A Mumbai-bound Jet Airways flight carrying 130 people from Chandigarh came uncomfortably close to an IAF trainer jet in mid-air after the commercial airliner breached its assigned altitude on Wednesday afternoon.
The incident occurred somewhere above Sarsawa air force station in Uttar Pradesh.
A preliminary report sent by the Delhi air traffic control to the directorate general of civil aviation says the Boeing 737 was assigned a flight level of 22,000 feet but it climbed up to 24,000 feet, the height at which the air force jet was cruising during a routine cross-country sortie.
An aviation official said a potential collision was averted when an ATC official noticed on the radar monitor the deviation in altitude of Jet Airways flight 9W 469 and warned the pilots to take evasive action.
The mid-air scare threw up questions if the anti-collision warning system in the Boeing aircraft had malfunctioned. It issues two warnings — when another aircraft is at a vertical distance of 40 seconds and after the planes are separated by 30 seconds.
Jet Airways couldn’t be contacted for a response.