A collision in the sky between two A350s after TCAS triggered.
On January 6, 2022 at 23:04 UTC, automatic pilot of two Air Mauritius A350s suddenly changed their trajectories while flying over Sudan as the aircraft detected a risk of collision.
Flight #MK015 from Paris and flight #MK042 were flying at 39,000 ft when they passed 800 meters from each other.
Flight #MK042 from Mauritius asked permission from the ATC to gain altitude to climb from 38,000 at 40,000 ft. The Sudanese dispatcher granted this permission, while flight #MK015 (coming in the opposite direction) was at 39,000 ft.
The ATC error would have cost lives is the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) didn’t triggered. The co-pilots of the two planes were on duty during the incident.
In a press release, Air Mauritius confirmed the facts: “On the night of January 6, 2022, the minimum spacing required between two aircraft of the company was reduced over the airspace of Khartoum (Sudan). Two planes, Airbus A350-900s, respectively operating flights MK015 from Paris and MK042 to London. The control tower (ATC) gave its agreement to the crew of flight MK042 to change altitude and it is during the climb that the incident occurred. The aircraft being equipped with TCAS, the warning and avoidance systems worked. An investigation is underway to determine the origin and causes of this situation.”
The responsibility of the air traffic controller is clearly engaged.