A major mid-air tragedy was averted on February 7, 2017, due to Air India’s Captain Anupama Kohli's quick thinking.
Last Wednesday, two airborne flights of Vistara’ UK 997 and Air India’s AI 631 were about to collide mid-air endangering the life of at least 261 passengers. While there were 152 passengers in the Vistara flight, Air India flight headed towards Bhopal had around 109 passengers.
The planes were speeding towards each other and even came in proximity of 100-foot distance from each other. In her resolution advisory report, Anupama mentioned that the flights were only a 100 feet away right before it was steered to a safe distance.
The mid-air crash was avoided because of the automatic warning alerting the pilots of the planes’ close proximity with each other. The cockpits of both the flights were manned by women pilots at that time.
The reports state that a suspension has been issued to the air traffic controllers who were managing the two flights. A Times Now report states,
The planes were barely seconds away from each other. Vistara was descending from its assigned level of 29,000 feet to 27,100 feet where an AI flight was coming in the opposite direction.
According to News 18, the Vistara spokesperson said,
In this particular incident, the resolution advisory (by the Traffic Collision Avoidance System or TCAS) got triggered due to conflicting traffic. Our pilot followed the standard operating procedure to avoid it and carried out an uneventful landing. The matter is under investigation by the relevant authority.
According to a report by Financial Express, an investigation has been started by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) to look into the incident. Anupama’s action were appreciated as she took a corrective measure on time to prevent a collision with the Vistara flight which was descending. She is cleared to fly by the AAIB.