A mid-air collision between an IndiGo plane and a BSF aircraft, which had Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi on board, was averted over Banihal in Jammu and Kashmir today, sources said. The two planes came perilously close to each other when an alert went off inside both cockpits, following which the aircraft automatically steered to a safer distance, sources said. There were 180 passengers on board the Delhi-Srinagar IndiGo aircraft and 12, including the home secretary, on the BSF plane.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has initiated a probe into the incident. As per sources, Mehrishi, who was onboard the BSF’s Embraer aircraft, was not informed about the incident by the pilot — an IAF officer. The airspace where the incident happened falls under the defence administration.
“Indigo flight 6E-653 (Delhi-Srinagar) was maintaining a height of 26,000 feet, reciprocal aircraft was climbing out of 25,000 feet, when our pilot alerted the Air Traffic Control. But before the ATC could respond, TCAS-RA (automatic warning) alerted our aircraft to take action to avoid any untoward situation,” said a statement from the airline.