NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Fighter jets in near miss at RAF Lossiemouth

Typhoon jet Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A Typhoon was one of the two types of RAF jets involved in last year's incident

Two fighter jets came within 300ft (91m) of each other near a Moray air station.

An investigation into the incident at RAF Lossiemouth found a collision avoidance system was ineffective because it had not "warmed up".

The incident in August last year involved a Typhoon and a Tornado from separate aircraft formations.

The RAF has taken action to avoid a repeat of the incident, which was investigated by the UK Airprox Board.

A group of four Tornado jets had left the RAF station at Lossiemouth. At the same time, a formation of four Typhoons was flying close to the base.

As one of the Typhoons turned to the right to avoid the town of Lossiemouth, for noise abatement reasons, it came near to a Tornado which had just taken off.

In determining the cause, the UK Airprox Board said the pilot of the Typhoon had not "integrated effectively" with the other jet.

Since the incident, aircraft now veer left to avoid the town to make similar incidents less likely.

Fatal crash

The RAF has been installing collision warning systems in Tornado aircraft following a crash between two of the jets in 2012.

Three airmen were killed in that crash over the the Moray Firth.

Flt Lt Hywel Poole, 28, who was born in Menai Bridge on Anglesey in north Wales, died in hospital after being airlifted from the scene.

Sqn Ldr Samuel Bailey, 36, from Nottingham, and Flt Lt Adam Sanders, 27, who grew up in Lancashire, were also killed.

A fourth RAF serviceman, Sqd Ldr Paul Evans, survived but was badly injured.

Following the investigation into that collision, the RAF said it was acting to ensure suitable warning systems were fitted to the Tornado type.

A spokesman said: "This is the first time such a system has been fitted to an existing combat fast jet anywhere in the world."

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