The Hush Post: It’s a mid air-crash averted by the presence of mind of a lady pilot. The Vistara and Air India flights came close enough for a mid-air clash in Mumbai airspace on Febraury 7.
“The planes were seconds away from each other. Vistara was descending from its level of 29,000 feet to 27,100 feet. At that very moment an AI flight was cruising from the opposite direction. There seemingly was confusion between the ATC and Vistara cockpit — which was being handled by a woman co-pilot at the controls while the captain had taken a toilet break. The AI flight had a woman commander, Captain Anupama Kohli.
Amid the confusion, AI’s Captain Anupama— a senior commander of A-320 with more than 20 years of experience saved the day and more importantly the lives of 261 passengers onboard. “She saw the Vistara plane approaching towards her aircraft and could hear the ATC asking UK 997 ‘why are you on this level?’ The Vistara lady pilot told ATC that “No, you told me to come to this level.”
Captain Anupama was monitoring this. Then she saw the Vistara plane closing in from her left. The red signal came up in her cockpit and she knew that the Vistara plane was at her level. Instantly, a resolution advisory (RA) came — “climb, climb, climb.” Then as per RA, Captain Kohli immediately climbed and turned right to steer clear of the Vistara plane.”
The Vistara plane at that time too had a lady co-pilot at the helm since the commander had taken a toilet break. Fortunately, AI went up and Vistara plunged to be 600 feet away from each other and then flew to safety. Meanwhile, the AI has applauded the presence of mind shown by Captain Anupama Kohli.