Published on : Thursday, July 12, 2018
The two IndiGo aircraft, both Airbus A-320s, were operating on the Coimbatore-Hyderabad (6E-779) and Bangalore-Cochin (6E-6505) routes respectively when in-cockpit alerts warned the pilots of an imminent collision between the airliners over Bengaluru aerospace.
Travelling at several hundred kilometres per hour towards each other, the two aircraft were physically less than 8 kilometres away from each other when collision avoidance systems onboard were triggered.
This had happened when 6E-779 was ordered by Air Traffic Control to climb to 36,000 feet and 6E-6505 was asked to climb to 28,000 feet.
At one stage of the flight, 6E-779 was at 27,300 feet and 6E-6505 was at just 27,500 feet with both aircraft headed towards each other. According to IndiGo, the TCAS-Resolution Advisory system was triggered on two of our aircraft. The airline has since informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the aviation watchdog, of the near-miss. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) has begun an investigation.
The TCAS, is used onboard airliners as the last defense against mid-air collisions. When the system generates a Resolution Advisory, as was the case on this occasion, a loud automated voice gives the pilots urgent instructions on what to do immediately. All civilian airliners operating in India are required to operate TCAS systems which scan the airspace around the aircraft through a transponder which detects signals from other aircraft which use compatible systems.