Thursday, January 20, 2022

Alert official averted crash at last moment

New Delhi: Lokendra Singh, a 42-year-old approach radar controller at Bengaluru Airport, has emerged as the alert hero who saved the lives of almost 430 people onboard the two IndiGo flights that were headed for a mid-air collision after taking off from Bengaluru on January 7. After realising that 6E-455 to Kolkata and 6E-246 to Bhubaneswar were headed towards each other, this air traffic controller directed the two Airbus A320s apart by asking the pilots of one to head left and the other to the right.

Singh’s alertness is being applauded as it is learnt the traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) in the two aircraft had not gone off due to lateral separation. Pilots of both the flights were unaware of the danger as they were being handled by different controllers who themselves didn’t know the error that had been committed.

TOI queries on the issue to authorities led to the investigation that blew the lid on the allegedly attempted cover-up and the discovery of this incident. DGCA has launched a probe.

TCAS issues two types of advisories to pilots: first a traffic advisory (TA) to give an advance warning to crew of two planes that they are headed in the same direction and in second stage resolution advisory (RA) that asks crew to take evasive action to avoid mid-air collisions.

20/01/22 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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