Two fully-loaded passenger aircraft on Tuesday came face-to-face barely 40 metres away on the taxiway at the airport here but providentially a disaster was averted after commanders of both the planes alerted the air traffic control and switched off their engines.
On a day when a Jet Airways aircraft made an about turn and its belly sunk to the ground in the Dabolim airport in Goa, a departing SpiceJet aircraft found itself in front of from an incoming IndiGo Airbus A320 in the same taxi way allegedly due to a miscommunication from the Air Traffic Controller (ATC).
The two aircraft together had 363 passengers on board when the incident took place early in the morning. Aviation regulator DGCA has started its investigation into the incident but it has not taken any “action” against anyone in this regard, sources said. Both SpiceJet and IndiGo confirmed the incident and said that at no point of time the safety of the passenger was in danger.
While the IndiGo plane arriving from Lucknow had over 176 passengers on board, the Hyderabad-bound SpiceJet aircraft was carrying 187 passengers when the incident took place, they said. According to sources, SpiceJet plane was awaiting ATC clearance for take off for over 90 minutes. The operations at the Delhi airport were hit at that time because the runway visibility range had dropped to below minima.
Meanwhile in Goa, 161 people on board a Mumbai-bound Jet Airways aircraft on Tuesday had a miraculous escape when it skidded off the runway, made an abrupt about turn and its nose touched the soft land while taxiing for take off early on Tuesday in Goa airport, leaving 12 passengers injured.
There were 154 passengers and seven crew members onboard when the Boeing 737 aircraft turned a full 360 degree on the runaway and veered towards the soft land and in the process damaging the landing gear around 5 am.
The nose cone was virtually on the grass abutting the runway, indicating the seriousness of the accident that could have been disastrous. There was panic inside the aircraft as the plane jerked when it spun. The “minor” injuries to the 12 passengers came when they were being evacuated from the stricken aircraft.
The flying licence of the two pilots was suspended an a probe launched into the accident. It will be conducted by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) of the Civil Aviation Ministry.