Near-miss at Barcelona Airport caught on camera

Near-miss at Barcelona Airport caught on camera
Video still: An Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A340-300 taxiing across the runway at Barcelona-El Prat airport just as a UTair Boeing 767-300 from Moscow approaches the same strip from behind.

Disaster was averted at Barcelona's airport on Saturday as two airplanes - one on the runway and another about to land - narrowly missed each other.

The chilling footage was recorded by aviation enthusiast and YouTube user 'Miguel Angel', and uploaded on the video-sharing website the next day. The video has since been viewed more than one million times.

In the roughly two-minute clip, an Aerolíneas Argentinas Airbus A340-300 can be seen taxiing across the runway at Barcelona-El Prat airport just as a UTair Boeing 767-300 from Moscow approaches the same strip from behind.

Fortunately, the UTair pilots sighted the aircraft in the nick of time and immediately aborted the landing, pulling up the nose of the plane quickly for another go-around.

The move is a risky one because the plane has to re-enter the busy airspace unexpectedly.

The video then captures the Utair plane overhead closing the landing gear doors and circling around for another landing attempt.

According to Miguel, the plane landed safely on the tarmac soon after and the Argentinas aircraft bound for Buenos Aires took off without incident.

The close call comes after another near-miss last Thursday, involving a Singapore Airlines plane which took off from Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

According to NBC News, the pilot of the SIA airliner did not level off when he reached 4,000ft as required, resulting in the aircraft being less than 2,000ft (610m) away from a Delta Air Lines plane that was preparing to land.

An SIA spokesman confirmed that "there was a loss of separation" involving Flight SQ61, which is a Boeing 777-300ER plane.

According to a My Paper report, aviation experts suspected that the incident could have been a case of miscommunication between the pilots and air traffic controllers.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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