Over Iranian territory, two Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) aircraft nearly avoided a mid-air catastrophe when they were dangerously close to one another.
Due to the claimed incompetence of Iranian Air Traffic Control (ATC), who is said to have cleared the same altitude for both PIA planes, both aircraft were on the same route and at the same altitude.
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Details indicate that two PIA planes, an Airbus A320 flying from Doha to Peshawar and a Boeing 777 flying from Islamabad to Dubai, came perilously close to colliding over Iranian airspace near the UAE.
The planes’ Traffic Collision Avoidance Systems (TCAS) were triggered when they sensed danger, instructing one aircraft to ascend and the other to descend in accordance with usual procedure.
All aircraft are equipped with TCAS, which automatically pilots the aircraft by interacting with the TCAS of other aircraft.
The event was confirmed by a PIA spokeswoman to the media, who added: “PIA is writing to Iranian air traffic control (ATC) to investigate as the Iranian ATC commanded the jet, but it was incorrect.”
According to the statement, PIA flight PK-268, an Airbus A320 from Doha with a destination of Peshawar, was being closely approached by PIA aircraft PK-211, a Boeing 777 from Islamabad to Dubai, which was maintaining a 35,000-foot altitude at the time.
He noted that the descent would have crossed the path of PIA flight PK-211, a Boeing 777, which was flying at 36,000 feet when the PK-268 flight was given permission to descend to 20,000 feet.
The representative further stated that both planes’ TCAS automatically directed and adjusted their courses.