Westjet Encore left the Calgary International Airport, Alberta enroute to Nanaimo Airport, British Columbia on Jan. 3, 2019. (Contributed)

Two planes come into close contact above Kelowna

The incident occurred between a WestJet flight and a private plane back in 2019

Two planes came into close contact while flying over Kelowna, back in January of 2019.

A WestJet flight heading from Calgary to Nanaimo encountered a ‘loss of separation’ with a private plane bound for Kamloops on Jan. 3, 2019, warranting an investigation by the Transportation Board of Canada (TSB).

The investigation revealed that an error in-flight data, along with other factors resulted in the two planes coming into close contact or a loss of separation. A vertical separation of 1000 feet is required between planes, however, in this instance, the separation distance was not maintained.

According to the report, the flight data processors in Vancouver had undergone a software update before the incident, during the update previous information had not been purged, leading to a discrepancy error between the flight plan data and the radar flight path of the private plane.

READ MORE: COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The controller wasn’t familiar with such errors and in his attempt to resolve the issue he did not identify the potential conflict between the Westjet plane and private plane’s flight plans.

The error meant the software designed to predict traffic conflicts, which the controller relied on, was unavailable to predict the loss of distance separation. At the time traffic volume in the airspace had also increased, leading to a greater workload for the controller.

According to the TSB, the controller did not see or hear the visual and audible warnings as the two aircrafts approached each another.

Fortunately, the traffic alert and collision avoidance system (TCAS) on board the WestJet Encore flight warned the crew to decrease altitude, stated the TSB.

Following this incident, Navigation Canada implemented a number of safety actions including making improvements to the checklist for completing software updates and purging flight data from the system.

READ MORE: Kelowna airport issues advisory after passenger tests positive for COVID-19


Daniel Taylor
Reporter, Kelowna Capital News
Follow me on Twitter

WestJet

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kelowna emergency crews rescue injured mountain biker

The woman fell from her bike on a Smith Creek trail

Hundreds of people gather at Black Lives Matter rally in Kelowna

Almost 600 people are rallying in Stuart Park, downtown Kelowna

Aberdeen Hall Preparatory School launches part-time on-campus learning

The school has taken appropriate precautions for a safe return for staff and students

New video evidence in Surrey man’s West Kelowna murder trial shown in court

The defence closed its case following the playing of the video in court, marking the end of the evidentiary phase of the trial

Second video of Kelowna RCMP arrest shows Mountie punching suspect at least 10 times

The officer involved in the incident has been reassigned to administrative duties

Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park at large

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Bear strolls into Okangan homeowner’s living room

Conservation officers are searching for the bear, which entered a home in the Foothills area

No charges to be laid against 22 northern B.C. pipeline protesters

Twenty-two people were arrested in February, but Crown has decided not to pursue charges

Youth advocacy group pulls out of Vernon Black Lives Matter protest

Earth Strike Vernon pulled its support after concerns raised about Kelowna, Vernon protests

‘I just felt I had to do something’: Vernon Black Lives Matter protest organizer

Young woman organizes peaceful protest to take place next week at Vernon courthouse

Woman injured as purse snatched downtown Vernon

Two young men were arrested following detailed statements from witnesses

First day back; attending elementary school amid COVID-19

“… Social connections are certainly important for kids,” said Penticton principal Dave Ritchie.

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read