Colwyn Bay: Pilot's last minute turn prevented mid-air plane crash, review finds

The planes nearly crashed as they flew at low altitude a few miles out to sea from Colwyn Bay. Credit: PA

Two pilots narrowly avoided crashing into each other off the Conwy coastline, a review into the incident has found.

The incident happened roughly four miles north east of Colwyn Bay at a relatively low altitude of 1,300 feet back in February.

Aviation examiners have now released their findings on what happened.

They found that one of the pilots had spotted the other two or three miles ahead but was travelling faster and started to close the gap.

The pilot in front, flying a Piper PA28 light aircraft, then made a turn back towards land in a way the other plane "may not have expected," according to the UK Airprox Board (UKAB), which looks at near misses.

However, the UKAB said: "Having sighted a single-engine aircraft heading out to sea, it could have been reasonably anticipated that the PA28 pilot might have subsequently turned to head back towards land."

It added there had been "a limited selection of potential agencies" in the area to give "an air traffic service".

Looking at the incident, aviation authorities said it had been "the last minute avoiding action" by the pilot flying behind which had avoided a collision.

But the UKAB added the fact the pilot in front had not been able to see the plane behind and "the late decision" by the airman following to take evasive action which had "reduced safety in this encounter to much below the norm".

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