A major accident was averted on Saturday at the airport here when the pilot of a Spicejet aircraft preparing for take-off applied brakes in the nick of time. The wing of his plane was about to crash onto a parked Air Deccan plane.
There were 324 passengers in both the aircraft as the right wing of the Spicejet almost collided with the left wing of Air Deccan.
The incident took place when the pilot of the Delhi-bound Spicejet flight suddenly noticed the wing of the parked Mumbai-bound Air Deccan aircraft extending over the single runway while moving for take-off.
Sensing trouble, he applied brakes well before the wings of his plane came in contact with that of the other plane, airport sources said.
The collision of the wings could have resulted in a major accident, they said.
A total of 148 passengers were on board the Spicejet flight.
Air Deccan had 176 passengers with the boarding process almost over. Around the same time, the Spicejet came onto the runway to take-off.
“There was slight manoeuvre and judgment mistake” by its pilot, a senior airport official said.
However, the pilot managed to apply the brakes, before a collision between the wings, which could have resulted in a major tragedy, the official, who did not want to be quoted, said.
As a safety measure, the passengers from both the flights were asked to disembark and the Spicejet plane was towed away from the Air Deccan plane.
A SpiceJet spokesman said that there was no chance of an collision between their aircraft and that of Deccan at the Coimbatore airport on Saturday.
“Both the aircraft were on the tarmac and not on the runway. While departing, our pilot saw that other plane’s wing was lower than the prescribed limit and reported it to the air traffic control,” he said.
“The two planes then manoeuvered in such a way that our aircraft could leave the taxi track. The problem happened because there is no system of push-back tractors at the airport,” he said.
Despite repeated attempts, the Air Deccan spokeswoman could not be contacted over the phone by the Hindustan Times.