Two Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) planes almost collided with each other on Thursday. The two passenger planes narrowly avoided a mid-air collision because of the quick and timely response on the pilots’ part.
According to sources from Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the disaster almost came to be as the two PIA flights, PK-352 and PK-786, came very close to each other because of a “minor” technical error of air traffic controllers. This minor technical glitch could have taken hundreds of lives but fortunately, the crisis was averted.
Details Of The Incident
As per the sources’ details, the PIA flight PK-352 was heading from Karachi, towards Islamabad. On the other hand, the other flight i.e. PK-785 was going towards London from Islamabad. Both planes were given the same flight level due to the air traffic controller’s mistake, which brought them head-on above the airspace of Cherat. The pilots’ mental awareness averted the impending crash, thus saving hundreds of lives on-board both jets.
The higher-ups of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have taken notice of this incident. A high-level inquiry has been set-up to look into this near-miss incident.
This Isn’t The First Time This Has Happened
Earlier in January, two passenger planes narrowly escaped a mid-air collision in the Karachi airspace.
In that incident, the national PIA airline was flying from the federal capital, Islamabad, to Karachi whereas the Emirates flight was flying over Nawab Shah from the Delhi-region of India.
The PIA flight en route from Islamabad to Karachi was at an altitude of 35,000 feet. In comparison, the foreign airliner was on a transit route at a 40,000 feet altitude. The two planes were less than five miles apart. Terminal Access Controller Access-Control System (TACACS) got activated in both the planes. This alerted the pilots about the other plane being in close proximity to theirs.
The pilots of both planes showed quick response and swiftly maneuvered. The PIA pilot steadily lowered the plane, descending 4,000 feet in no time. The foreign airliner’s captain, on the other hand, raised his plane. This speedy action from both the pilots saved hundreds of lives then too.
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) took note of that near-miss and dismissed the on-duty air traffic controller, along with three other officials involved.