2016-08-25 Edelweiss A330 Serious Airprox Near Zurich
On final approach, the Airbus A330 came into close proximity to a light aircraft which passed only about 300 feet. Both aircraft continued their flights safely.
Edelweiss Air flight EDW 3 from Las Vegas, USA, was descending from 5000 to 4000 feet after turning to final approach to runway 14 at Zurich Intl Aiport in daylight and good visibility (CAVOK) conditions.
Immediately afterwards ATC advised the pilots of an unidentified radar target. The pilots confirmed the other traffic, it was later identified as a german Scheibe SF25 Motorglider aircraft. This aircraft belongs to a Flying Club Greiz and was flying from Bad Dürkheim (GER) to Bieberach (GER). It appears that at no time this aircraft made any contact to Zurich Approach, therefore it was not an identified object for air traffic control.
Both aircraft approach each other at roughly the same altitude. The A330 passed below the lighter aircraft at a estimated vertical distance of only 300 feet (100 m).
The airliner continued its approach and made a safe uneventful landing at Zurich about two minutes later.
Swiss SUST has launched an investigation. Initial Report available -> HERE (pdf)
(The following conversation is taken from audio tape recording and my contain errors. Callsign for ATC is „Edelweiss 3A“)
ZRH-APPR: „3Alpha, turn right 110 (degrees) down to 4000 feet cleared ILS (approach) runway 14.“
EDW 3: „(readback)“
ZRH-APPR: „3Alpha, there is one primary target at the DME 13 (from ZRH VOR), Cessna on the localizer and (inintelligible) approximately on the localizer inbound. Altitude is unknown.“
EDW 3: „looking out 3Alpha.“
ZRH-APPR: „Cessna on the localizer 13, tracking 130 (degrees).“
EDW 3: „Looking out“
ZRH-APPR: „3Alpha, slow traffic ahead reduce to 180 (knots).“
EDW 3: „(acknowledged)“
ZRH-APPR: „3Alpha, if your prefer to avoid any direct left or right that primary target you may..its now DME 12 for the localizer.“
EDW 3: „Roger 3Alpha.“ (pause) „..we have that traffic in sight, it looks like a smaller glider airplane just crossing left to right approximately 13 miles.“
ZRH-APPR: „You have any idea about the altitude ?“
EDW 3: „Approximately 4500 (feet).“
ZRH-APPR: „Confirm okay, then so if you (unintelligible) avoid by climbing you (may) any time.“
ZRH-APPR: „Standby..okay we have the traffic it is approximately 5300 (feet) and it is a..looks like a propeller aircraft. Red and blue with white livery.“
ZRH-APPR: „Many thanks 3Alpha.“
ZRH-APPR: „..3A, so if you prefer you might report that later after landing on apron to Tower what you have seen. So tower supervisor can get first hand information from you. Call now Tower on 118.1 for landing.“
EDW 3: „Roger, will do. 118.1, bye bye.“
METAR Zurich-Kloten Intl Airport (LSZH):
METAR LSZH 251550Z 04003KT 350V100 CAVOK 31/17 Q1017 NOSIG=
METAR LSZH 251520Z VRB02KT CAVOK 31/18 Q1018 NOSIG=
Date: 2016-08-25 Time: 17:48
Location: 12 NM NW of Zurich Airport
Flight phase: APR – Initial Approach (IFR), Final Approach, all Circuit Patterns, Missed Approach/Go-Around
Damage to a/c: none
Flight no.: EDW 3
From: KLAS/LAS: Las Vegas-Mc Carran Intl To: LSZH/ZRH: Zurich
Operator: Edelweiss Air
From: Bad Duerkheim (EDRF): NONE To: Bieberach (EDMB) /: NONE
Operator: Luftsportverein Greiz [LINK]
Area where the Airprox occured © Planefinder.net
Flightplan of Scheibe Motorglider D-KOWC in relation to the airprox location © GoogleMaps
Type: Airbus A330-300
Age a/c: 0.56 years
Constr. No.: 1711
Type: Scheibe SF-25
Age a/c: 30 y
Constr. No.: –
Occupants & Casualties
JACDEC 25-year Statistics :
- 2nd safety occurence for the operator(Edelweiss)
- 204th safety occurence of type (A330)
- 37th Safety occurence near Zurich Airport, CH
- 1st safety occurence for aircraft in question(HB-JHR)
Order a Safety Report
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