Investigators probing the near-collision involving an Air Arabia and a Qatar Airways flight in the city skies on Wednesday suspect that another flight could be involved in the incident. The suspicion stems from the anti-collision alert issued by the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an in-built safeguard in the aircraft.
The TCAS issues two kinds of alerts: TA which is an advisory for the pilot to look for another aircraft nearing it and RA which commands pilot to move the aircraft immediately to avoid a crash.
The Mumbai air traffic control (ATC) office’s preliminary report had said one of the planes breached the vertical safety distance of 1000 feet by 100 feet.
“In this case the TCAS issued a RA alert which indicates that there could be another plane dangerously close to one of the two aircrafts involved in the scare,” said a senior official with Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) requesting anonymity.
DGCA officials are awaiting inputs from the Muscat ATC since the incident took place beyond the city’s radar network. “Decoding the aircraft black box will bring more clarity in the case,” added a DGCA official.