Two RAF aircraft’s near-misses in Norfolk skies

An RAF Merlin helicopter
An RAF Merlin helicopter
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Two RAF aircraft narrowly avoided collisions in Norfolk’s skies last year, an aviation authority has confirmed.

The UK Airprox Board investigated an incident involving an RAF helicopter near Thetford in February 2013.

A report published this week revealed the Merlin helicopter narrowly missed colliding with a Desert Hawk drone during a training exercise at the Stanford Training Area (Stanta), coming within 60ft of the unmanned aircraft.

The area had been designated as a ‘working area’, on which the Merlin pilot was briefed earlier that day.

A second report from the authority found an RAF Typhoon came close to colliding with a light aircraft over Fakenham in July last year.

The warplane was taking part in a training exercise when it spotted the C172 Cessna and had to dive underneath it, passing within 200ft of the smaller plane.

The report blamed an air traffic controller at RAF Marham for allowing the Typhoon to come ‘into conflict’ with the Cessna.