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A343 / GLID, en-route, north of Waldshut-Tiengen southwest Germany, 2012
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On 2 June 2012, an Airbus A340-300(HB-JMN) being operated by Swissair on a scheduled passenger flight from San Francisco to Zurich as SWR39 came very close to colliding with an ASW 20 glider (HB-1519) as it joined final approach at destination in day Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) whilst over Germany in accordance with its Swiss air traffic clearance. Only immediate and very positive avoiding action created minimal separation.
An Investigation was commenced after delegation of responsibility for it was made by the German BFU to the Swiss Accident Investigation Board (SAIB). Sufficient recorded data relevant to the Investigation was available from ATC radar recordings.
It was established that, with the Airbus passing 4700 feet Altimeter Pressure Settings for 4000 feet at 248 knots and about to join the Instrument Landing System (ILS) Localiser for runway 14 at Zurich, the augmenting crew member observing the approach from the central supernumerary crew seat suddenly saw a glider at the same altitude on a collision course. The operating crew were immediately alerted and the First Officer, designated PF took avoiding action. The Airbus was flying in accordance with its clearance from the Zurich APP controller but the glider was found to have entered the Class 'C' TMA in which the conflict occurred without permission.