Okay, let’s do the math. According to Boeing among the Boeing 747-400’s Technical Characteristics ...Typical Cruise Speed at 35,000 feet, 0.85 Mach, 567 mph... That’s basically approximately 1 mile every 2 seconds; 3 miles would be 6 seconds, 2 planes turning towards each other cuts that number down to 3 seconds.
Three seconds. That’s what I would classify as a near death experience. Of course I doubt any of the 1,000 souls aboard knew about it, but still…
I think I’ll stay home for Thanksgiving.
LONDON, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- Pilots of two Boeing 747 jumbo jets turned towards each other instead of following instructions to take evasive action, British investigators say.
Officials said the planes were carrying about 1,000 passengers between them when the four pilots either "misheard or misinterpreted" their instructions, the British newspaper The Independent reported Monday.
One of the pilots told investigators he thought he was following safety instructions June 23 when he turned right.
Instead he saw the other jet straight in front of him.
A review found the planes came within 100 feet of each other vertically and less than three nautical miles horizontally.
Both planes were at 34,000 feet preparing for trans- Atlantic crossings.
Scottish air traffic controllers told the plane on the left to turn left and the plane on the right to turn right. The pilots followed the instructions for the opposite plane and ended up heading for each other.
An air traffic controller resolved the problem by telling the pilot of one plane to "descend now immediately." He told the other plane to go up.
The report by flight safety watchdog Airprox speculated the pilots expected to receive only routine information and "they may have been perplexed by the avoiding action information and instinctively responded without properly assimilating it," The Scotsman reported.