Air India, Jet Airways deny reports of ‘averted collision’

New Delhi, June 6 (IANS) Air India and Jet Airways officials Sunday denied there was a possibility of a mid-air collision near Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu. Pilots of their aircraft took evasive steps soon after the Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) siren was sounded in the planes, the airlines said.

Spokespersons of both airlines separately said that claims that a mid-air collision was averted between Air India and Jet Airways aircraft flying out of and to Chennai were false media reports.

‘The TCAS alarm went off and as per instructions given to the pilots they acted… There was no chance of a collision to say it was averted,’ Air India spokesperson Chandra Kumar told IANS.

‘Reporters who had absolutely no idea of TCAS have made these reports. None of the airlines can be blamed in this case,’ he added.

Jet Airways spokesperson Ragini Chopra told IANS: ‘It was not a near collision or anything. Steps were taken by pilots on the TCAS alarm… DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) will enquire and take any action if needed.’

Air India flight IC 671 and Jet Airways flight 9W 4758, carrying nearly 250 passengers and crew, came close to each other on the same flight path at a height of 17,000 feet near Tiruchirapalli air space in Tamil Nadu, triggering a TCAS siren in both the planes, officials said.

Officials said Saturday that to avoid a collision, the Jet Airways pilot pulled his aircraft up while the Air India pilot lowered his plane’s altitude. The incident took place at 12.30 p.m.

The Air India flight was bound from Chennai to Madurai and the Jet flight was headed to Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram.

Air Traffic Control sources told IANS that lack of proper radar cover between Tiruchirapalli and Madurai was one of the reasons for the incident.

Both flights landed safely at the Madurai and Chennai airports respectively, the officials added.

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