Wattisham helicopter near-miss revealed

Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

A Suffolk Police helicopter narrowly avoided a mid-air collision with a microlight, it has been revealed.

The close call happened due to the gyrocopter and helicopter, which is based at Wattisham Airfield, both using different radio frequencies on September 7.

The police pilot told investigators there was a “high risk” of a collision with the microlight as he flew over Beccles, attending a road traffic collision below.

He said he took avoiding action after seeing the aircraft when it was 328 feet away.

The incident was examined by the Civil Aviation Authority’s UK Airprox Board, which looks into near misses in airspace.

Investigators found “safety margins had been much reduced below normal”.

It decided the cause of the near-miss was “a late sighting by both pilots”.