A preliminary probe into the mid-air scare involving two city-bound Jet Airways flights, last Saturday, revealed that the mix up took place owing to a communication lapse between the air traffic control (ATC) tower and the cockpit crew of one of the flights.
However, officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) probing the matter said that the communication lapse did not lead to a “near mishap” situation.
On June 1, the city ATC had reported a breach of the safety distance between two Jet Airways flights that were preparing to land in the city. The incident, involving flights coming in from Delhi and Indore, took place when both aircraft were cruising at an altitude of 30,000 feet.
According to the transcripts of the conversation between the pilots and the ATC, the regulator found that the crew operating the Delhi flight acted upon instructions meant for the flight coming from Indore.
“Since both flights were at the descent stage, the goof up led to a breach in the safety distance by three nautical miles,” said a senior DGCA official requesting anonymity. According to the rules, the flights should have maintained a distance of at least 10 nautical miles
The official also said that as per the procedures, the pilot is supposed to repeat the instructions given to him by the ATC. If an error is observed, it is the duty of the controller on duty to correct the crew. “The ATC official should have acted upon the error and stopped the crew,” the official said.