Search

US fighter jets forced to ‘take action’ in high-speed near miss

PUBLISHED: 11:18 10 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:21 11 June 2020

Two F-15Es from the 494th Fighter Squadron/48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath. Two of the base's jets were involved in a near miss over Norwich in October 2019. Picture: GARY STEDMAN

Two F-15Es from the 494th Fighter Squadron/48th Fighter Wing from RAF Lakenheath. Two of the base's jets were involved in a near miss over Norwich in October 2019. Picture: GARY STEDMAN

(c) copyright citizenside.com

Two F-15 fighter jets had to “take action” to avoid colliding at more than 350mph over Norwich while on their way back to RAF Lakenheath.

The two fighter jets, which were both based in Suffolk as part of the US Air Force’s 48th Fighter Wing, reportedly came within 800ft of each other, according to one of the pilots.

A report released by the UK Airprox Board, which assesses the risk of any close calls in Britain’s skies, concluded that the incident was category B - the second highest rating.

The report said the planes had been involved in a training exercise on October 3, 2019 over East Anglia when the near miss took place.

MORE: Fighter jets in 350mph near miss with skydivers

The first F-15 was in formation with three other planes travelling south-west, heading from the coast over the north-west of Norwich.

At the same time, another F-15 was flying west in a pair to the north of Norwich, but at a lower altitude.

The pilot of the first fighter jet said that the formation had “situational awareness” of the pair and could see them at three and a half miles away.

The pilot said the pair were flying “predictably” in their formation however as they approached, they saw a jet begin to climb.

It then made an “aggressive manoeuvre” to avoid a collision.

At the closest point, roughly over the skies of Cawston, one of the pilots reported the aircraft were only 300ft away. However, the report suggested the real distance was 800ft.

You may also want to watch:

MORE: Meet the Americans living in Suffolk showing their love for the NHS

Both pilots described the risk as “low” however a controller at Swanwick East station said he thought it was “high”.

The controller said he passed traffic information to the second jet on three occasions as they descended towards RAF Lakenheath.

As the two planes became close, the controller issued instruction for the plane to turn to “prevent a possible mid-air collision”.

Concluding the report, the Airprox board said that due to both pilots having to “take action” and that the manoeuvres were “some what last minute”, safety had not been assured.

F-15s from Lakenheath have previously been involved in near misses over East Anglia.

In April last year, two jets travelling at 350mph nearly collided with two parachutists in Cambridgeshire, who caught the footage on GoPro cameras.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East Anglian Daily Times. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the East Anglian Daily Times