Mid-air crash between two planes averted by 15 seconds
Two commercial aircraft miraculously escaped colliding with one another over Varanasi last week, leaving passengers and crew members shaken.
The incident took place on Sunday evening when the two Airbus A320s, operated by the AirAsia India Pvt Ltd and IndiGo were 15 seconds away from a collision. AAIPL's flight I5 768 was flying from Bagdogra to Delhi while IndiGo's flight 6E 398 was on its way from Delhi to Bagdogra.
According to sources, the AAIPL flight entered Varanasi's airspace and the air traffic control warned its pilots to descend to 34,000 feet and maintain that height. However, the AirAsia India flight reportedly kept descending below the assigned level. But the IndiGo aircraft which was on its way from Delhi to Bagdogra was also flying at the same level after which the two planes, approached each other's direction and was just 15 seconds away from a collision.
However, the collision was averted because the aircraft was equipped with airborne collision avoidance systems, which guided the planes to veer away from each other.
Meanwhile, a team of Aircraft Accident Investigation Board officials is probing the matter. The commander of the AirAsia India flight is learnt to have been grounded pending the outcome of the probe.