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Cargojet Boeing 767 Has To Take Evasive Action When Glider Drifts Into Its Path

SimpleFlying 8/20/2022 Riley Pickett
© Provided by SimpleFlying

A Boeing 767 was forced to break off its approach into Hamilton, Ontario (YHM) after the flight crew spotted a glider in its path. The Cargojet flight had flown from Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR), and was tracking the ILS to runway 12 when the incident occurred. The 767 pilots had no indication that the glider was there until they could see it directly in front of them. The pilots banked the aircraft to the right to avoid a collision. They were then able to re-intercept the localizer and make a safe approach and landing at YHM.

A near miss

On Friday, August 12th, a Cargojet 767 registered C-FCAE had to take evasive action to avoid a collision with a glider. When the incident occurred, the 767 was on approach to YHM, heading for runway 12. As the aircraft was nearing the runway, the pilots noticed a glider in front of them and were forced to turn to the right to avoid a collision. The two aircraft came near enough that the cargo pilots could vividly see the glider pilot. The 767 pilots were able to return to the approach and re-intercept the localizer. The glider had since vacated the area by turning northwest. The pilots landed safely on YHM's runway 12.

The 767 was able to land safely. Photo: Cargojet

The Cargojet flight W8-302 had departed YVR on runway 26L at 06:02 PDT. The flight safely landed at YHM at 12:43 EDT, three hours and 41 minutes after departure. The airline regularly operates this route four times per week. The flight crew had no indication of the gliders' presence until they could visually see the aircraft. The glider was not transponding any identification/position codes, and was also not utilizing ADSB-out technology. Either of these would have alerted the flight crew of its presence.

Visual separation

In this situation, the 767 crew was flying under IFR rules, which means that they were on a filed flight plan and flying according to ATC instructions. The glider would operate under VFR rules by default, which means it is responsible for maintaining visual separation from all other aircraft. ATC can only provide aircraft separation if both aircraft utilize radar equipment such as a transponder or an ADSB-out system. It is not known if this glider had these systems or not. There is the possibility that these systems were experiencing a malfunction during flight. The glider was also not communicating with ATC.

ATC provides separation from other aircraft for IFR traffic. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Whether the lack of communication was purposeful or not, contact from the glider to ATC could have helped avoid this situation in the first place. Most airliners, including this 767, are equipped with a TCAS warning system. This system alerts the flight crew of any other aircraft posing a hazard to the safety of the flight. This only works when the other aircraft is using a transponder. Thankfully it was a clear enough day that the freighter could see the glider before an accident occurred.

What do you think of this incident? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: The Aviation Herald, Mentour Pilot

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