In yet another aviation close shave, the wing tips of two taxiing aircraft collided with each other at Mumbai airport on Wednesday morning. The wing tip collision happened when a Kuwait Airways wide body aircraft's wing hit the wing tip of an IndiGo aircraft.
A passenger saw this happen and in turn alerted the IndiGo crew. The IndiGo Airbus A-320 (VT-IFP)'s sharklet - curved portion at the tip of aircraft wing -- was damaged due to the impact and the plane had to be grounded.
Confirming the incident, an IndiGo spokesperson said: "At about 5.45am on Wednesday morning while the aircraft of this international airline was taxing toward the parking stand, at the same time an IndiGo flight (6E 207) was taxing to depart to Jaipur from taxiway 'N' and 'W' respectively.... under the air traffic control (ATC) instruction. IndiGo pilot was advised to follow the international operator arrival."
"Approximately at 5.45am, the pilot of this international airline was advised by the ATC to move ahead to make way for IndiGo aircraft. As per (rules), while an aircraft is on taxiway N, Taxiway W4 must not be permitted to use as standard wingtip clearance is not met .... Hence, due to the taxiing process, the Airbus 320 aircraft of IndiGo came in contact with Airbus A330 aircraft of the international operator," the low cost airline said.
"As the wing tip of the two aircraft came in contact, an IndiGo passenger observed this and immediately alerted the crew, who informed the pilots about this. The highly experienced pilot-in-command operating 6E 207 immediately decided to take the precautionary measure and returned the aircraft to the parking bay. The flight crew ensured to keep all passengers informed about the situation and assured to maintain calm on board. All passengers were safely accommodated to the other aircraft."
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this incident and IndiGo said it is 'supporting' this probe.
A passenger on board the IndiGo flight said: "IndiGo handled the incident very well and there was no panic despite the same. The flight wing got dented while moving towards runway. Once a passenger saw this and reported to the airline staff, the plane went back to the terminal and everyone was sent in another aircraft arranged for by IndiGo."
The Mumbai Airport is also probing the incident. "Luckily no one was injured. We will devise procedures to avoid a similar situation arising again," said an airport source.
Source: Times of India