NEW DELHI: The pilots of a Jet Airways flight may have risked the lives of its passengers by trying to land at the Delhi airport at a “high speed” in April, a government committee has found. The committee—that was looking into a near miss incident involving a Jet Airways plane with a Vistara plane—has also suggested corrective training for the pilots of Jet Airways flight 9W 597 and some air traffic controllers.
According to sources, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) report states that the Jet Airways Pilots ignored repeated concern raised by the ATC (Air Traffic Controller) over the high speed.
Pertinently, a preliminary report submitted in June had also pulled up the air traffic controller (ATC) for not being able to determine that the Jet Airways plane would not be able to land this close to the runway at such a speed.
The incident took place on April 21 when Jet Airways sought to land at Delhi IGI Airport. That landing was, however, aborted and the pilot opted to go for a go around and touched down in a subsequent attempt.
Due to the last moment change by the Jet Airways pilot, the distance between the Jet flight and Vistara flight UK 811-- which had been authorised for take-off--fell to less than 400 feet, triggering a warning in both cockpits to maintain a safe distance. There were 148 passengers aboard the Vistara Airbus A320 plane bound for Bengaluru, while the Jet Airways Boeing 737 was arriving from Muscat with 174 passengers.
Sources said that the committee found that the ATC asked the Jet pilots thrice whether they would be able to land at that speed. The pilot of the aircraft replied in the affirmative thrice but opted for a go-around after the co-pilot warned the pilot that they would not be able to land because the flaps couldn’t be opened.
According to sources, the speed of the plane 4.5 miles away from a touchdown and at 2,000 feet was 310 knots compared with an ideal 250 knots at that distance. The flaps can only be deployed when the speed drops to at least 250 knots and therefore, the flaps of Jet Airways flight could not be opened, sources quoted the report.