Two jets, one from Air France and the other from American Airlines, came perilously close to a mid-air collision last month, according to The Aviation Herald.
The incident happened on December 13 over the Caribbean Sea and was first reported by The Herald on December 31.
The Air France Boeing 777-300 was flying from Paris to Lima, Peru while the American Airlines Boeing 737-800 was en route from St. George, Grenada to Miami. Air France was flying at a flight level of 36,000 feet and climbing to 38,000, while the American plane was already flying at 38,000 feet. Both aircraft were flying over the Caribbean, about 220 nautical miles south of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The jets were on a trajectory converging at nearly a right angle, or in automobile parlance it was looking like a potential T-Bone accident at an intersection.
Instead, the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) activated on both jets. TCAS is an airborne system designed to increase cockpit awareness of nearby aircraft and serves as a last defense against mid-air collisions. It worked perfectly.
The American Airlines flight was instructed to climb to 38,800 feet while the Air France plane descended to 37,400 as the American flight crossed the intersecting point about four nautical miles ahead of Air France, avoid tragedy.
After being clear of conflict both aircraft continued to their respective destinations without further incident.