On Dec 13, 2006, a Near Miss between Italian F-16 Fighter jet and commercial jet took place. Two ItAF F-16s of the 37° Stormo, based in Trapani (radio callsign “Brandy”).
The fighter jets are apparently returning to their home base after some kind of exercise.
In the Video, you can listen that Fighter jets are in contact with “Cyrano” (a French E-3 AWACS) that clears them to climb to FL360 for RTB.
Then, the two fighters are handed over to Rome Military radar that tries to identify the mission but can’t establish the radar contact with it.
The two aircraft continue climbing to the previously cleared level and level off at FL360 when the wingman spots something that is coming from the opposite direction, same level, between the two F-16 (that are most probably flying a loose formation).
At time 03:30 you can see the contrails of the commercial jet appearing on the left side.
Here you can see an impressive near miss Video recorded by an Italian F-16. Radio comms can be heard as well.
The leader of Brandy 41 sees the incoming liner at the very last moment and performs an escape manoeuvre.
The cause of the near miss is obviously not clear: for sure the two aircraft are given from Cyrano a clearance to climb to 36.000 feet.
The E-3 has coordinated the climb and they are under radar control. They contact Rome Military telling the controller “….climbing 360…” and they repeat the information as they give their position and altitude (“360, 100 NM from RONAB”) shortly before the close encounter when they are requested to check the C mode.
Something unclear occurred (I think on radar controller side….) but fine weather, a watchful wingman and a certain amount of luck contributed to the happy ending.