Date: July 01, 2002
Time: 23:36
Location: Uberlingen, Germany
Operator: Bashkirian Airlines / DHL Worldwide Express
Flight #: 2937 / 611
Route: Moscow-Munich-Barcelona / Bahrain/Brussels
AC Type: Tupolev TU-154M / Boeing B-757-23APF
Registration: RA85816/A9C-DHL
cn / ln: 1006 / 24635/258
Aboard: 71   (passengers:57  crew:14)
Fatalities: 71   (passengers:57  crew:14)
Ground: 0
Summary: The airliner and cargo plane collided over southern Germany at 35,400 ft. Debris was spread across a 20 mile radius. Fifty-two children on a beach holiday were among the 69 aboard the Tupolev. The Tupolev pilot received contradictory instructions. The collision avoidance warning system (TCAS) told the pilot to ascend followed by an order from the Swiss air traffic controller to descend one second later. The Russian plane did not immediately respond to the tower's order to descend, so he repeated the command 14 seconds later. Thirty seconds later the two planes collided. The Tupolev's TCAS was telling the pilots to ascend. The Boeing's TCAS was telling the pilots to descend. The Swiss air traffic controller was telling the Tupolev's pilots to descend. The air traffic controller that guided the planes had no way of knowing the Russian pilot was receiving contradictory instruction from his cockpit TCAS unless told so by the pilot. Russian aviation officials said the pilot correctly gave precedence to the control tower, but Western aviation experts said pilots are trained to give precedence to the cockpit warning. In addition, the controller was left alone on duty while his partner went on a break and was preoccupied with another aircraft. This was accepted policy at Skyguide, the Swiss air control company. In addition, maintenance crews, working on the computer system, limited the controller's information he was receiving including conflict alert warnings. Sadly, one-and-a-half years later, the controller, Peter Nielsen, was stabbed to death by a Russian man who had lost his wife and two children in the accident.

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