Monday, December 18, 2017

Scare as 'drone', flight nearly collide

The security agencies were thrown into a tizzy on Friday, when a drone-like unidentified flying object (UFO) and an Air India (AI) flight about to land at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) almost collided.

Seconds later, another flight to Leh, which had taken off from another runway at IGIA, also spotted the flying object.

The ATC then immediately alerted the Airport Operations Control Centre (AOCC), which roped in the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) and Delhi Police.

The incident affected some departures and arrivals as a CISF search team of armed commandos was rushed to the spot to look for this flying object, which according to the two pilots was spotted not far from runway 27-9.

The team, however, could not locate the UFO within the periphery of the airport.

The incident sparked panic among the intelligence agencies as it was the first day of Parliament's Winter Session and the airport was witnessing heavy VIP movement.

According to sources at the airport, around 10 am, pilot of the AI 914 Dammam-Delhi flight, Sandeep Kumar, reported a "flight safety hazard", saying that when he was about to land at runway 27 and was at a height of 2,100 ft, he saw a drone-like object flying "slightly right on the central approach path of the runway".

"The pilot immediately reported the matter to the Delhi ATC, which alerted the AOCC and the CISF and Delhi Police were roped in. The pilot also gave a hand-written complaint in this regard at the police station. Surprisingly, the object was observed by another pilot as well," a senior officer said.

Drone-like UFO sighting at the IGIA is is not something new but such incidents leave the security and intelligence sleuths rattled. In October this year, a Jet Airways Singapore-Delhi flight, while preparing to land on runway 29, reported a drone flying in the proximity, nearly 300-400 meters above the ground.
18/12/17 Anvit Srivastava/DNA

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