(CMR) The pilot of a JetBlue Airways aircraft approaching the Piarco International Airport in Trinidad and Tobago was forced to take evasive action to avoid contact with a Caribbean Airlines aircraft that was on a trajectory to cross paths at nearly the same altitude.
According to Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, at about 12:30 pm Monday, the pilot took the decision independent of air traffic controllers, as he spotted the danger and alerted the Piarco Tower.
JetBlue 1817 was reportedly on its final approach to Piarco at about 12:34 pm flying at 4,150 feet in an easterly direction over the Gulf of Paria when it contacted the Piarco Tower and was told by an air traffic controller to continue its approach.
The air traffic controller asked the pilot to confirm his position and altitude and told the pilot to continue the approach.
After confirming the instructions, the pilot told the tower that he saw “traffic at 11 o'clock, same altitude”.
The pilot stated, “JetBlue 1817, 4,000 feet starting decent on the (inaudible) left, we got Caribbean 521 ahead of us. We're climbing.”
The air traffic controller then asked, “JetBlue 1817, confirm you are descending to the field?”
The pilot replied, “Negative, JetBlue 1817 climbing to avoid traffic conflict with Caribbean Airways crossing final two miles ahead of us right now.”
Flight Radar data showed the Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 flying in a southerly direction at 4,225 feet at 12.30 pm. Both planes were arriving from JFK, New York.
The JetBlue flight was allowed to continue its approach after and landed ahead of the Caribbean Airlines plane.