A mid-air collision was averted Saturday afternoon by alert pilots as a Jet Airways and an Air India plane came "dangerously close" on the same flight path over Tamil Nadu, officials said.
Air India flight IC 671 and Jet Airways flight 9W 4758, carrying nearly 250 passengers and crew, came close to crashing into each other at a height of 17,000 feet near Trichchirapalli air space, triggering an Air Traffic Collision Avoidance siren in both the planes, the officials said.
To avoid a collision, the Jet Airways pilot pulled his aircraft up while the Air India pilot reduced his plane's altitude, officials said. The near miss took place at 12.30 p.m.
The Air India flight was bound from Chennai to Madurai and the Jet flight was headed to Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram.
Air Traffic Control sources told IANS that lack of proper radar cover between Trichchinapalli and Madurai was one of the reasons for the incident.
Both flights landed safely at the Madurai and Chennai airports respectively, the officials added.
Sources said that when two planes' vertical or lateral separation reduces to less than 1,000 feet, they are said to have come "dangerously close" to each other, raising the prospect of a mid-air collision.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered a probe into the incident, the officials said.
This is the third major airline incident in last 10 days.
On June 4, the Air Traffic Control asked a Kingfisher flight to do a go-around as
it was about to land after a SpiceJet plane got stuck on the runway.
On May 27, a Jet Airways plane was asked to abort its landing at the last minute after an IndiGo aircraft entered the runway.