Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Near miss of Jet, GoAir flights averted over Lucknow skies; air traffic controller grounded

New Delhi: Two commercial flights of Jet Airways and GoAir with over 200 people on board came perilously close to each other over Lucknow skies on Monday evening. The “traffic collision avoidance systems” (TCAS) equipment on these two aircraft got activated, after which pilots pulled the two planes apart. The Airports Authority of India has de-rostered an air traffic controller pending inquiry.

Jet Airways’ Boeing 737 was operating as 9W-606 from Guwahati to Delhi and GoAir’s G8-145 was en route from Delhi to Ranchi. A senior air traffic control (ATC) official said: “At 7.22 pm (IST), 9W-606 was cruising at 28,000 feet and was asked to descend to 26,000 feet due to turbulence. There was reciprocal traffic (from other side) with G8-145 cruising at 27,000 feet.”

During descent from 28,000 feet to 26,000 feet, the Jet Airways’ flight found itself dangerously close to GoAir coming in opposite direction at 27,000 feet. This activated TCAS in both cockpits. This collision avoidance system issues two types of advisories to pilots: first, a traffic advisory (TA) to give an advance warning to the crew of two planes that they are headed in the same direction and in second stage resolution advisory (RA) that asks the crew to take evasive action to avoid mid-air collisions.

“RA was issued in the cockpits of both Jet and GoAir cockpits and the pilots took the required action to pull the planes apart safely. The air traffic controller (who asked Jet to descend) has been de-rostered with immediate effect and a probe is on,” said the senior ATC official. The incident happened when the two aircraft were about 28 km west of Lucknow.

A GoAir spokesman said: “The resolution advisory system was triggered on flight G8 145 (which had 95 passengers) operating Delhi-Ranchi route on February 04, 2019. As a standard operating procedure, this has been immediately reported to the regulator.”
06/02/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India