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Near miss at Newtownards Airport

THERE have been four near misses or "Airprox" incidents at all of Northern Ireland's main airports as well as Newtownards Airfield in the past two years according to the Civil Aviation Authority.

Three of the incidents involved passenger planes however the incident at Newtownards Airfield involved a small plane and a glider.

On Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 3.45pm the closest near miss between aircraft occurred.

A small Vigilant Motor Glider and a slightly larger Cessna plane came into conflict as both were preparing to land.

The Cessna ended up 20ft below and 10ft behind the Vigilant. The Vigilant pilot went on a go-around, circling the airfield before landing.

Both aircraft landed safely and the Vigilant pilot was confident that a collision could have happened.

The incident carried the most risk out of all Northern Irish near misses.

The other incidents included an Airbus A319 being 200ft away from a helicopter during take-off, a micro-light nearly colliding with a twin-prop plane, and a Cessna coming within 100ft of a Boeing 737.

Belfast Telegraph