Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Near collision that wasn’t

Chandigarh: Contrary to some reports that a collision between an IAF transport aircraft and an Air Vistara passenger aircraft was narrowly averted at the Chandigarh airport on Saturday, it has now emerged that what happened on ground was a routine maneuver to give preferred landing to another aircraft and there was no serious situation.
The civilian aircraft, according to IAF sources, was in the process of lining up on the runway and was yet to get final clearance for take-off from the Air Traffic Control (ATC), when it was directed to move on to a taxi track to make way for an incoming IAF aircraft.
IAF sources said an AN-32 twin-engined medium lift turboprop was overhead on a “bad weather circuit” and given the flight parameters of such a circuit had little room for maneuver. In bad weather circuit the pilot is required to keep the runway in visual sight at all times while orbiting due to low cloud cover and poor visibility. It is generally carried out at a height of 500 feet as compared to 1,000 feet for normal conditions. “The ATC’s calculation was that the incoming AN-32 in adverse conditions was getting closer to the runway approach and it would have to be given preference as the Vistara aircraft would not take off because it was lining up and not yet opened full power to commence its take-off run. Hence, the ATC asked the civilian aircraft to roll ahead and turn onto a taxi link to clear the runway for the incoming AN-32,” a senior IAF officer said.
01/05/17 Vijay Mohan/Tribune