Two Pakistani planes escape mid-air collision over Iranian territory
A major tragedy was averted as two mid-air Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) planes nearly escaped a mid-air collision over Iranian territory on Sunday, according to media reports.
The planes came extremely close to each other due to alleged “negligence” by Iranian air traffic control (ATC), Pakistani newspaper Dawn reported.
The report cites sources as saying one of the planes was a PIA Boeing 777 (PK-211) flying from Islamabad to Dubai, while the other was an Airbus A-320 (PK-268) traveling from Doha to Peshawar.
Captain Samiullah piloted the Airbus A-320 while Captain Athar Haroon piloted the Boeing 777, according to the report.
Both aircraft followed standard practice as one was asked to climb while the other was asked to descend.
The Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), which is built into all aircraft, guides the aircraft by communicating with the TCAS of other aircraft.
“The PIA writes to Iranian Air Traffic Control (ATC) to investigate Iranian ATC instructions, but it was untrue,” a PIA spokesperson said, according to media reports.
The spokesperson added that the Boeing 777 plane was flying at an altitude of 35,000 feet while the Airbus A-320 maintained an altitude of 36,000 feet.
The Airbus A-320 plane was cleared to descend to 20,000ft, local media reported quoting the PIA spokesperson.
The PIA spokesman added that the descent would have come in the path of the Boeing 777 plane, but the TCAS system automatically guided the planes and corrected their course, Dawn reported.
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