Are people afraid of plane crashes? Most of them are, and it’s not so hard to understand why. Each traveler places his or her trust in that system and it simply has to work. Flying carries inherent, built-in risks. Planes are machines, and machines sometimes malfunction. Flight attendants and pilots may even fly several times per week, but mistakes can happen anytime and may have serious consequences. In a recent incident, a midair disaster was averted over the Goan skies on Saturday when two aircraft came dangerously close to each other and the pilots of one of them took a last- minute diversion to avoid a possible collision.
According to a source, the incident happened when SpiceJet’s flight SG 3604 took off from Goa for Hyderabad and GoAir’s G8 141 Mumbai-Goa flight was descending to land. “Seconds after taking off, the traffic collision avoidance system (TCAS) alarm went off in the cockpit of the SpiceJet Bombardier Q400 (a turboprop cockpit). The system issued a ‘resolution advisory’ and the pilots took evasive action as directed.” said a SpiceJet official. “The alertness of our crew saved the day,” he said.
GoAir A-320s have 180 to 186 seats and Spicejet Q400s have 78 seats but both the airlines did not say that how many passengers were in aircraft involved in the near miss.
As per the information, it is known that Goa airport’s radar was down at the time of this incident and a notice to the airmen was issued. SpiceJet officials alleged that the GoAir crew did not follow the procedure to be adopted in such circumstances and that the Go aircraft was in a place where it should not have been. A GoAir spokesman said, “The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is conducting an inquiry into this incident.” Goa airport officials also claimed that both the pilots of the GoAir Airbus A320 were expats and there may have been language problems.
“All facts of the case will be studied on Monday. After that we will decide whether the crew should be grounded,” a DGCA official said. The Goa airport is a naval base.
Senior airline commanders said the crew of one of the airlines was at fault. “Goa Airport not having functional radar at that time cannot be the cause of this incident. When the radar is down, aircraft take precautions like extra minimum separation while landing and taking off,” said a commander.