Air India plane only 90 seconds away from MH17 tried to make contact

New Delhi -  An Air India plane, flying less than 25 kilometres from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when it was downed, had tried to make contact with the pilot.  

The Times of India said Ukrainian air traffic controllers had asked the Air India pilots to try and establish contact with the Malaysia Airlines jet, which had stopped responding to its calls.

The Air India plane, which was flying from Delhi to Birmingham and was less than 25 kilometres from Malaysia MH17, received no response, according to the paper.

"The AI Dreamliner was less than 25km from the Malaysian aircraft when the latter was hit by a missile," an unidentified airline source told the newspaper. According to Times of India, a distance of 25km can be covered in 90 seconds by a Dreamliner aircraft. 

"When the pilots learned of the cause of the crash later, they were stunned."

According to the newspaper, it is standard practice for air traffic controllers to ask pilots of aircraft in the vicinity to get in touch with pilots who have stopped responding.

The newspaper also said that minutes before the crash, the Air India pilots heard air traffic controllers give the Malaysian plane a "direct routing".

This allows a plane to fly straight rather than tracking from one navigation point to another, and saves time and fuel.

An Air India spokesman declined to comment on the report.

The report comes despite a denial by India's civil aviation ministry last week that the Air India plane was close to the Malaysian jet, which was cut down over Ukraine's troubled eastern region on Thursday.

Ukraine accuses Moscow of helping pro-Russian rebels to shoot down the Malaysian plane, killing 298 people.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
President Ramaphosa has punted the idea of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for South Africans. This is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
The right thing to do. We desperately need more South Africans vaccinated to prevent further mutations and restore normality in our lives.
72% - 7847 votes
A risky strategy. Compulsory vaccinations may have unintended consequences and damage our rollout campaign.
28% - 3085 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
15.95
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
21.22
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
18.02
+0.8%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.31
+0.8%
Rand - Yen
0.14
+0.9%
Gold
1,767.33
-0.8%
Silver
22.39
+0.3%
Palladium
1,780.47
+2.0%
Platinum
941.12
+0.6%
Brent Crude
68.87
-0.5%
Top 40
64,555
-0.4%
All Share
71,021
-0.3%
Resource 10
67,557
-0.5%
Industrial 25
93,673
-0.4%
Financial 15
13,890
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE