Air India Mere Seconds Away When MH17 Get Shot
Sunday, 20th July 2014 at 12:25pm
Accidents can happen and do occur at anytime nobody can tell. The recent tragedy that befell on MH17 on July 17 was no exception.
And it could be the end of Air India's own Dreamliner that was traversing the same path on its way from Delhi to Birmingham. But it was not its tragic moment. It's Malaysia's MH17.
Flight MH17 wasn't even able to send a distress signal to the air traffic controller below to indicate a trouble ahead or something wrong was going on. Similarly, all the people on board, including the pilots, must not have been aware that their fate would soon be sealed in such a catastrophic end.
Air India's flight was, in fact, mere 25 kilometers away or just 90 seconds away when MH17 got hit by the missile (a B787 can cover a distance of 25 kilometers within one minute and 30 seconds). The short distance between MH17 and Air India flight prompted the Dnipropetrovsk air traffic controller below to ask AI pilots to try to contact with MH17 pilots following a negative response from the latter.
Upon learning the deadly crash of MH17 minutes later, the AI pilots said they were totally stunned.
But before they could learn the tragic fate of MH17, the AI pilots tried to contact with them after its transponder display went off the radar, but all they got was negative.
According to sources, the Ukrainian air space is divided into 5 regions, namely, Kiev, Lviv, Dnipropetrovsk, Odessa, and Simferopol, to which the airlines flying over Ukraine are assigned a path to follow. The MH17 was already cruising an altitude of 33,000 over the Dnipropetrovsk region on an east-bound direction, while AI113 was heading west on its Delhi-Birmingham flight. The A113 just entered Ukraine after crossing the Russian border when it heard the ground controller giving MH17 a direction to fly a direct route.
The controller then asked the AI pilots to establish contact with MH17 after it failed to get a response from MH17. As a standard practice, ground controllers would ask pilots of planes who are in the vicinity to contact with other pilots who stop responding.
By: Pete Lee.