An RAF training aircraft and an American fighter jet have avoided a collision by 100ft.

The King Air aircraft was eight miles from RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire when the incident occurred with one of two USAF F-15s.

The King Air was being flown by 45 (Reserve) Squadron when one of the US jets turned into its path.

A report into the near miss, said:

“The King Air pilot acknowledged that he was required to see and avoid. Although not threatened, he noted it was certainly a very uncomfortable position to be in.”

The F-15 pilots did not see the RAF aircraft and “on landing the F-15 crews were notified that the two RAF pilots had perceived a potentially dangerous situation.”

“Turning to the cause and risk, it was noted that the King Air pilot had seen the F-15s well before the incident, and was monitoring them. But he had been caught out when one of them had unexpectedly turned towards him. Some members thought that the King Air pilot could have built in more separation to the obviously manoeuvring F-15s, but others thought that, in the busy airspace this was probably a moot point.

It was agreed that the interaction between the King Air and the lead F-15 had been highly dynamic, with both pilots entitled to operate where they did.”

As a result, Airprox has now recommended British Air Command should set up an air traffic control service in the training areas in the skies near RAF Cranwell. The UK Airprox Board’s primary objective is to enhance air safety in the UK, in particular in respect of lessons to be learned and applied from Airprox incidents.

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