Economy

Air collision averted after Vistara flight comes close to Air India plane

Air collision averted after Vistara flight comes close to Air India plane

The Vistara flight departed from Delhi to Pune with 152 on board, while the Air India plane was travelling from Mumbai to Bhopal carrying 109 people.

The two flights ended up 600 ft clear of each other, thus averting a disaster, The Times of India reported. The two Air India pilots were proved to be not at fault and were cleared for further flying.

Vistara's United Kingdom 997 Delh-Pune flight, carrying 152 passengers, and Air India's AI 631 Mumbai-Bhopal flight, with 109 passengers onboard, were flying in the opposite direction at almost the same altitude when the anomaly was noticed.

On 7 February, the Vistara's United Kingdom 997 Pune-bound aircraft from Delhi, carrying 152 passengers, was just 100 feet away from the Air India's AI 631 flight for Bhopal which had 109 passengers on board. They were just seconds away from each other. The Air India pilot's action was ideal as she followed the resolution advisory and steered the aircraft to a safer distance, it added.

Sources said the Vistara flight was assigned a flight level of 29,000 feet, but came down to 27,100 feet, which brought the two planes within a vertical separation of just 100 feet.

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Reacting to the incident, a Vistara spokesperson said that the safety of their customers and staff is of paramount importance to them and at Vistara they diligently follow all the safety regulations and guidelines.

"In this particular incident, the resolution advisory (Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS) got triggered due to conflicting traffic".

Vistara officials told PTI that their pilots had followed the standard operating procedure during the crisis and had carried out an "uneventful landing". Flight AI 091 had begun the takeoff run when the pilots aborted the takeoff at 9.21 pm, said an airport official.

The concerned authorities are probing if the miscommunication was a result of confusion among the air traffic controllers since both flights had women pilots on the controls. The passenger count for the Air India flight is as yet unknown. An investigation on the incident has been launched by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AIBB).


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