Mumbai airport near collison, probe begins into near miss
In a major breach of passenger security at Mumbai airport , an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper from president Pratibha Patil's fleet came dangerously close to an Air India aircraft. The disaster was narrowly averted when the pilot of the Air India plane, heading for the capital with 155 passengers, applied the emergency brakes. Although Indian government has instituted an inquiry into the incident but the incident has sent shock waves among air travelers.
The 155 Air India (AI) passengers on board IC 866 that was saved from head-on collision with an Indian Air Force (IAF) chopper thank their stars and the experienced AI pilot who halted the take-off.
A team appointed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will probe the near miss between an Air India plane and a chopper belonging to the President's entourage today began its investigation by visiting the international airport.
"We are visiting Mumbai airport and will also be meeting ATC officials today as part of our probe," said an official associated with the eight-member probe team.
The high-level DGCA investigation team is being led by Joint Director General (Investigation) A K Chopra.
The team will probe yesterday's incident involving a chopper from President Pratibha Patil's fleet that had landed on the same runway, which a Delhi-bound aircraft with 150 passengers on board was using to take off.
The team comprises four members including Chopra from Delhi and four from Mumbai. Chopra, who landed here yesterday, had a meeting with DGCA officials who apprised him of the development, the official said.
Capt S K Kohli, the pilot of IC-866, an Airbus A-321 aircraft, had aborted take off and applied emergency brakes when he saw one of the three Air Force helicopters ferrying the President landing on the runway.