Board investigation said that the incident prompted a pilot from the Moray base to brief civilian flight controllers on the capabilities of the military jets.
The Typhoon’s were conducting a routine exercise south-east of their base when the civilian aircraft was spotted at an altitude being used by the military jets and which had been notified to Air Traffic Controllers.
In their submission to the board HQ Air Command said: “This incident highlights the need for controllers to understand the intentions of the pilots concerned.
“The decision to route [the civilian plane] through the airspace based on the ‘current’ position of the Typhoon pair was probably flawed and this is not the first Airprox that has occurred where a pair of military fast jets has split to conduct high-energy manoeuvres throughout a block of altitude notified to Air Traffic Control.”
The report added that in this case it was fortunate that the Typhoon pilots gained radar on the Jetstream, allowing them with the help of their military controller to ensure safe separation was maintained.
However, the Airprox report concluded that the Board were “heartened to hear about the action that has been taken to assist in preventing similar incidents in future”.
It added: “The capabilities brief given by a Typhoon pilot to civil controllers should aid their understanding of military operations relative to fast jet traffic operating from Lossiemouth.”
Typhoon squadrons had only been based at RAF Lossiemouth for a few days at the time of the incident. A meeting was subsequently held at RAF Lossiemouth on November 4 of the Regional Airspace Users’ Working Group, and it was at that the Typhoon pilot delivered a capabilities brief to civil controllers.