GUWAHATI: Over 200 passengers escaped narrowly after two IndiGo aircraft came face to face with each other midair near Guwahati.
In the face of the impending danger, one of the aircraft descended but as it shook dangerously in the process, two cabin crew members suffered minor injuries and needed first aid. Four passengers had also complained of giddiness but there were no major injuries to any, IndiGo said in a statement.
The incident occurred on Tuesday. According to IndiGo, there were altogether 205 passengers besides cabin crew members in the two aircraft.
IndiGo flights 6E-813 (Mumbai-Guwahati) and 6E-136 (Guwahati-Chennai) were involved in the incident. The aircraft 6E-813 was forced to climb about 250-300 feet in the face of air turbulence but came face to face with the other aircraft, raising the spectre of a collision.
Some passengers of flight 6E-813 said the aircraft shook dangerously and made a loud noise while descending. It came down to avoid collision with the other aircraft.
“We were about to reach Guwahati when the aircraft shook dangerously while descending and made a loud noise. It was a horrific experience,” a passenger said.
The IndiGo statement said: “IndiGo flight 6E-813 en-route to Guwahati from Mumbai experienced turbulence due to monsoon activity over the sub-continent yesterday (Tuesday). During such weather situations, there are two types of activities – first is “Cumulo-Nimbus” activity and second is “Clear Air Turbulence” (CAT). While the former can be detected by the weather radar, as per which the flight crew typically takes deviations and fly to avoid any turbulence – the latter, is experienced occasionally which cannot be detected by the weather radar.
“Flight 6E-813 flight experienced “Clear Air Turbulence” (CAT) which could not be detected by the weather radar. This caused the aircraft 6E-813 to climb by about 250-300 feet. At the same instance another aircraft 6E-136 (Guwahati-Chennai) was crossing 6E-813. Following the prescribed protocol, the pilot immediately applied the Resolution Advisory (RA) triggered by TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System). TCAS is on-board equipment that advises pilots about the traffic in the proximity of the aircraft and also instructs pilots the avoidance action (Resolution Advisory) to maintain desired separation between the aircraft”.
The statement further said that due to monsoon activity, the passengers along with the cabin crew on board were physically shaken. In addition to applying the Resolution Advisory (RA), the pilot had immediately alerted the ATC about the situation on-board, and requested for a doctor and ambulance at the Guwahati airport, it said.
“The flight made a normal landing and immediately after landing, the four passengers along with the two cabin crew were administered with the necessary medical assistance. As per the doctor’s report, there were no major injuries reported,” the statement said.
It added: “As an airline, we rely upon ATC’s traffic advisory and ensure to comply with their instructions. At IndiGo, safety of the passengers, crew and the aircraft are of top priority – and at no time it can be compromised”.