Air catastrophe over Øresund averted by metres

Reports of summertime near-miss just surfacing now

A Cessna aircraft missed hitting an Egypt Air 737 by a mere 180 metres on 20 July. 

A report on the incident from the Danish air accident investigation authority suggested it was simply a matter of chance that disaster was avoided.

The near-miss happened at 15:08 on 20 July when the two planes passed each other two kilometres east of Falsterbo on the Swedish west coast, which is pretty much on the border between Swedish and Danish airspace. 

Too close for comfort
The 737 was carrying 144 passengers and on its way from Cairo to Copenhagen, while the Cessna was flying from Bornholm to Roskilde. 

Both planes were at 4,000 feet (1,220 metres) when they passed each other just 180 metres apart. 

The Egyptian Air plane was flying over the Baltic Sea from the south on a northwesterly course to land at Copenhagen Airport. 

The Cessna plane was on a westerly course over the southern tip of Sweden as it crossed into the Boeing’s airspace. 

Two different towers
When the incident occurred, the Egypt Air pilots were in radio contact with the control tower in Copenhagen, while the pilot of the Cessna plane was in radio contact with air traffic controllers in Sweden. 

The incident occurred because the Cessna flew without reporting its radar co-ordinates.

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The incident was reported to international aviation authorities at 16:28, and the relevant authorities in Denmark and Egypt were informed on the same day. 

The recent report is considered preliminary, and the investigation is continuing with the aim to avoid similar incidents in the future.