HC Deb 18 November 1969 vol 791 cc279-80W
Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement about the near collision between an El Al and a British Overseas Airways Corporation aircraft over Epsom, Surrey, on Tuesday, 11th November; and whether he will institute an inquiry.

Mr. Goronwy Roberts

At 15.15 B.S.T. on Tuesday 11th November a B.O.A.C. VC10 aircraft, G-ASGD, en route to Heathrow Airport from Teheran, via Zurich had an air-miss with an El Al Boeing 720 aircraft 4XABB leaving for Tel Aviv via Munich. The incident took place three or four miles north of the radio beacon near Stoke d'Abernon which marks the Epsom holding area for aircraft approaching Heathrow from the south.

Air traffic control had cleared the VC10 to leave the holding area at FL70 on a north-easterly course and the Boeing to cross the beacon marking the holding area at FL60, thus providing the standard thousand feet separation. The aircraft were flying in instrument meteorological conditions at the time in turbulent air and in cloud of varying intensity. The pilots saw each other in close proximity and took avoiding action. The steward and two passengers in the Boeing received minor injuries. No one in the VC10 was hurt.

On being notified of the incident, the Chief Inspector of Accidents immediately started his inquiries and instituted an inspector's investigation. The flight data recorders and R/T transcripts have been called in for examination, and the crews and other persons concerned are being interviewed. The Chief Inspector's report will be published in due course.