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Report reveals RAF Tornado's near miss with civilian aircraft

PUBLISHED: 10:51 19 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:51 19 May 2019

An RAF Tornado was involved in a near miss months before the jets were retired  Picture: Sonya Duncan

An RAF Tornado was involved in a near miss months before the jets were retired Picture: Sonya Duncan

An RAF Marham Tornado jet was involved in a near miss when it came within hundreds of feet of a civilian aircraft.

The UK Airprox Board has investigated the incident, which happened over Beverley Airfield on Humberside on December 17.

It said the Tornado was part of a formation of four jets, which were flying at low level. The warplanes had intended to avoid the civilian airfield by two miles.

The pilot of the jet involved in the incident believed it was a "minor aerodrome" where "see and avoid applies".

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The report says: "This incident is one of a growing trend of infringements of the standard operating circuit at Beverley

Airfield. They are routinely subject to intrusions by Typhoons, Tornados, Tucanos (especially) and most recently Grob training aircraft."

It says the pilot of the civilian aircraft, a Cessna C172, heard the Tornado's engines and saw it pass above before it banked away.

The report says the aircraft came within 100ft in height of each other. The Cessna pilot assessed the risk of a collision as "medium".

The Tornado was retired from service at the end of March after 40 years of operational flying. It has been replaced by the new F-35 Lightning.

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