Major disaster averted at Delhi’s IGI airport; wings of Jet Airways flight hits another plane

Jet airways, Delhi, IGI Airport, Indira Gandhi Airport, winds, collide
Jet airways, Delhi, IGI Airport, Indira Gandhi Airport, winds, collide

New Delhi: A massive disaster was averted at Delhi’s IGI Airport as the tail of a Patna-bound Jet Airways plane clipped the starboard wing of the airline’s flight for Srinagar when both aircraft were taxiing for take-off on Sunday afternoon.

The 260 passengers and crew on the planes were left unhurt but survived a major scare as the wings of an aircraft carry large quantities of highly-inflammable jet fuel that can explode during a collision and reduce the flight into a fireball.

This is the first case in many years of two aircraft colliding at one of India’s busiest airports, which handled 82 flights in an hour last November, breaking its record of 77 take-offs and landing, according to civil aviation officials.

jet-statement

An airport official said the two planes were scheduled to depart five minutes apart from runway 29.

“Srinagar-bound flight 9W603 was moving towards the runway to take off at 2.50 pm with 129 passengers and eight crew members; as was flight 9W730 for Patna, scheduled to depart at 2.45pm, with 115 passengers and an eight-member crew. They hit each other on taxiway.”

The impact damaged the right main wing of the plane to Srinagar, and the other plane’s tail wing. An emergency was declared immediately after the accident, and lifesavers were scrambled.

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Last year, there were 32 cases of near-misses. An increasing number of pilots, about 150, had been suspended for violating safety protocols.

“During taxiing, an aircraft is supposed to maintain a particular distance in accordance with directions from the air traffic controller. An inquiry committee will investigate how Sunday’s incident happened? It could be miscommunication,” said an official with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Till the damaged parts were repaired and the DGCA cleared both aircraft to resume operation, they will remain grounded, the official with the aviation regulator said.

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