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Jet, GoAir planes were 100ft away from collision in June, DGCA finds in report

A probe conducted by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) found that Air Traffic Controller had ‘mistakenly’ asked the GoAir pilot to descend to the level where Jet Airways was flying.

india Updated: Aug 21, 2017 23:56 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jet Airways,GoAir,DGCA
The distance between a GoAir flight (Delhi-Pune) and Jet Airways flight (Hyderabad-Mumbai) was reduced to 100 feet against the prescribed 1,000 feet.(HT File Photo)

Lives of over 400 passengers were in danger as two aircrafts — Jet Airways and GoAir came on the same course and were just 100 feet away from each other over Mumbai airspace.

The incident took place in June. A probe conducted by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) found that Air Traffic Controller had ‘mistakenly’ asked the GoAir pilot to descend to the level where Jet Airways was flying.

The controller, however, immediately realised the mistake and issued Resolution Advisory (RA) to both the pilots within seconds, avoiding the collision. An RA is given when ATC feels that risk of collision has reached within 25 seconds and pilot has to give priority to RA and act within six seconds.

What happened on June 9
  • 20:37:31: Jet Airways 9W 392 came in contact with lower area controller (LAC) while descending to flight level (FL) 254.
  • 20:39:13: GoAir G8 171 came in contact with LAC while descending to FL 250.
  • 20:39:18: GoAir was given descend to FL 210 and when it asked for further descend, LAC advised it to stand by due to traffic at 20:41:24 and again at 20:42:57
  • 20:41:15: Jet Airways was instructed to descend to FL 200
  • 20:43:28: Jet was asked to remain in hold and descend to FL 180
  • 20:44:20: GoAir was asked to descend to FL 200
  • 20:44:25: LAC controller asked GoAir to descend to FL 100.
  • 20:45:47: LAC issued warning to GoAir and was asked to climb to FL 190
  • 20:46: The breach of separation leading to serious incident happened when lateral/vertical separation reduced to 2.8 nautical miles and 100 feet respectively

DGCA has also pulled up GoAir pilot for descending on ATC’s instruction despite being asked to hold twice due to heavy traffic. DGCA official said pilot should have cross-checked before descending. The probe has suggested corrective training for both the controller and pilot to avoid such incident in future.

On June 9, separation between the GoAir flight (Delhi-Pune) and Jet Airways flight (Hyderabad-Mumbai) was reduced to 2.8 nautical miles (lateral separation) against 10NM and 100 feet (vertical separation) against prescribed 1,000 feet. Hindustan Times has a copy of the report.

Contacted, both GoAir and Jet Airways refused to comment on the matter.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 23:41 IST