Mumbai: An Air India passenger aircraft flying to London went off the radar for a few frightening moments while flying over Hungary, the airline said on Friday.
The aircraft, which flew from Mumbai in the morning with 231 passengers and 18 crew members, had to be escorted by fighter jets after it lost contact with the Air Traffic Control while flying over Hungary.
The Air India flight AI 171 lost contact with the Air Traffic Control due to “frequency fluctuation”, an Air India spokesperson reportedly said. A Hungarian fighter jet then escorted it.
The flight which took off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai at 0700 hours, landed safely at London’s Heathrow Airport at 11.05 hours, the spokesperson said.
This comes less than a month after a Jet Airways aircraft with more than 300 people on board was escorted by German Air Force planes after it lost contact with Air Traffic Control during a flight from Mumbai to London.
The incident took place on February 16 in German air space. Fighter jets escorted the Boeing 777 aircraft. Communication was restored eventually and the flight landed at London’s Heathrow airport without incident.
Dramatic footage of the incident, posted by website Aviation Herald, showed the Jet Airways flight being escorted by two fighter jets – vapour trails billowing in their wake.
According to Aviation Herald, the communication blackout happened when the air traffic control in Slovakia was handing over charge to the ATC in Prague. The website claims the blackout happened as the Jet Airways pilot chose a wrong frequency to communicate.