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Prez aircraft was never out of ATC contact: Centre

Source: PTI
September 24, 2010 12:02 IST
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The civil aviation ministry on Friday said the aircraft carrying President Pratibha Patil never lost contact with the air traffic control while flying to Aizawl and was put on an alternate radio frequency immediately after an Air Traffic Control monitor suffered technical glitch.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation would inquire into the incident in which a monitor of the Area Western Radar went blank for over three minutes soon after the aircraft took off from the Kolkata airport on Thursday morning, a ministry spokesperson said in New Delhi.

"The President's aircraft was never out of ATC contact. While one display monitor had developed glitches, the plane was immediately put on another monitor with a separate frequency. In three minutes, the first one was also repaired," she said.

Her statement came in wake of reports that the presidential plane had lost contact with the ATC while flying from Kolkata to Aizawl.

After Thursday's incident, Kolkata airport sources had said that the ATC had remained in touch with the plane's crew members through radio signals.

The flight, which was over the Bagdogra airspace ten minutes after take-off, was put on a monitor in the Area Eastern Radar after the western radar suffered a malfunction.

The snag was corrected within three minutes by the engineers, the sources said. The President and her entourage reached the Mizoram capital safely.

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