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Dramatic video shows 'near miss' at Barcelona airport

By CNN Staff
updated 4:55 AM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
Aviation analyst Miles O'Brien says the planes were about half a mile apart at the time of the incident.
Aviation analyst Miles O'Brien says the planes were about half a mile apart at the time of the incident.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Video shows Boeing 767 of Russian airline UTair pulling up from approach as aircraft crosses its path
  • Barcelona aviation official says aircraft were not in danger but officials confirm investigation under way
  • Aviation analyst Miles O'Brien says air crew on ground should have checked their way was clear

(CNN) -- An apparent near miss between two aircraft that was captured on video at Barcelona Airport has prompted an investigation by Spanish aviation authorities.

The video shows a Boeing 767 belonging to Russian airline UTair pulling up from its landing approach as an Aerolineas Argentinas Airbus A340 taxis across its path.

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No one was injured in the incident and the UTair plane was able to circle round and make a safe landing five minutes later.

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The video, shot on Saturday, had gained nearly two million YouTube hits by Monday.

Spain's airport authority, AENA, said the government's Committee on Civil Aviation Incidents and Accidents would look into the incident.

A Barcelona airport AENA spokeswoman told CNN that the UTair pilot had been cleared to land but exercised his authority to abort.

She said the Aerolineas Argentinas flight also had permission to taxi across the runway. She did not comment on the timing of its maneuver.

The spokeswoman said there had been no impact danger and the perspective of the video did not show that there was plenty of space between the two aircraft.

It was "not about a collision or a possible collision," she said, adding that neither airline had submitted a complaint over the incident.

CNN aviation analyst Miles O'Brien said that, according to plans of the airport, the two planes had been about half a mile apart at the time of the incident.

"That said, you see they had to perform a go-around and if you've ever been in an airliner that has to performed a go-around, it gets your attention," he said.

O'Brien said air crews on the ground should check to see if the flightpath is clear before crossing a runway as part of standard protocols.

"What we can say here is the system did ultimately work -- the last resort that is, but there was a series of mistakes... that led to this."

Aerolineas Argentinas in Madrid referred calls to its headquarters in Buenos Aires, where CNN's efforts to reach anyone at the press office, through the switchboard and three direct lines, were unsuccessful after repeated attempts.

In a statement, UTair said the pilot of its flight from Moscow to Barcelona had been following the instructions of Barcelona airport dispatchers.

"While lowering on a final approach track the commander found an obstacle on the runway (the aircraft of another airlines was crossing it)," it said.

"The aircraft commander took prompt decision on the implementation of standard operating procedure -- go-around flight maneuver.

"The maneuver was carried out in the normal mode, the landing was successful, none of the passengers was injured.

In this situation, the commander well judged and adequately assessed the situation, showing at the same time composure and professional excellence.

"According to international rules aircraft while performing approach has an absolute priority over all the aircraft located on the ground."

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CNN's Madrid Correspondent Al Goodman and Barry Neild in London contributed to this story

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