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Mishap averted after SpiceJet aircraft comes close to Emirates plane

A mid-air mishap was averted due to an auto-generated warning, after a SpiceJet aircraft came close to an overflying Emirates plane.

The incident which occurred on August 11, involving SpiceJet Hyderabad flight from Chennai (SG 511) and Emirates’ Dubai-bound Brisbane flight (EK 433), is currently being investigated by the aviation regulator, DGCA sources said.

Earlier this month, a mid-air collision between two IndiGo planes, carrying over 225 passengers and crew, was averted over Dhaka airspace after the pilot of one of the flights steered away his aircraft to a safe distance when they came perilously close to each other.

According to sources, SpiceJet flight SG 511 was cleared for 34,000 ft and advised to standby to climb further. “However, SG 511 climbed above the permitted level without clearance. It was then asked to maintain 35,000 ft but the aircraft overshot by a 1,000 ft, a level that EK 433 was maintaining,” they said. This forced the Emirates flight to climb further and increase separation, with both the aircraft receiving TCAS alert, sources said.

TCAS monitors the airspace around an aircraft for other aircraft equipped with a corresponding active transponder, independent of air-traffic control, and warns pilots of the presence of other transponder-equipped aircraft which may present a threat of mid-air collision. “At no time were passengers in any danger. The safety of our passengers and crew as always is our top priority,” Emirates said in a statement.

However, according to SpiceJet sources, the ATC instructed it to climb and maintain 36,000 ft due to traffic at 37,000 level but “while passing flight level 35,000, ATC instructed the pilot to stop climb”. 
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