Skydivers have close call with fighter jets as they flew over parachuting centre

News: Skydivers have close call with fighter jets as they flew over parachuting centre

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

Two skydivers had a close call with two fighter jets while they were plummeting to the earth at 120mph.

Terrifying footage was captured by the free fallers as they were taking part in the jump near to Chatteris, close to the Lincolnshire border.

The US F15 fighter jets based at RAF Lakenheath hadn’t been told by air traffic control that the parachuting site was active, it was said at a UK Airprox Board hearing yesterday, Thursday, September 12.

An investigation was launched after the incident just after 1pm on Wednesday, April 17 this year.

The board were not able to establish how close the skydivers and fighter jets had come to colliding over the airfield but still classed it in the second highest category.

In the Go-Pro footage the jets can be clearly seen passing underneath them.

The terrifying footage was captured on dash cam
(Image: Sunday Mirror)

During the journey the jets were handed over from air traffic controllers at RAF Coningsby to the team at Lakenheath in Suffolk, home of the US Air Force’s 48th fighter wing.

However, the frequency became busy just as they transferred and so, by the time the F15 pilots checked in with the controller, they were already about to fly over Chatteris,’ said the report.

The pilots ‘should have known about the position and activities at Chatteris as part of their normal briefing routine’ and either questioned air traffic control or avoided the airfield.

Chatteris, where several parachute clubs are based, call nearby air traffic controllers every morning to tell them if they are active.

The board said it was ‘unfortunate’ that the air traffic controller at Lakenheath had not warned the pilots ‘due to the completion of the handover at a busy time’.

 

The controller had not subsequently filed a report on the incident.

A US Air Force representative had recently retired at short notice, leading to a gap in the advisory post during which time a report related to the incident was overlooked.

‘A full-time liaison officer had been recruited and was due to be in post in the coming months – in the meantime, the post was being covered by other personnel.

‘Despite the lack of report, he was able to provide the board with details about the circumstances.’



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