CLOSE CALL: A VIRGIN plane enroute to Whitsunday Coast Airport from Brisbane had a near miss mid-air with a Qantas plane last Thursday.
CLOSE CALL: A VIRGIN plane enroute to Whitsunday Coast Airport from Brisbane had a near miss mid-air with a Qantas plane last Thursday. Contributed

Virgin plane bound for Proserpine involved in near miss

A VIRGIN Boeing 737 enroute to Whitsunday Coast Airport from Brisbane had a near miss mid-air with a Qantas Boeing 737 in wild weather last Thursday.

The incident happened over the Ipswich suburb of Amberley, 66km from Brisbane Airport as the Qantas plane was flying into Brisbane from Melbourne and the Virgin plane departed Brisbane for Proserpine.

A Virgin Australia spokesperson told the Whitsunday Coast Guardian that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Airservices Australia had launched separate investigations into the incident.

"Virgin Australia takes the safety of our aircraft, passengers and crew very seriously. The matter is currently being investigated by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) and Virgin Australia will cooperate with this investigation,” the spokesperson said.

An ATSB statement said a loss of required separation was reported between the two planes.

"The controller issued a weather diversion and approach clearance to the inbound Boeing 737, which resulted in a loss of separation with the departing Boeing 737,” the statement said.

The ATSB statement said a report would be published at the completion of the investigation.

"However, should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, the ATSB will immediately notify relevant parties,” it said.

The Whitsunday Coast Guardian has contacted Qantas for further comment.

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