Qantas, Emirates Planes Nearly Miss Each Other Over Melbourne Airport

8th Feb 2016

5th July, 2015 could have easily be a tragic day for passengers and crew members on board Qantas flights QF449 and QF819 and Emirates UAE 405, but the situation was averted at the last second, luckily.

Now, several months following the incident, a video footage, shot by a passenger through the plane's window, show just how close to the three jets were to an actual tragedy.

The video, shot from one of the planes, shows the lights of a nearby plane approaching from its left side and then disappearing under the wind. Following this, the plane performs a 'missed approach'.

A 1st Officer can also be heard on the footage, explaining to passengers that this was a 'necessary maneuver'.

The 'potential disaster, as Senator Nick Xenophon described the incident, involved two Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft, who were about to land on a runway. However, a third plane, one from Emirates was late in taking off from an intersecting runway and the two Qantas planes were heading for a collision course with it.

Fortunately, the pilots of the two Qantas aircraft were immediately given a 'double go around' order and managed to avoid a hit. One of the planes was even given a go-ahead to fly at an unsafe altitude.

Senator Xenophon said he received several calls from pilots and air traffic controllers about the poor safety procedures at the Melbourne Airport.

Speaking about this particular incident, Xenophon said:

"This was a near miss. Two aircraft nearly collided in air because of a series of systemic failures."

A Qantas spokesman said:

"This pilots of both aircraft responded quickly and followed standard procedure for a missed approach, landing safely shortly afterwards. There was no loss of separation, meaning that all aircraft involved maintained their minimum distance from each other at all times."

He added:

"Qantas is comfortable with the land and hold short procedure at Melbourne Airport, which is used by all domestic airlines at Tullamarine without incident every day."

One of the problems at the Tullamarine Airport are its intersecting runways. Most airports have parallel runways.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigators are looking into this incident.