A pilot has been commended for avoiding what would have been a fatal mid-air collision with another plane.
Captain Captain Roberto Vallicelli, who was flying an Air Seychelles Airbus A330 over Mauritius, made a sharp turn in order to dodge an Emirates Airbus A380 – the world’s largest passenger jet – which was headed straight into his path.
The error was a result of the Emirates crew reporting an incorrect altitude upon descent, according to the Avian Herald. If the collision had taken place, as many as 892 passengers would surely have been killed.
An Emirates Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger jet (pictured), was headed straight into the path of an Air Seychelles Airbus A330, but a collision was thankfully avoided
The Emirates plane, which has a maximum capacity for 615 passengers, was flying from Dubai to Mauritius last Friday, and had been cleared to make its descent by air traffic control.
The Air Seychelles aircraft – capacity 277 – had just taken off from the airport in Mauritius and was heading toward Mahe Island, and straight into the path of the Emirates plane.
According to the The Aviation Herald report, the Emirates crew incorrectly stated that their altitude was 36,000 feet, a mistake which was not acknowledged by air traffic control when they passed the reading on.
Once it became clear that the Emirates plane was too high, a Traffic Collision Avoidance System alert was put into play.
This map shows the sudden change in trajectory taken by the Air Seychelles plane (right) to avoid a collision with the Emirates aircraft (left)
Air Seychelles pilot Captain Captain Roberto Vallicelli made the sharp turn shortly after taking off from Mauritius Airport (stock image) on its way to Mahe Island
Both crews at this point could see each other, and Captain Vallicelli was able to perform a sharp turn to the right.
The two planes then reportedly passed each other at the same altitude but around 8.6 miles apart.
A spokesperson for Air Seychelles said of the near-miss: ‘Their training standard and operating protocols immediately kicked in which demonstrates the extremely high standards of training […]. We highly commend them for what they have done.’
A spokesperson for Emirates stated: ‘Emirates has received reports of an event on July 14, 2017 in relation to aircraft separation involving flight EK703 in Mauritius airspace.
‘The matter has been reported to the respective air transport authorities and Emirates will extend its full cooperation to any investigation. The safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost importance.’
MailOnline has contacted Emirates for further comment.