Passengers of an IndiGo airlines flight had a narrow escape after the pilots mistook a road for the runway while preparing to land in Jaipur, reports said.
The incident happened on 27 February as the flight from Ahmedabad was about to land at the Jaipur airport. Sources said the pilots mistook the road adjacent to the Sanganer airport for the runway and tried to land on it.
The pilots were alerted by the triggering of the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS). This enabled them to lift the aircraft from an altitude as low as 900 feet or 90 seconds away from the ground, sources said.
The EGPWS is capable of even waking up pilots, in case they doze off.
Both the pilots of the low cost carrier have been grounded by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
IndiGo has maintained that the safety of the passengers were not compromised at any stage.
“IndiGo Flight 6E-237 enroute Ahmedabad to Jaipur being operated with A320 aircraft VT-IGK was involved in EGPWS “TOO LOW TERRAIN” warning on 27 February 2016 when the aircraft was on finals during visual approach at runway 27 at Jaipur (VIJP). The Captain-in-command immediately took a precautionary measure and carried a go-around. The aircraft landed safely on subsequent ILS approach on runway 27.”
It also said the two pilots have been taken off from flight duty, pending investigation and the matter has been reported to the DGCA.
“Both the pilot have been taken off from flight duty with immediate effect by IndiGo Chief of Flight Safety pending investigation. The matter was duly reported to the DGCA by IndiGo flight safety department,” IndiGo said in a statement.
IndiGo, operated by Interglobe Aviation Ltd is India’s largest and most profitable airline.
It operates a fleet of some 100 flights to 34 domestic and five international destinations.