A disaster was slightly averted at Delhi airport after a Vistara flight from Ahmedabad and another plane of the same airline the two carrying 322 people in total appreciation to an alert pilot on the former plane.
The Ahmedabad-Delhi flight had just landed and had been instructed by Air Traffic Control to cross an active runway to arrive at the parking bay.
Meanwhile, a Vistara Airlines Delhi-Bagdogra flight had been approved to take off on that same runway and a crash was only avoided thanks to 45-year-old Captain Sonu Gill on the Ahmedabad-Delhi flight.
The planes were 1.8 km, or 1,800 metres apart, sources said, pointing out that if the pilot had not cautioned ATC of the presence of the other plane, the consequence could have been disastrous.
According to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Vistara flight VTI926 had landed on Runway 29L and was told by ATC to cross Runway 29R en route to its parking bay.
However, the ATC official ‘momentarily forgot’ the instructions given to VTI926 and told flight VTI725 to take off from Runway 29R. The regulator’s statement said the ATC ‘on the realisation of the error, based on input from VTI926, tower controller instructed VTI725 to cancel take-off’.
The aviation regulator said an ‘alert pilot in the aircraft crossing the runway (VTI926) alerted Air Traffic Control and the aircraft on its take-off run (VTI725) was ordered to abort take-off’.