Serious incident Airbus A321-111 HB-IOC,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 215782
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Date:Sunday 15 April 2018
Time:08:20 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic A321 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A321-111
Owner/operator:Swiss International Air Lines
Registration: HB-IOC
MSN: 520
Engine model:CFMI CFM56-5B1
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants:
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:10 NM NE of Saint-Prex (SPR) -   Switzerland
Phase: Approach
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Zürich-Kloten Airport (ZRH/LSZH)
Destination airport:Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG)
Investigating agency: STSB
Confidence Rating: Information verified through data from accident investigation authorities
On 15 April 2018, the pilot of an Ultramagic T-180 hot-air balloon, registration HB-QPY, took off at 07:35 from Sullens, located 8 km north of Lausanne, Switzerland for a flight with seven passengers.
Given that the weather indicated a light northeast wind of less than 10 km/h and that forecasts predicted a wind from the southwestern sector of 10 to 20 km/h from 800 m (2630 ft AMSL), the pilot decided to take off with the strategy of descending for 10 minutes and then make an ascent back towards Echallens, 7 km northwest of the place of departure. After a few minutes of flight, the pilot noticed the wind to be stronger than expected and that the batteries of the instruments, of which a GPS as well as the VHF radio, were almost empty and stopped during the flight.
Convinced that he would find the necessary wind, the pilot continued the climb according to the indications of his laptop equipped with a flight program with barometric altimeter. He therefore decided to start a climb fairly quickly in order to head northwest again.
Since the pilot considered himself below the lower ceiling of the 7500 ft AMSL Terminal Control Area (TMA), he did not see the need to call the pilot of another balloon from the same operator.
After a smooth flight from Zurich (LSZH), an Airbus A321 passenger aircraft, with call sign SWR28GR and registration HB-IOC, was on approach to Geneva (LSGG) under radar guidance. The flight crew was invited by the approach control to fly directly to the Saint-Prex beacon (SPR). At the same time when ordered to descend to 7000 ft AMSL, the crew also received the approach clearance under the instrument flight rules for runway 23. At 08:19, the crew of the SWR83GR reported having a hot air balloon in their field of vision in front. The pilot reported his intention to deviate by about 10 degrees to the right. Soon after that, the crew reported that they had bypassed the hot air balloon to the west at a distance of 500 m and at the same altitude.
At about 08:20, the occupants of the HB-QPY saw a Swiss aircraft slightly above their altitude and initiating a turn.
The two aircraft approached over the locality of Sullens, about 10 NM northeast of the Saint-Prex beacon (SPR), at the same altitude and up to a distance of 0.3 NM (550 m). Then the two aircraft proceeded without further incident.



Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: STSB
Report number: 
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 5 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

20 February 2001 HB-IOC Swissair 0 Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG) min
Engine failure
13 September 2011 HB-IOC Swiss International Airlines 0 Dublin Airport (DUB/EIDW) min
Inflight smoke
9 March 2014 HB-IOC Swiss 0 Genève-Cointrin Airport (GVA/LSGG) min
2 October 2018 HB-IOC Swiss International Air Lines 0 near Geneva non

Revision history:

28-Sep-2018 17:06 harro Added

Corrections or additions? ... Edit this accident description

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